Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wrong and wrong again

"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." --Thomas Jefferson to John Taylor, 1816.

"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."

--Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 1789.

Kent Comments:

Jefferson must be correct, if you think about it.  What right could you possibly have to buy something and pass the bill along to your children?  There are, clearly, moral morons who think this is appropriate.

We have been doing this, of course, for some time now under the demands of a certain (warped) view of economics.  But ‘economics’ cannot trump right.

Now we are doing it on a scale that has begun to frighten some of us who did not worry about it much before.  (Remember, the Regan administration took the country further into debt.  I know his opponents in Congress had much to do with it, but the fact stands.)

But indebting our children and grandchildren did not just recently become wrong.  It has always been wrong.  But we became accustomed to this wrong-doing – which was yet another of our many collective sins.

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