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Should the government borrow against the future? Should it guarantee higher taxes for your children and grandchildren in return for lower taxes for you?

If government’s moral legitimacy depends on the consent of the governed, as Thomas Jefferson argued in the Declaration of Independence, can the federal government morally compel those who haven’t consented to its financial profligacy — because they are not yet born — to pay higher taxes?

These questions are at the base of the debate — such as it is — in Congress these days over the so-called Republican tax reform plan. But you will not hear these questions even asked, much less answered, on Capitol Hill because the Republican leadership of the House and Senate is afraid that the answers might drive them from power. The same can be said for Democratic leaders when their party controls Congress.

In fact, with the exception of a few courageous senators, such as Rand Paul of Kentucky, and representatives, such as Justin Amash of Michigan and Thomas Massie of Kentucky, most in Congress in both parties think the only limit on the government’s taxing power is what it can politically get away with at any given moment.

And it gets away with a great deal because vast majorities in both major political parties recognize no moral limits to the government’s sordid pattern of tax, borrow and spend.

The numbers are chilling.

The federal government collects about $2.5 trillion in revenue and spends about $4 trillion, annually. The difference between what it collects and what it spends is made up in borrowing. But it doesn’t borrow money as you or I do or any business does — with a planned schedule to pay back the principal it owes plus interest. Rather, it goes deeper into debt to pay its debts.

Though the federal government has been in debt since day one, when it borrowed millions to pay the debts that the states had amassed in fighting the American Revolution (who knows whether the states would have formed a central government without its promise of assuming their war debts?), but from time to time, it has paid back the principal that it borrowed.

Since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago, however, with two then-novel revenue-generating tools — the personal income tax to produce cash and the Federal Reserve to print cash — the federal government has rolled over debt but has never retired it. Stated differently, the feds have always made timely interest payments, but when principal has come due, they have simply borrowed more money to pay the principal and of course thereby incurred more debt.

For example, the federal government still owes the $30 billion Wilson borrowed to finance the useless and fruitless World War I, but the lenders it owes it to are different from those from which it originally borrowed that money. It has paid more than $15 billion in interest on this rolled-over and still-owed $30 billion principal in the past 100 years.

No household, no business, no bank, no government can long survive by doing this.

ORDER IT NOW

Since Wilson began this process, all of his successors have added to it, so that the federal government’s debt has swelled in 100 years from $30 billion to $20.5 trillion. Of the $4 trillion the feds spend annually, more than $850 billion of it is interest payments to its current creditors on its debts.

The Republican House tax changes — they cannot be called a “reform,” because they reform nothing; they just redistribute wealth and add debt — would lower taxes for some and raise taxes for many and add $1.5 trillion in debt for all.

If the feds follow their 100-year consistent pattern, this debt will never be retired, will be rolled over hundreds of times and will cause the taxes on generations of unborn Americans — where is their consent? — to rise without benefit to them and without popular or legislative approval.

But you won’t hear any of this debated in Congress because there — and in the White House, as well — we have insufficient political courage to address this problem prudently.

This is now so severe and so consistently an accepted method of operation for the federal government that one can only surmise that those who can address it today must expect that they will no longer be on earth when the bubble bursts.

The bubble, soon to consist of $1 trillion in annual federal government interest payments on $25 trillion in debt, has been characterized by no less a warrior than the current secretary of defense and by his colleague the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the greatest contemporary threat to national security America faces — greater than Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korea and all the terrorist crazies who wish us ill combined.

The threat is that people will stop paying taxes because nearly half of revenue will soon go to debt service and nearly half to fixed transfer payments and the productive earners will get little or nothing for their taxes. Then the government’s creditors will not be paid, and the government will not be able to borrow money. Then America as we have known it will cease to exist, and individuals and groups will be on their own to protect life, liberty and property.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Call me the skunk at the garden party if you will, but we need these sober thoughts on this Thanksgiving holiday, lest the blind continue to lead us into a pit with false claims of tax reform that really are part of our government-induced march to perdition.

At some point, the bribing of the poor with welfare and the middle class with temporary tax cuts and the rich with bailouts will come crashing down — unless we change the direction of the government before it is too late.

Copyright 2017 Andrew P. Napolitano. Distributed by Creators.com.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Government Debt, Government Spending, Taxes 
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  1. anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    “… the greatest contemporary threat to national security America faces — greater than Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korea and all the terrorist crazies who wish us ill combined.”

    Is this gratuitous Uncle Samstroking how Mr. Napolitano keeps his place in the toolbox?

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Scalpel
    Yes it is. In his previous article he strongly signaled his fealty to the neocon/clinton/etc group. He wants to be either a paid lackey or a politician
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
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  2. The Scalpel says: • Website
    @anonymous
    “... the greatest contemporary threat to national security America faces — greater than Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korea and all the terrorist crazies who wish us ill combined.”

    Is this gratuitous Uncle Samstroking how Mr. Napolitano keeps his place in the toolbox?

    Yes it is. In his previous article he strongly signaled his fealty to the neocon/clinton/etc group. He wants to be either a paid lackey or a politician

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonymous
    "In his previous article, ..."

    I believe you're referring to that of November 2, two articles back.
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  3. No household, no business, no bank, no government can long survive by doing this.

    Judge Napolitano errs in confusing the government with households, businesses, and banks.

    In fact he previously even shows us–partly–why this is false.

    Since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago, however, with two then-novel revenue-generating tools — the personal income tax to produce cash and the Federal Reserve to print cash —

    The federal government is able to borrow money at lower rates and maintain a permanent debt because it is the most creditworthy borrower.

    Why is the federal government so creditworthy?

    1 – As any libertarian will tell you (endlessly), the government forces you to pay taxes. No business’s future revenue stream is thus assured.

    2 – The government mandates that not only must you pay your taxes in its currency, but it mandates that all private debts must be paid in its currency as well. This ensures demand for the money it issues (or more accurately, the money created by banks).

    3 – The existence of both the central bank and private banks with the power to create money. Private banks are mandated to keep a fraction of their capital in government bonds, and in the event their capacity is insufficient the central bank can purchase unlimited quantities of the public debt (as for instance with the current QE programs, and previously during WW2).

