See Thomas Jefferson and the National Debt. Several of his quotes on the issue of national debt follow:
"Loading up the nation with debt and leaving it for the following generations to pay is morally irresponsible. Excessive debt is a means by which governments oppress the people and waste their substance. No nation has a right to contract debt for periods longer than the majority contracting it can expect to live.
"I sincerely believe... that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale."
The Limits on Contracting Debt
"Then I say, the earth belongs to each of these generations during its course, fully and in its own right. The second generation receives it clear of the debts and incumbrances of the first, the third of the second, and so on. For if the first could charge it with a debt, then the earth would belong to the dead and not to the living generation. Then, no generation can contract debts greater than may be paid
during the course of its own existence."
"The conclusion then, is, that neither the representatives of a nation, nor the whole nation itself assembled, can validly engage debts beyond what they may pay in their own time."
"I suppose that the received opinion, that the public debts of one generation devolve on the next, has been suggested by our seeing, habitually, in private life, that he who succeeds to lands is required to pay the debts of his predecessor; without considering that this requisition is municipal only, not moral, flowing from the will of the society, which has found it convenient to appropriate the lands of a decedent on the condition of a payment of his debts; but that between society and society, or generation and generation, there is no municipal obligation, no umpire but the law of nature."
Saddling Posterity with Debt
"We believe--or we act as if we believed--that although an individual father cannot alienate the labor of his son, the aggregate body of fathers may alienate the labor of all their sons, of their posterity, in the aggregate, and oblige them to pay for all the enterprises, just or unjust, profitable or ruinous, into which our vices, our passions or our personal interests may lead us. But I trust that this proposition needs only to be looked at by an American to be seen in its true point of view, and that we shall all consider ourselves unauthorized to saddle posterity with our debts, and morally bound to pay them ourselves; and consequently within what may be deemed the period of a generation, or the life of the majority."
"It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes."
Freeing the Nation from Debt
"To preserve [the] independence [of the people,] we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual
DISCUSSION OF TODAY'S SITUATION IN AMERICA
Our politicians, with We the People's passive acquiesence, if not outright complicity, have forever ignored Jefferson's sound advice.
In my opinion, the fault is not accidental. It's in fact deceitful and represents a fraud on future taxpayers.
Allow me to explain. We passed Social Security legislation during the Great Depression of the 1930s. We then passed Medicare and Medicaid during the period of U.S. economic dominance in the 1960s. Now we've passed the "Affordable Care Act" in 2010.
At least by 2010 We the People knew that as a nation we couldn't afford more government programs that spent more money than was collected in fees and taxes. Still, our feckless politicians did it anyway.
In the beginning, Social Security was 'advertised" as insurance. Today we are paying more in benefits to recipients than we are receiving in "contributions" from active workers. It never was insurance. Insurance is paid for with premiums by which the insured fully pays for the risk assumed by the insurer.
In 1967 Medicare initially was projected to cost ~$12 billion by 1990. The actual cost in 1990 was ~$100 billion.
ObamaCare will be the same fraudulent story---another example of taxation without representation---future generations get the bill.
The taxes in all these programs, disguised as contributions, never are remotely close to being adequate to pay for the promised benefits. Yet we don't raise taxes subsequently to match the benefits paid. And inadequate taxes which don't cover costs must be supplemented somehow and someday.
And that leads us straight back to Thomas Jefferson and the debts we're incurring today to "save the middle class" and unload on future generations tomorrow. It's all about taxation without representation again. In other words, it's the same old story.
Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, several hours before fellow former President John Adams died, fifty years after signing the Declaration of Independence.
In future posts, we'll get more into the debt debacle and political lying that pervades our political process today.
However, if somebody doesn't start speaking the truth about the real costs and how much they exceed real taxes and fees, the debt bomb will just keep getting bigger until it finally explodes.
And our kids and grandkids will pay the price for our not having the guts and integrity to have done so ourselves.