Monday, August 01, 2011

George Washington on the Debt Ceiling Crisis

Jason Mazzone

On the first day of June last, an instalment of one million of florins became payable on the loans of the United States in Holland. This was adjusted by a prolongation of the period of reimbursement, in nature of a new loan, at an interest at five per cent for the term of ten years; and the expences of this operation were a commission of three per cent.

The first instalment of the loan of two millions of dollars from the Bank of the United States, has been paid, as was directed by Law. For the second, it is necessary, that provision should be made.

No pecuniary consideration is more urgent, than the regular redemption and discharge of the public debt: on none can delay be more injurious, or an economy of time more valuable.

The productiveness of the public revenues hitherto, has continued to equal the anticipations which were formed of it; but it is not expected to prove commensurate with all the objects, which have been suggested. Some auxiliary provisions will, therefore, it is presumed, be requisite; and it is hoped that these may be made, consistently with a due regard to the convenience of our Citizens, who cannot but be sensible of the true wisdom of encountering a small present addition to their contributions, to obviate a future accumulation of burthens.
--George Washington, Fifth Annual Address to Congress, December 3, 1793.


What a FINO!

What strikes me is how he doesn't dumb it down.

How many citizens of today would understand this speech?

Although you could argue the other way: he was an elite addressing other elites. The vast majority wasn't expected to understand, and most of them didn't have a vote at the time anyway.

No moral consideration is more urgent than the regular redemption and discharge of public debt: on none can delay be more injurious or an economy of time more valuable.

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