    This does not mean that government borrowing capacity is unlimited, but it does tell us why the federal government is the most creditworthy borrower there is (with the possible exception of a few other sovereign national governments).

    There are constraints on the government’s borrowing capacity in the form of inflation and the value of the Dollar. These constraints are not equivalent to the hard money quack view that all public borrowing is always bad and must always lead to disaster. A very high public debt can also lead to an excessive amount of tax revenue going toward interest payments (e.g. Britain after WW1), and there is also the concern about insufficient borrowing capacity for future crises (Britain was able to finance WW2 as well, but at the cost of much greater dependence on America and the Dominions).

    That said, while there have occasionally been issues with inflation or rising interest rates, none of the doom prophecies of the hard money quacks have ever been correct. This is because they do not understand how the financial system works or what makes currency valuable.

    Mainly these frauds are driven by a religious hatred of public debt and fiat money which is not grounded in reality or actual historical experience. At most they can cite Weimar Germany, which was actively trying to destroy its currency as a weapon against France and the Versailles Reparations (mission accomplished, the Mark was destroyed along with Germany’s public debt).

    Incidentally, it’s worth noting that many private borrowers maintain debt burdens far higher than what they counsel for the government despite being less creditworthy. A lot of private borrowers also never pay off their debts, ever.

    It’s not uncommon for home owners to have mortgages which exceed their income five times or more for instance, and this is comparable to the ratio of public debt to revenue. They also pay higher interest rates than the federal government, and they don’t have the option of increasing their income through tax hikes. Nor can they expect revenues to increase every single year over time as the government can.

    It’s true that many (though not all) private home owners eventually pay off their debts, but let’s look at the business sector.

    Does Judge Napolitano really believe that private corporations pay off their debts completely?

    Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most prudently run and financially soundest large corporations, carries a debt burden of about $100 billion. This is up from about $60 billion five years ago.

    Corporations roll over their debts, just like the federal government, provided borrowing conditions are favorable. This is because paying off the debt has an inferior return to investment or returning earnings to shareholders.

    The entire banking sector is based on rolling over debts in perpetuity. Every bank deposit is a liability to a bank. Do you suggest banks get away from this “dangerous” activity by using all earnings to redeem customer deposits until their deposit base is eliminated? Should banks start refusing new customer deposits?

    Anti-debt hard money crankery has no basis in reality and is simply a doom cult. Libertarians are frauds and need to go away for good.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lemmings Folly
    Are you arguing that debt is irrelevant?

    ...That a government is able to continue borrowing ad infinitum because it can just keep raising taxes and forcibly collecting them from the citizenry?
    ...That this will have no impact on the economy or on society?
    ...That creditors will never balk, never doubt, never increase their demands?

    Weimar Germany is the only example of a country that fell apart because of government borrowing?

    I don't understand how you can take this position. It just doesn't make sense to me.

    Why do economists warn about debt to GDP ratios being unsustainable? Why is Venezuela falling into chaos? What is happening to Greece? Why is everyone so worried about Italy?

    Why do so many intelligent people observe that government profligacy has a direct connection to its ability to borrow and spend money that actually belongs to future generations? Why does the government feel the need to take money from people who haven't even been born yet, and so obviously can't put up any sort of fight?

    Are we not eating our seed corn? If we don't have enough money to cover current expenses, isn't it logical to assume that we won't have enough money to cover future expenses plus increasing interest payments, even if you ignore the principal?

    Isn't borrowing supposed to produce a larger future income stream that both maintains current income and generates an increase to cover repayment? Aren't we only supposed to borrow as an investment in a future return?

    Why are we so worried about all the underfunded/ unfunded pensions and retirement plans? Why do we concern ourselves with the effect of high taxes on productivity? Why do economists say that government borrowing chokes out private borrowing?
    , @Hank Rearden
    Thorfinnscuck: "Anti-debt hard money crankery has no basis in reality and is simply a doom cult."

    Doom Cult Crankery: "No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts."
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. Lost In The Echobergs ♪: Theodore (((Rosenfeld))).

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  5. anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @The Scalpel
    Yes it is. In his previous article he strongly signaled his fealty to the neocon/clinton/etc group. He wants to be either a paid lackey or a politician

    “In his previous article, …”

    I believe you’re referring to that of November 2, two articles back.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  6. @Thorfinnsson

    No household, no business, no bank, no government can long survive by doing this.
     
    Judge Napolitano errs in confusing the government with households, businesses, and banks.

    In fact he previously even shows us--partly--why this is false.

    Since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago, however, with two then-novel revenue-generating tools — the personal income tax to produce cash and the Federal Reserve to print cash —
     
    The federal government is able to borrow money at lower rates and maintain a permanent debt because it is the most creditworthy borrower.

    Why is the federal government so creditworthy?

    1 - As any libertarian will tell you (endlessly), the government forces you to pay taxes. No business's future revenue stream is thus assured.

    2 - The government mandates that not only must you pay your taxes in its currency, but it mandates that all private debts must be paid in its currency as well. This ensures demand for the money it issues (or more accurately, the money created by banks).

    3 - The existence of both the central bank and private banks with the power to create money. Private banks are mandated to keep a fraction of their capital in government bonds, and in the event their capacity is insufficient the central bank can purchase unlimited quantities of the public debt (as for instance with the current QE programs, and previously during WW2).

    This does not mean that government borrowing capacity is unlimited, but it does tell us why the federal government is the most creditworthy borrower there is (with the possible exception of a few other sovereign national governments).

    There are constraints on the government's borrowing capacity in the form of inflation and the value of the Dollar. These constraints are not equivalent to the hard money quack view that all public borrowing is always bad and must always lead to disaster. A very high public debt can also lead to an excessive amount of tax revenue going toward interest payments (e.g. Britain after WW1), and there is also the concern about insufficient borrowing capacity for future crises (Britain was able to finance WW2 as well, but at the cost of much greater dependence on America and the Dominions).

    That said, while there have occasionally been issues with inflation or rising interest rates, none of the doom prophecies of the hard money quacks have ever been correct. This is because they do not understand how the financial system works or what makes currency valuable.

