Chapter 13 - Quotes on National Debt

Andy Chalkley  National Debt is money owed by the government to creditors. It is usually in the form of Bonds or debt to private banks. Bonds are a promise to repay an amount in the future and pay interest one the money borrowed. They are loans that have flexible ownership as they can be transferred from creditor to creditor. Where a government borrows from a public bank the situation is entirely different. Because the public bank is owned by the government, the debt is irrelevant because the government owes money to the government. Interest and repayments accrue to the government. Unfortunately, it appears in statistics as a National Debt and distorts the truth. China is smart enough to use this system.

John Adams (1797-1801) Second President of the United States

"There are two ways to enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt."

William Cobbett 1804

"Nothing is so well calculated to produce a death-like torpor in the country as an extended system of taxation and a great national debt." [130]

Herbert Hoover 1936

"Blessed are the young for they shall inherit the national debt." [131]

Benjamin Franklin 1706-1790

"Think what you do when you run in debt; you give to another power over your liberty." [132]

Thomas Jefferson 1816

"I place economy among the first and most important of virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared."

"To preserve our independence we must not let our leaders load us with perpetual debt. ... If we can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretence of caring for them, we will be wise." [133]

Thomas Edison 1921

"It is absurd to say that our country can issue $30,000,000 in bonds and not $30,000,000 in currency. Both are promises to pay; but one promise fattens the usurer, and the other helps the people. If the currency issued by the Government were no good, then the bonds issued would be no good either. It is a terrible situation when the Government, to increase the national wealth, must go into debt and submit to ruinous interest charges at the hands of men who control the fictitious values of gold."

Thomas Jefferson 1816

"The system of banking we have both equally and ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction, which is already hit by the gamblers in corruption, and is sweeping away in its progress the fortunes and morals of our citizens. Funding I consider as limited, rightfully, to a redemption of the debt within the lives of a majority of the generation contracting it; every generation coming equally, by the laws of the Creator of the world, to the free possession of the earth he made for their subsistence, unincumbered by their predecessors, who, like them, were but tenants for life. 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." [133]

Journal of Catholic patriots

"The Government, instead of guiding the State, has become a mere tax collector, and a great slice from tax revenues, the most sacred slice, kept above all discussion, is purely and solely for the interest on the national debt." [134]

David Malpass 2013

"The U.S. has a law on the books called the debt limit, but the name is misleading. The debt limit started in 1917 for the purpose of facilitating more national debt, not reducing it. It still serves that purpose. It's unconnected to spending, hurts our credit rating and has been an abject failure at limiting debt." [135]

George McGovern, U.S. Senator

"When I was a youngster growing up in South Dakota, we never referred to the national debt, it was always referred to as the war debt because it stemmed from World War I." [136]

Thomas Jefferson

"And to preserve their independence, 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 debts, 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 callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they now do, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling the mismanagers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers." [137]

Andy Chalkley  In the next quote, Roosevelt is talking about a public bank owned by the government where the debt is owed by the government to the government.

Franklin D Roosevelt 1939

"Our national debt after all is an internal debt owed not only by the Nation but to the Nation. If our children have to pay interest on it they will pay that interest to themselves. A reasonable internal debt will not impoverish our children or put the Nation into bankruptcy."

Thomas Paine 1791

"The burden of the national debt consists not in its being so many millions, or so many hundred millions, but in the quantity of taxes collected every year to pay the interest. If this quantity continue the same, the burden of the national debt is the same to all intents and purposes, be the capital more or less." [138]

Frederick Soddy 1921

"There is nothing left now for us but to get ever deeper and deeper into debt to the banking system in order to provide the increasing amounts of money the nation requires for its expansion and growth. An honest money system is the only alternative." [139]

Abraham Lincoln 1843

"For several years past the revenues of the government have been unequal to its expenditures, and consequently loan after loan, sometimes direct and sometimes indirect in form, has been resorted to. By this means a new national debt has been created, and is still growing on us with a rapidity fearful to contemplate--a rapidity only reasonably to be expected in a time of war. This state of things has been produced by a prevailing unwillingness either to increase the tariff or resort to direct taxation. But the one or the other must come. Coming expenditures must be met, and the present debt must be paid; and money cannot always be borrowed for these objects. The system of loans is but temporary in its nature, and must soon explode. It is a system not only ruinous while it lasts, but one that must soon fail and leave us destitute. As an individual who undertakes to live by borrowing soon finds his original means devoured by interest, and, next, no one left to borrow from, so must it be with a government. We repeat, then, that a tariff sufficient for revenue, or a direct tax, must soon be resorted to; and, indeed, we believe this alternative is now denied by no one. [Whig circular 1843]

[130] as quoted in

[131] Address to the Nebraska Republican Conference, Lincoln, Nebraska (16 January 1936) as quoted at Retrieved 2016-01-10

[132] Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) Statesman, Scientist, Inventor, Printer and Philosopher

[133] Thomas Jefferson, Author of the Declaration of Independence, 3rd President of the U. S.

[134] A journal of Catholic patriots for the Social Credit monetary reform.]

[135] retrieved 2016-01-10

[136] George Stanley McGovern was an American historian, author, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election.]

[137] Letters of Thomas Jefferson]

[138] Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791]

[139] Frederick Soddy, M.A., F.R.S., Nobel Prize Winner, 1921.