Monday, January 14, 2013

G Dub/AH on public credit

Washington's Farewell Address, 1796 (drafted by Alexander Hamilton):

As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is to use it as sparingly as possible, avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it, avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertion in time of peace to discharge the debts which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden which we ourselves ought to bear. The execution of these maxims belongs to your representatives, but it is necessary that public opinion should co-operate. To facilitate to them the performance of their duty, it is essential that you should practically bear in mind that towards the payment of debts there must be revenue; that to have revenue there must be taxes; that no taxes can be devised which are not more or less inconvenient and unpleasant; that the intrinsic embarrassment, inseparable from the selection of the proper objects (which is always a choice of difficulties), ought to be a decisive motive for a candid construction of the conduct of the government in making it, and for a spirit of acquiescence in the measures for obtaining revenue, which the public exigencies may at any time dictate.

[Emphases mine.]

NB: I published an extended discussion of this graf on Bloomberg here.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Reminders of my views on debt ceilings and deliberate defaults

Due to the ridonculuous non-solution to the "fiscal cliff" issue, there has been all sorts of crazy talk about the debt ceiling ceiling, trillion dollar platinum coins, and what not so of course I have been fielding emails and phone calls instead of writing my book, Little Business on the Prairie. Here are some links to my previous writings on the subject, which seem pretty darn prescient (esp. the bit about needing to borrow to help a part of the country ravaged by a natural disaster). Enjoy ... again, or for the first time. And please, no more b.s. about trillion dollar platinum coins (or any other denomination for that matter).

On this blog:
April 21, 2011: The Debt Ceiling Crisis
July 19, 2011: Debt Ceiling Dilemma
July 25, 2011: Why Deliberately Defaulting on the National Debt or Any Other Sums Owed Would be Unconstitutional

On the History News Network (HNN):
Original Intent and the Debt Ceiling

And if any of you are wondering what I think of the ICE takeover of the NYSE, see my post of this day on the Bloomberg Echoes blog:
NYSE's Long History of Mergers and Rivalries