    Mainly these frauds are driven by a religious hatred of public debt and fiat money which is not grounded in reality or actual historical experience. At most they can cite Weimar Germany, which was actively trying to destroy its currency as a weapon against France and the Versailles Reparations (mission accomplished, the Mark was destroyed along with Germany's public debt).

    Incidentally, it's worth noting that many private borrowers maintain debt burdens far higher than what they counsel for the government despite being less creditworthy. A lot of private borrowers also never pay off their debts, ever.

    It's not uncommon for home owners to have mortgages which exceed their income five times or more for instance, and this is comparable to the ratio of public debt to revenue. They also pay higher interest rates than the federal government, and they don't have the option of increasing their income through tax hikes. Nor can they expect revenues to increase every single year over time as the government can.

    It's true that many (though not all) private home owners eventually pay off their debts, but let's look at the business sector.

    Does Judge Napolitano really believe that private corporations pay off their debts completely?

    Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most prudently run and financially soundest large corporations, carries a debt burden of about $100 billion. This is up from about $60 billion five years ago.

    Corporations roll over their debts, just like the federal government, provided borrowing conditions are favorable. This is because paying off the debt has an inferior return to investment or returning earnings to shareholders.

    The entire banking sector is based on rolling over debts in perpetuity. Every bank deposit is a liability to a bank. Do you suggest banks get away from this "dangerous" activity by using all earnings to redeem customer deposits until their deposit base is eliminated? Should banks start refusing new customer deposits?

    Anti-debt hard money crankery has no basis in reality and is simply a doom cult. Libertarians are frauds and need to go away for good.

    Are you arguing that debt is irrelevant?

    …That a government is able to continue borrowing ad infinitum because it can just keep raising taxes and forcibly collecting them from the citizenry?
    …That this will have no impact on the economy or on society?
    …That creditors will never balk, never doubt, never increase their demands?

    Weimar Germany is the only example of a country that fell apart because of government borrowing?

    I don’t understand how you can take this position. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    Why do economists warn about debt to GDP ratios being unsustainable? Why is Venezuela falling into chaos? What is happening to Greece? Why is everyone so worried about Italy?

    Why do so many intelligent people observe that government profligacy has a direct connection to its ability to borrow and spend money that actually belongs to future generations? Why does the government feel the need to take money from people who haven’t even been born yet, and so obviously can’t put up any sort of fight?

    Are we not eating our seed corn? If we don’t have enough money to cover current expenses, isn’t it logical to assume that we won’t have enough money to cover future expenses plus increasing interest payments, even if you ignore the principal?

    Isn’t borrowing supposed to produce a larger future income stream that both maintains current income and generates an increase to cover repayment? Aren’t we only supposed to borrow as an investment in a future return?

    Why are we so worried about all the underfunded/ unfunded pensions and retirement plans? Why do we concern ourselves with the effect of high taxes on productivity? Why do economists say that government borrowing chokes out private borrowing?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson

    Are you arguing that debt is irrelevant?
     
    No.

    See this passage from me:

    This does not mean that government borrowing capacity is unlimited, but it does tell us why the federal government is the most creditworthy borrower there is (with the possible exception of a few other sovereign national governments).

    There are constraints on the government’s borrowing capacity in the form of inflation and the value of the Dollar. These constraints are not equivalent to the hard money quack view that all public borrowing is always bad and must always lead to disaster. A very high public debt can also lead to an excessive amount of tax revenue going toward interest payments (e.g. Britain after WW1), and there is also the concern about insufficient borrowing capacity for future crises (Britain was able to finance WW2 as well, but at the cost of much greater dependence on America and the Dominions).
     
    As you can see, I do not consider public borrowing to be risk-free or an irrelevant consideration. I simply oppose the hysterical fears about it from the hard-money cranks. They are doom cultists whose views are not justified by historical experience and reveal an ignorance of how finance works.

    Moving on:


    Weimar Germany is the only example of a country that fell apart because of government borrowing?
     
    For starters, Weimar Germany DID NOT fall apart because of government borrowing. Weimar Germany deliberately destroyed its currency in order to default on the deeply unpopular Versailles Reparations, and also as a weapon of the French Occupation of the Ruhr.

    The hyperinflation was successful. The occupation ended, and Germany's reparations were modified by the Dawes Plan which reduced Germany's reparations payments and provided for American financing of them.

    The consequences of this hyperinflation are also worth noting. A new and stable currency was issued, and the public debt was officially wiped out. Bond holders got whacked, but the country rapidly recovered. The German economy went onto perform strongly until the Great Depression struck. Economic output in 1929 was 50% above 1914.

    This shows that there is a simple option to deal with excessive public debt (or in this case, perceived, as Germany could afford it): default. A state bankruptcy if you will. Just as private borrowers can declare bankruptcy and recover.

    I brought up Germany because it is constantly cited by the hard money cranks. It's noteworthy that Weimar Germany is the only advanced country to ever fulfill their doom prophecies, and it did so for political reasons.


    I don’t understand how you can take this position. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
     
    History shows that debt is a perfectly manageable issue, contrary to what the prophets of doom would have you believe.


    Why do economists warn about debt to GDP ratios being unsustainable? Why is Venezuela falling into chaos? What is happening to Greece? Why is everyone so worried about Italy?
     
    Economists are quacks.

    Venezuela is a banana republic inhabited by simians.

    The issue of Greece bears consideration, however. Note that unlike America, Greece is NOT a sovereign currency issuer. Its debts are issued in a currency that it has no control over. Thus the Bank of Greece cannot issue new currency to reduce interest rates as the Federal Reserve can.

    If the country has exogenous money, the only option to deal with an excessive debt burden is to slash expenditures and increase revenues. Unfortunately as we've seen in Greece, this sort of austerity can lead to depression and make the problem worse.

    The proper solution here would've been for Greece to declare bankruptcy and exit the Eurozone.

    Incidentally it's worth noting that all of the PIIGS (bar Ireland, which was not independent at the time) had to exit the classical gold standard for similar reasons. More politically and financially disciplined Germanic countries did not have such problems.

    Some people indeed did and still do worry about Italy, to the benefit of contrarian investors who for a time could purchase sovereign Italian bonds with a real yield of 7%. The country's public debt is not much higher than other advanced countries (and far lower than Japan), and unlike many countries its pension system is fully-funded. The main problem here is that Italy has had little if any economic growth in this century and thus should avoid unnecessarily increasing its debt level.

