Skip to comments.The U.S. Constitution Already Requires a Balanced Budget
Posted on 07/20/2011 6:53:20 PM PDT by Uncle Sham
U.S. Constitution, Article 4, Section 4 - Republican government
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
A "Republican" form of government at the time of the founding of this nation was one where citizens were represented by someone they elected. A "Representative Republic". Article Four, Section Four GUARANTEES this to every state in the union. How does this affect the budget one might ask?
It seems to me that to be "represented", one has to be alive and of voting age. Those are two things needed in order to elect someone to represent you. Their "representation" results in governance, part of which is taxation. Someone not of voting age, or not yet born cannot be "represented" and no one can claim to represent someone who is non existent (unborn). Since we are guaranteed a republican form of government, we cannot pass debt to anyone not represented or it breaks the guaranteed representation commitment to them. This means that deficit spending is unconstitutional as is long-term national debt.
Obey the constitution? We haven’t even read it yet!...lol
You are wrong - Congress is permitted to "borrow money on the credit of the United States," per Article 1, Section 8.
Fine, it cannot be passed on to those “not represented” at the time of the loan. Those who are represented are stuck with this debt and can pay it themselves through extra taxation, etc.
I recall that this issue was part of the debate regarding civil war debts.
Unusual theory. A national debt dates from the very first administration however.
From Lincoln Speech:
These figures show that our country may be as populous as Europe now is at some point between 1920 and 1930—say about 1925—our territory, at 73 1/3 persons to the square mile, being of capacity to contain 217,186,000.
And we will reach this, too, if we do not ourselves relinquish the chance by the folly and evils of disunion or by long and exhausting war springing from the only great element of national discord among us. While it can not be foreseen exactly how much one huge example of secession, breeding lesser ones indefinitely, would retard population, civilization, and prosperity, no one can doubt that the extent of it would be very great and injurious.
The proposed emancipation would shorten the war, perpetuate peace, insure this increase of population, and proportionately the wealth of the country. With these we should pay all the emancipation would cost, together with our other debt, easier than we should pay our other debt without it. If we had allowed our old national debt to run at 6 per cent per annum, simple interest, from the end of our revolutionary struggle until to-day, without paying anything on either principal or interest, each man of us would owe less upon that debt now than each man owed upon it then; and this because our increase of men through the whole period has been greater than 6 per cent—has run faster than the interest upon the debt. Thus time alone relieves a debtor nation, so long as its population increases faster than unpaid interest accumulates on its debt.
This fact would be no excuse for delaying payment of what is justly due, but it shows the great importance of time in this connection—the great advantage of a policy by which we shall not have to pay until we number 100,000,000 what by a different policy we would have to pay now, when we number but 31,000,000. In a word, it shows that a dollar will be much harder to pay for the war than will be a dollar for emancipation on the proposed plan. And then the latter will cost no blood, no precious life. It will be a saving of both.
Read more: State of the Union Address: Abraham Lincoln (December 1, 1862) Infoplease.com http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:GFCr3OByqW4J:www.infoplease.com/t/hist/state-of-the-union/74.html+lincoln+speech+debt+children&cd=16&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&client=firefox-a&source=www.google.com#ixzz1ShacQz8H
Your idea is absurd. The law against robbing banks, probably passed in the early 1800s, applies to all of us born since.
The ensemble of laws define the society you were born into—whether you were “represented” at some past time or not.
You forgot this enumerated power from Article I, Section 8:
To borrow money on the credit of the United States
his idea is NOT absurd.
the idea of a perpetual debt is.
Jefferson said 9 years later, that if he could add just ONE amendment, it would be to place limits on borrowing.
their INTENT was never to use borrowing this way!
i submit the power to borrow was ONLY intended for emergencies like war!!!
“... but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have occasioned, ...”
not to pay for illegal immigrants, social programs, etc.!!!
“It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”
“Avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen which we ourselves ought to bear.”
“Rather go to bed supperless than rise in debt.”
“We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt.
We must make our election between economy and liberty
or profusion and servitude.
If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and
in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and
our amusements, for our calling and our creeds...
[we will] have no time to think,
no means of calling our miss-managers to account
but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves
to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers...
And this is the tendency of all human governments.
A departure from principle in one instance
becomes a precedent for [another ]...
till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery...
And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt.
Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”
here is EXACTLY what Unclesham said:
” ... nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, ...
“... To say that the United States should be answerable for twenty-five millions of dollars without knowing whether the ways and means can be provided, and without knowing whether those who are to succeed us will think with us on the subject, would be rash and unjustifiable. ... “
Thomas Jefferson, quotes about Debt:
But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years.
And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale.
I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.
James Madison, quotes about Debt:
History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling the money and its issuance.
I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on the objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
and last but not least:
” It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. “
“We don’t need an amendment to balance the budget. Article Four, Section Four requires it already.”
If you read what you want into the republican requirement you will wear it out, or worse render it into something arbitrary.
Republic means you can’t have a dictatorship or monarchy. It’s says nothing about debt, although I admit the ability of 1 generation to burden the next with debt is anti-Republican in its essence.
Being born into involuntary indentured servitude ended when slavery was abolished. We have passed this debt to the unborn, placing them as future indentured servants to the state. This is totally opposite of that which the founders of this nation intended.
Somebody should have told mister Lincoln that Europe was even then far too big for a Strong centralized Government to rule them all.
People need freedom, and as a byproduct of that freedom you must have diversity and thus divergence as numbers and distances grow. This is a Natural and essential product of life, and evolution diversification. Without this product there can be nether short term freedom nor long term survival.
Just the same Unions(including governments) are formed among men to serve them in the protection of their rights, NOT to enslave them to provide for the mere existences nor in-equable demands of the same union(Government).
If any Union(goverment) cannot prove itself more beneficial then it is costly, it should by all rights be done away with. It is after all but a tool of life, not the objective of life.
“Being born into involuntary indentured servitude ended when slavery was abolished. We have passed this debt to the unborn, placing them as future indentured servants to the state. This is totally opposite of that which the founders of this nation intended.”
Jefferson would have agreed with you, Hamilton most eagerly took the opposite position.
Of course Hamilton wanted a 2nd British empire with himself at the head, not a free republic.
“Obey the constitution? We havent even read it yet!...lol”
This is true, if we really wanted to follow the Constitution we would be running a roughly 2 trillion dollar surplus.
On top of that pretty much all of our existing federal debt could be written off as having never been authorized on the credit of the United States in the first place.
Remember for Debt to be authorized under artificial 1 Section 8 it must be for Constitutionally authorized functions of the Federal Government.
Sense the vast majority of everything the Federal Government has done in the last 50 years has been entirely unauthorized. bond sold to pay for them unauthorized activities is Constitutionally ill-redeemable.
I wouldn’t even go that far if I were president, even thou it would be wise to do so. (It would make creditors responsible for helping to enforce the Federal Constitution, at least as far as lending the goverment money goes.)
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