    Why do so many intelligent people observe that government profligacy has a direct connection to its ability to borrow and spend money that actually belongs to future generations?
     
    These things have a tendency to sort themselves out in advanced countries. The USA responded to high deficits in the 80s with the 1985 Graham-Rudman-Hollings Act, which reduced the growth of public spending, and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 which increased revenues.

    There is some kind of breaking point on debt levels in sovereign countries. We don't know what that breaking point is. If a breaking point is reached, default is always an option.

    The idea that money "belongs" to future generations is a talking point with no relevance to the real world.

    Why does the government feel the need to take money from people who haven’t even been born yet, and so obviously can’t put up any sort of fight?
     
    Because the government has bills to pay and tax hikes and spending cuts are unpopular, duh? And they can be economically damaging as well by reducing aggregate demand--witness the much slower recovery of the Eurozone from the Great Recession compared to the USA and UK.

    Are we not eating our seed corn? If we don’t have enough money to cover current expenses, isn’t it logical to assume that we won’t have enough money to cover future expenses plus increasing interest payments, even if you ignore the principal?
     
    If debt levels are increasing faster than overall economic growth, sure--this implies that a larger share of the national income will be needed in the future in order to service debt, which in turn means reduced public expenditures or increased taxes.

    The idea that we won't have enough money at all to cover future expenses however is silly, since we can always reduce those expenses or increase future revenues. When you are a sovereign currency issuer, you also have the option of suppressing interest rates as is currently being done.

    Isn’t borrowing supposed to produce a larger future income stream that both maintains current income and generates an increase to cover repayment? Aren’t we only supposed to borrow as an investment in a future return?
     
    This is how businesses borrow money, at least how they should borrow money.

    It does not reflect how governments borrow money or most individuals borrow money (your mortgage and credit card debt are not adding to your future wealth).

    I would like to see some shift in public finance here--more should go towards public capital expenditures (or perhaps scientific research). That said, the government also has some considerations which do not come into play in business. Because the government is by far the largest spender in any country, it needs to consider the impact of its expenditures on the overall economy.

    Why are we so worried about all the underfunded/ unfunded pensions and retirement plans?
     
    Because economists are quacks.

    More broadly, the phenomenon of perpetual increasing per capita GDP is evolutionarily novel--only a few centuries old. The phenomenon of stable fiat money is even more novel--less than a century old.

    The human mind has largely not evolved to deal with this reality. For most of preindustrial history per capita GDP more or less never increased. In such situations debt was always threatening and in turn preindustrial states routinely defaulted.

    Underfunded pensions are indeed a concern given low birth rates, but that challenge can and will be met by reducing pension payouts or raising taxes--probably some mix of both.

    Why do we concern ourselves with the effect of high taxes on productivity? Why do economists say that government borrowing chokes out private borrowing?
     
    These are especially dubious claims.

    There is obviously some level of taxation which reduces potential output, but we don't know what that level is and it is always exaggerated by libertarian economists. Productivity growth was extremely robust in the high tax postwar era.

    Government borrowing choking out private borrowing, the crowding out effect, no doubt is a valid theory as well. But today we have record low interest rates, so obviously no one is being crowded out. Instead lenders are chasing riskier creditors in order to get higher yields, such as junk bonds and emerging market debt.

    There is also a crowding in effect of government debt. Risk-free securities are extremely high quality capital, allowing holders of these securities to use them as collateral for their own borrowing.

    tldr debt is a manageable problem and the sky is not falling

    @Hank Rearden

    Thorfinnscuck: “Anti-debt hard money crankery has no basis in reality and is simply a doom cult.”

    Doom Cult Crankery: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”

     

    A libertarian is calling me a cuck?

    That's rich.

    Hard to imagine anything cuckier than the incredibly pozzed non-aggression principle.

    Ayn Rand was a hideous Jewish skank addicted to tobacco with the most turgid prose I've ever come across.

    And lol...muh Constitution.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself. It's outrageous that you people still exist.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. @Thorfinnsson

    No household, no business, no bank, no government can long survive by doing this.
     
    Judge Napolitano errs in confusing the government with households, businesses, and banks.

    In fact he previously even shows us--partly--why this is false.

    Since the presidency of Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago, however, with two then-novel revenue-generating tools — the personal income tax to produce cash and the Federal Reserve to print cash —
     
    The federal government is able to borrow money at lower rates and maintain a permanent debt because it is the most creditworthy borrower.

    Why is the federal government so creditworthy?

    1 - As any libertarian will tell you (endlessly), the government forces you to pay taxes. No business's future revenue stream is thus assured.

    2 - The government mandates that not only must you pay your taxes in its currency, but it mandates that all private debts must be paid in its currency as well. This ensures demand for the money it issues (or more accurately, the money created by banks).

    3 - The existence of both the central bank and private banks with the power to create money. Private banks are mandated to keep a fraction of their capital in government bonds, and in the event their capacity is insufficient the central bank can purchase unlimited quantities of the public debt (as for instance with the current QE programs, and previously during WW2).

    This does not mean that government borrowing capacity is unlimited, but it does tell us why the federal government is the most creditworthy borrower there is (with the possible exception of a few other sovereign national governments).

    There are constraints on the government's borrowing capacity in the form of inflation and the value of the Dollar. These constraints are not equivalent to the hard money quack view that all public borrowing is always bad and must always lead to disaster. A very high public debt can also lead to an excessive amount of tax revenue going toward interest payments (e.g. Britain after WW1), and there is also the concern about insufficient borrowing capacity for future crises (Britain was able to finance WW2 as well, but at the cost of much greater dependence on America and the Dominions).

    That said, while there have occasionally been issues with inflation or rising interest rates, none of the doom prophecies of the hard money quacks have ever been correct. This is because they do not understand how the financial system works or what makes currency valuable.

    Mainly these frauds are driven by a religious hatred of public debt and fiat money which is not grounded in reality or actual historical experience. At most they can cite Weimar Germany, which was actively trying to destroy its currency as a weapon against France and the Versailles Reparations (mission accomplished, the Mark was destroyed along with Germany's public debt).

    Incidentally, it's worth noting that many private borrowers maintain debt burdens far higher than what they counsel for the government despite being less creditworthy. A lot of private borrowers also never pay off their debts, ever.

    It's not uncommon for home owners to have mortgages which exceed their income five times or more for instance, and this is comparable to the ratio of public debt to revenue. They also pay higher interest rates than the federal government, and they don't have the option of increasing their income through tax hikes. Nor can they expect revenues to increase every single year over time as the government can.

    It's true that many (though not all) private home owners eventually pay off their debts, but let's look at the business sector.

    Does Judge Napolitano really believe that private corporations pay off their debts completely?

    Berkshire Hathaway, one of the most prudently run and financially soundest large corporations, carries a debt burden of about $100 billion. This is up from about $60 billion five years ago.

    Corporations roll over their debts, just like the federal government, provided borrowing conditions are favorable. This is because paying off the debt has an inferior return to investment or returning earnings to shareholders.

    The entire banking sector is based on rolling over debts in perpetuity. Every bank deposit is a liability to a bank. Do you suggest banks get away from this "dangerous" activity by using all earnings to redeem customer deposits until their deposit base is eliminated? Should banks start refusing new customer deposits?

    Anti-debt hard money crankery has no basis in reality and is simply a doom cult. Libertarians are frauds and need to go away for good.

    Thorfinnscuck: “Anti-debt hard money crankery has no basis in reality and is simply a doom cult.”

    Doom Cult Crankery: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”

    Read More
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  8. @Lemmings Folly
    Are you arguing that debt is irrelevant?

    ...That a government is able to continue borrowing ad infinitum because it can just keep raising taxes and forcibly collecting them from the citizenry?
    ...That this will have no impact on the economy or on society?
    ...That creditors will never balk, never doubt, never increase their demands?

    Weimar Germany is the only example of a country that fell apart because of government borrowing?

    I don't understand how you can take this position. It just doesn't make sense to me.

    Why do economists warn about debt to GDP ratios being unsustainable? Why is Venezuela falling into chaos? What is happening to Greece? Why is everyone so worried about Italy?

    Why do so many intelligent people observe that government profligacy has a direct connection to its ability to borrow and spend money that actually belongs to future generations? Why does the government feel the need to take money from people who haven't even been born yet, and so obviously can't put up any sort of fight?

    Are we not eating our seed corn? If we don't have enough money to cover current expenses, isn't it logical to assume that we won't have enough money to cover future expenses plus increasing interest payments, even if you ignore the principal?

    Isn't borrowing supposed to produce a larger future income stream that both maintains current income and generates an increase to cover repayment? Aren't we only supposed to borrow as an investment in a future return?

    Why are we so worried about all the underfunded/ unfunded pensions and retirement plans? Why do we concern ourselves with the effect of high taxes on productivity? Why do economists say that government borrowing chokes out private borrowing?

    Are you arguing that debt is irrelevant?

    No.

    See this passage from me:

    This does not mean that government borrowing capacity is unlimited, but it does tell us why the federal government is the most creditworthy borrower there is (with the possible exception of a few other sovereign national governments).

    There are constraints on the government’s borrowing capacity in the form of inflation and the value of the Dollar. These constraints are not equivalent to the hard money quack view that all public borrowing is always bad and must always lead to disaster. A very high public debt can also lead to an excessive amount of tax revenue going toward interest payments (e.g. Britain after WW1), and there is also the concern about insufficient borrowing capacity for future crises (Britain was able to finance WW2 as well, but at the cost of much greater dependence on America and the Dominions).

    As you can see, I do not consider public borrowing to be risk-free or an irrelevant consideration. I simply oppose the hysterical fears about it from the hard-money cranks. They are doom cultists whose views are not justified by historical experience and reveal an ignorance of how finance works.

    Moving on:

    Weimar Germany is the only example of a country that fell apart because of government borrowing?

    For starters, Weimar Germany DID NOT fall apart because of government borrowing. Weimar Germany deliberately destroyed its currency in order to default on the deeply unpopular Versailles Reparations, and also as a weapon of the French Occupation of the Ruhr.

    The hyperinflation was successful. The occupation ended, and Germany’s reparations were modified by the Dawes Plan which reduced Germany’s reparations payments and provided for American financing of them.

    The consequences of this hyperinflation are also worth noting. A new and stable currency was issued, and the public debt was officially wiped out. Bond holders got whacked, but the country rapidly recovered. The German economy went onto perform strongly until the Great Depression struck. Economic output in 1929 was 50% above 1914.

    This shows that there is a simple option to deal with excessive public debt (or in this case, perceived, as Germany could afford it): default. A state bankruptcy if you will. Just as private borrowers can declare bankruptcy and recover.

    I brought up Germany because it is constantly cited by the hard money cranks. It’s noteworthy that Weimar Germany is the only advanced country to ever fulfill their doom prophecies, and it did so for political reasons.

    I don’t understand how you can take this position. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    History shows that debt is a perfectly manageable issue, contrary to what the prophets of doom would have you believe.

    Why do economists warn about debt to GDP ratios being unsustainable? Why is Venezuela falling into chaos? What is happening to Greece? Why is everyone so worried about Italy?

    Economists are quacks.

    Venezuela is a banana republic inhabited by simians.

    The issue of Greece bears consideration, however. Note that unlike America, Greece is NOT a sovereign currency issuer. Its debts are issued in a currency that it has no control over. Thus the Bank of Greece cannot issue new currency to reduce interest rates as the Federal Reserve can.

    If the country has exogenous money, the only option to deal with an excessive debt burden is to slash expenditures and increase revenues. Unfortunately as we’ve seen in Greece, this sort of austerity can lead to depression and make the problem worse.

    The proper solution here would’ve been for Greece to declare bankruptcy and exit the Eurozone.

    Incidentally it’s worth noting that all of the PIIGS (bar Ireland, which was not independent at the time) had to exit the classical gold standard for similar reasons. More politically and financially disciplined Germanic countries did not have such problems.

    Some people indeed did and still do worry about Italy, to the benefit of contrarian investors who for a time could purchase sovereign Italian bonds with a real yield of 7%. The country’s public debt is not much higher than other advanced countries (and far lower than Japan), and unlike many countries its pension system is fully-funded. The main problem here is that Italy has had little if any economic growth in this century and thus should avoid unnecessarily increasing its debt level.

    Why do so many intelligent people observe that government profligacy has a direct connection to its ability to borrow and spend money that actually belongs to future generations?

    These things have a tendency to sort themselves out in advanced countries. The USA responded to high deficits in the 80s with the 1985 Graham-Rudman-Hollings Act, which reduced the growth of public spending, and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 which increased revenues.

    There is some kind of breaking point on debt levels in sovereign countries. We don’t know what that breaking point is. If a breaking point is reached, default is always an option.

    The idea that money “belongs” to future generations is a talking point with no relevance to the real world.

    Why does the government feel the need to take money from people who haven’t even been born yet, and so obviously can’t put up any sort of fight?

    Because the government has bills to pay and tax hikes and spending cuts are unpopular, duh? And they can be economically damaging as well by reducing aggregate demand–witness the much slower recovery of the Eurozone from the Great Recession compared to the USA and UK.

    Are we not eating our seed corn? If we don’t have enough money to cover current expenses, isn’t it logical to assume that we won’t have enough money to cover future expenses plus increasing interest payments, even if you ignore the principal?

    If debt levels are increasing faster than overall economic growth, sure–this implies that a larger share of the national income will be needed in the future in order to service debt, which in turn means reduced public expenditures or increased taxes.

    The idea that we won’t have enough money at all to cover future expenses however is silly, since we can always reduce those expenses or increase future revenues. When you are a sovereign currency issuer, you also have the option of suppressing interest rates as is currently being done.

    Isn’t borrowing supposed to produce a larger future income stream that both maintains current income and generates an increase to cover repayment? Aren’t we only supposed to borrow as an investment in a future return?

    This is how businesses borrow money, at least how they should borrow money.

    It does not reflect how governments borrow money or most individuals borrow money (your mortgage and credit card debt are not adding to your future wealth).

    I would like to see some shift in public finance here–more should go towards public capital expenditures (or perhaps scientific research). That said, the government also has some considerations which do not come into play in business. Because the government is by far the largest spender in any country, it needs to consider the impact of its expenditures on the overall economy.

    Why are we so worried about all the underfunded/ unfunded pensions and retirement plans?

    Because economists are quacks.

    More broadly, the phenomenon of perpetual increasing per capita GDP is evolutionarily novel–only a few centuries old. The phenomenon of stable fiat money is even more novel–less than a century old.

    The human mind has largely not evolved to deal with this reality. For most of preindustrial history per capita GDP more or less never increased. In such situations debt was always threatening and in turn preindustrial states routinely defaulted.

    Underfunded pensions are indeed a concern given low birth rates, but that challenge can and will be met by reducing pension payouts or raising taxes–probably some mix of both.

    Why do we concern ourselves with the effect of high taxes on productivity? Why do economists say that government borrowing chokes out private borrowing?

    These are especially dubious claims.

    There is obviously some level of taxation which reduces potential output, but we don’t know what that level is and it is always exaggerated by libertarian economists. Productivity growth was extremely robust in the high tax postwar era.

    Government borrowing choking out private borrowing, the crowding out effect, no doubt is a valid theory as well. But today we have record low interest rates, so obviously no one is being crowded out. Instead lenders are chasing riskier creditors in order to get higher yields, such as junk bonds and emerging market debt.

    There is also a crowding in effect of government debt. Risk-free securities are extremely high quality capital, allowing holders of these securities to use them as collateral for their own borrowing.

    tldr debt is a manageable problem and the sky is not falling

    Thorfinnscuck: “Anti-debt hard money crankery has no basis in reality and is simply a doom cult.”

    Doom Cult Crankery: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”

    A libertarian is calling me a cuck?

    That’s rich.

    Hard to imagine anything cuckier than the incredibly pozzed non-aggression principle.

    Ayn Rand was a hideous Jewish skank addicted to tobacco with the most turgid prose I’ve ever come across.

    And lol…muh Constitution.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself. It’s outrageous that you people still exist.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hank Rearden
    Me LoLbertarian? How'd you concoct that? Rich indeed! But I figured you'd double down on your disdain of the law that states plainly: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” There it is, the law. You have yet to address it, other than by asinine accusations of what you mistakenly think I think.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  9. @Thorfinnsson

    Are you arguing that debt is irrelevant?
     
    No.

    See this passage from me:

    This does not mean that government borrowing capacity is unlimited, but it does tell us why the federal government is the most creditworthy borrower there is (with the possible exception of a few other sovereign national governments).

    There are constraints on the government’s borrowing capacity in the form of inflation and the value of the Dollar. These constraints are not equivalent to the hard money quack view that all public borrowing is always bad and must always lead to disaster. A very high public debt can also lead to an excessive amount of tax revenue going toward interest payments (e.g. Britain after WW1), and there is also the concern about insufficient borrowing capacity for future crises (Britain was able to finance WW2 as well, but at the cost of much greater dependence on America and the Dominions).
     
    As you can see, I do not consider public borrowing to be risk-free or an irrelevant consideration. I simply oppose the hysterical fears about it from the hard-money cranks. They are doom cultists whose views are not justified by historical experience and reveal an ignorance of how finance works.

    Moving on:


    Weimar Germany is the only example of a country that fell apart because of government borrowing?
     
    For starters, Weimar Germany DID NOT fall apart because of government borrowing. Weimar Germany deliberately destroyed its currency in order to default on the deeply unpopular Versailles Reparations, and also as a weapon of the French Occupation of the Ruhr.

    The hyperinflation was successful. The occupation ended, and Germany's reparations were modified by the Dawes Plan which reduced Germany's reparations payments and provided for American financing of them.

    The consequences of this hyperinflation are also worth noting. A new and stable currency was issued, and the public debt was officially wiped out. Bond holders got whacked, but the country rapidly recovered. The German economy went onto perform strongly until the Great Depression struck. Economic output in 1929 was 50% above 1914.

    This shows that there is a simple option to deal with excessive public debt (or in this case, perceived, as Germany could afford it): default. A state bankruptcy if you will. Just as private borrowers can declare bankruptcy and recover.

    I brought up Germany because it is constantly cited by the hard money cranks. It's noteworthy that Weimar Germany is the only advanced country to ever fulfill their doom prophecies, and it did so for political reasons.


    I don’t understand how you can take this position. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
     
    History shows that debt is a perfectly manageable issue, contrary to what the prophets of doom would have you believe.


    Why do economists warn about debt to GDP ratios being unsustainable? Why is Venezuela falling into chaos? What is happening to Greece? Why is everyone so worried about Italy?
     
    Economists are quacks.

    Venezuela is a banana republic inhabited by simians.

    The issue of Greece bears consideration, however. Note that unlike America, Greece is NOT a sovereign currency issuer. Its debts are issued in a currency that it has no control over. Thus the Bank of Greece cannot issue new currency to reduce interest rates as the Federal Reserve can.

    If the country has exogenous money, the only option to deal with an excessive debt burden is to slash expenditures and increase revenues. Unfortunately as we've seen in Greece, this sort of austerity can lead to depression and make the problem worse.

    The proper solution here would've been for Greece to declare bankruptcy and exit the Eurozone.

    Incidentally it's worth noting that all of the PIIGS (bar Ireland, which was not independent at the time) had to exit the classical gold standard for similar reasons. More politically and financially disciplined Germanic countries did not have such problems.

    Some people indeed did and still do worry about Italy, to the benefit of contrarian investors who for a time could purchase sovereign Italian bonds with a real yield of 7%. The country's public debt is not much higher than other advanced countries (and far lower than Japan), and unlike many countries its pension system is fully-funded. The main problem here is that Italy has had little if any economic growth in this century and thus should avoid unnecessarily increasing its debt level.

    Why do so many intelligent people observe that government profligacy has a direct connection to its ability to borrow and spend money that actually belongs to future generations?
     
    These things have a tendency to sort themselves out in advanced countries. The USA responded to high deficits in the 80s with the 1985 Graham-Rudman-Hollings Act, which reduced the growth of public spending, and the Tax Reform Act of 1986 which increased revenues.

    There is some kind of breaking point on debt levels in sovereign countries. We don't know what that breaking point is. If a breaking point is reached, default is always an option.

    The idea that money "belongs" to future generations is a talking point with no relevance to the real world.

    Why does the government feel the need to take money from people who haven’t even been born yet, and so obviously can’t put up any sort of fight?
     
    Because the government has bills to pay and tax hikes and spending cuts are unpopular, duh? And they can be economically damaging as well by reducing aggregate demand--witness the much slower recovery of the Eurozone from the Great Recession compared to the USA and UK.

    Are we not eating our seed corn? If we don’t have enough money to cover current expenses, isn’t it logical to assume that we won’t have enough money to cover future expenses plus increasing interest payments, even if you ignore the principal?
     
    If debt levels are increasing faster than overall economic growth, sure--this implies that a larger share of the national income will be needed in the future in order to service debt, which in turn means reduced public expenditures or increased taxes.

    The idea that we won't have enough money at all to cover future expenses however is silly, since we can always reduce those expenses or increase future revenues. When you are a sovereign currency issuer, you also have the option of suppressing interest rates as is currently being done.

    Isn’t borrowing supposed to produce a larger future income stream that both maintains current income and generates an increase to cover repayment? Aren’t we only supposed to borrow as an investment in a future return?
     
    This is how businesses borrow money, at least how they should borrow money.

    It does not reflect how governments borrow money or most individuals borrow money (your mortgage and credit card debt are not adding to your future wealth).

    I would like to see some shift in public finance here--more should go towards public capital expenditures (or perhaps scientific research). That said, the government also has some considerations which do not come into play in business. Because the government is by far the largest spender in any country, it needs to consider the impact of its expenditures on the overall economy.

    Why are we so worried about all the underfunded/ unfunded pensions and retirement plans?
     
    Because economists are quacks.

    More broadly, the phenomenon of perpetual increasing per capita GDP is evolutionarily novel--only a few centuries old. The phenomenon of stable fiat money is even more novel--less than a century old.

    The human mind has largely not evolved to deal with this reality. For most of preindustrial history per capita GDP more or less never increased. In such situations debt was always threatening and in turn preindustrial states routinely defaulted.

    Underfunded pensions are indeed a concern given low birth rates, but that challenge can and will be met by reducing pension payouts or raising taxes--probably some mix of both.

    Why do we concern ourselves with the effect of high taxes on productivity? Why do economists say that government borrowing chokes out private borrowing?
     
    These are especially dubious claims.

    There is obviously some level of taxation which reduces potential output, but we don't know what that level is and it is always exaggerated by libertarian economists. Productivity growth was extremely robust in the high tax postwar era.

    Government borrowing choking out private borrowing, the crowding out effect, no doubt is a valid theory as well. But today we have record low interest rates, so obviously no one is being crowded out. Instead lenders are chasing riskier creditors in order to get higher yields, such as junk bonds and emerging market debt.

    There is also a crowding in effect of government debt. Risk-free securities are extremely high quality capital, allowing holders of these securities to use them as collateral for their own borrowing.

    tldr debt is a manageable problem and the sky is not falling

    @Hank Rearden

    Thorfinnscuck: “Anti-debt hard money crankery has no basis in reality and is simply a doom cult.”

    Doom Cult Crankery: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.”

     

    A libertarian is calling me a cuck?

    That's rich.

    Hard to imagine anything cuckier than the incredibly pozzed non-aggression principle.

    Ayn Rand was a hideous Jewish skank addicted to tobacco with the most turgid prose I've ever come across.

    And lol...muh Constitution.

    You ought to be ashamed of yourself. It's outrageous that you people still exist.

    Me LoLbertarian? How’d you concoct that? Rich indeed! But I figured you’d double down on your disdain of the law that states plainly: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” There it is, the law. You have yet to address it, other than by asinine accusations of what you mistakenly think I think.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson

    Me LoLbertarian? How’d you concoct that? Rich indeed!
     
    We can start with the fact that your username is HANK REARDEN, the hero of Ayn Rand's "masterpiece".

    And then we can move on to your Constitution worship, the magical talisman of the completely failed American conservative and libertarian movements.


    But I figured you’d double down on your disdain of the law that states plainly: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” There it is, the law. You have yet to address it, other than by asinine accusations of what you mistakenly think I think.
     
    I didn't address it at all because it's pointless to bring up. That ship sailed a long time ago--the law effectively ceased to be bound by the Constitution in the 1930s and perhaps really in the 1860s.

    We instead today have a small-c "constitutional law" which consists of case law history...or really whatever the hell the black-robed terrorists on the bench think constitutes law.

    Now don't get me wrong...the government really ought to obey its own organic laws. I agree that FDR's elimination of the gold standard was plainly unconstitutional. We ought to have passed a Constitutional Amendment allowing for other forms of money beyond gold and silver.

    But that time is long past. The way hard money cranks always bring it up is ridiculous.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  10. @Hank Rearden
    Me LoLbertarian? How'd you concoct that? Rich indeed! But I figured you'd double down on your disdain of the law that states plainly: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” There it is, the law. You have yet to address it, other than by asinine accusations of what you mistakenly think I think.

    Me LoLbertarian? How’d you concoct that? Rich indeed!

    We can start with the fact that your username is HANK REARDEN, the hero of Ayn Rand’s “masterpiece”.

    And then we can move on to your Constitution worship, the magical talisman of the completely failed American conservative and libertarian movements.

    But I figured you’d double down on your disdain of the law that states plainly: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” There it is, the law. You have yet to address it, other than by asinine accusations of what you mistakenly think I think.

    I didn’t address it at all because it’s pointless to bring up. That ship sailed a long time ago–the law effectively ceased to be bound by the Constitution in the 1930s and perhaps really in the 1860s.

    We instead today have a small-c “constitutional law” which consists of case law history…or really whatever the hell the black-robed terrorists on the bench think constitutes law.

    Now don’t get me wrong…the government really ought to obey its own organic laws. I agree that FDR’s elimination of the gold standard was plainly unconstitutional. We ought to have passed a Constitutional Amendment allowing for other forms of money beyond gold and silver.

    But that time is long past. The way hard money cranks always bring it up is ridiculous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hank Rearden
    And we can derive—using your own "logic"—that you worship the Marvel Comic's Thor and therefore play with coloring books in your mother's basement. So anyway, how many of the founding fathers do you consider grouchy and eccentric for writing that “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts?" All of them? Some? Hey, I think I found one of those awful "cranks" for you:

    "What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws."

    Alexander Hamilton
    Essay in the American Daily Advertiser, Aug. 28, 1794
     

    Do you call everybody who has reason to follow the law a "crank?"
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  11. @Thorfinnsson

    Me LoLbertarian? How’d you concoct that? Rich indeed!
     
    We can start with the fact that your username is HANK REARDEN, the hero of Ayn Rand's "masterpiece".

    And then we can move on to your Constitution worship, the magical talisman of the completely failed American conservative and libertarian movements.


    But I figured you’d double down on your disdain of the law that states plainly: “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts.” There it is, the law. You have yet to address it, other than by asinine accusations of what you mistakenly think I think.
     
    I didn't address it at all because it's pointless to bring up. That ship sailed a long time ago--the law effectively ceased to be bound by the Constitution in the 1930s and perhaps really in the 1860s.

    We instead today have a small-c "constitutional law" which consists of case law history...or really whatever the hell the black-robed terrorists on the bench think constitutes law.

    Now don't get me wrong...the government really ought to obey its own organic laws. I agree that FDR's elimination of the gold standard was plainly unconstitutional. We ought to have passed a Constitutional Amendment allowing for other forms of money beyond gold and silver.

    But that time is long past. The way hard money cranks always bring it up is ridiculous.

    And we can derive—using your own “logic”—that you worship the Marvel Comic’s Thor and therefore play with coloring books in your mother’s basement. So anyway, how many of the founding fathers do you consider grouchy and eccentric for writing that “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts?” All of them? Some? Hey, I think I found one of those awful “cranks” for you:

    “What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws.”

    Alexander Hamilton
    Essay in the American Daily Advertiser, Aug. 28, 1794

    Do you call everybody who has reason to follow the law a “crank?”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Thorfinnsson
    I suspect that even someone who enjoys the scribblings of Ayn Rand is aware that Thor was not created by Marvel Comics. Said person may even have the wherewithal to search for the name Thorfinnsson to see what it means.

    But thank you for confirming, once again, that you're a muh-Constitution dead-end libertarian loser.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  12. @Hank Rearden
    And we can derive—using your own "logic"—that you worship the Marvel Comic's Thor and therefore play with coloring books in your mother's basement. So anyway, how many of the founding fathers do you consider grouchy and eccentric for writing that “No state shall make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts?" All of them? Some? Hey, I think I found one of those awful "cranks" for you:

    "What is the most sacred duty and the greatest source of our security in a Republic? An inviolable respect for the Constitution and Laws."

    Alexander Hamilton
    Essay in the American Daily Advertiser, Aug. 28, 1794
     

    Do you call everybody who has reason to follow the law a "crank?"

    I suspect that even someone who enjoys the scribblings of Ayn Rand is aware that Thor was not created by Marvel Comics. Said person may even have the wherewithal to search for the name Thorfinnsson to see what it means.

    But thank you for confirming, once again, that you’re a muh-Constitution dead-end libertarian loser.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hank Rearden
    Thanks for confirming, once again, that your premise is flawed and that you have no answer to the law as written except girlish tantrums.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  13. @Thorfinnsson
    I suspect that even someone who enjoys the scribblings of Ayn Rand is aware that Thor was not created by Marvel Comics. Said person may even have the wherewithal to search for the name Thorfinnsson to see what it means.

    But thank you for confirming, once again, that you're a muh-Constitution dead-end libertarian loser.

    Thanks for confirming, once again, that your premise is flawed and that you have no answer to the law as written except girlish tantrums.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  14. andrew!

    national debt has no relationship to taxes. it can be monetized without inflation. japan has done just this for the last 20 years. it now has the highest debt to GDP in the world. but not the highest taxes. and zero inflation.

    the misunderstanding this article represents is very common and very dangerous. on the margins it kills people.

    stop it!

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
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