28 April 2015

Federalist Papers – Debt

No. 7: The Same Subject Continued: Concerning Dangers from Dissensions Between the States
Author: Alexander Hamilton

The public debt of the Union would be a further cause of collision between the separate States or confederacies. There are even dissimilar views among the States as to the general principle of discharging the public debt. Some of them, either less impressed with the importance of national credit, or because their citizens have little, if any, immediate interest in the question, feel an indifference, if not a repugnance, to the payment of the domestic debt at any rate. Others of them, a numerous body of whose citizens are creditors to the public beyond proportion of the State in the total amount of the national debt, would be strenuous for some equitable and effective provision.

For it is an observation, as true as it is trite, that there is nothing men differ so readily about as the payment of money.

No. 15: The Insufficiency of the Present Confederation to Preserve the Union
Author: Alexander Hamilton

Do we owe debts to foreigners and to our own citizens contracted in a time of imminent peril for the preservation of our political existence? These remain without any proper or satisfactory provision for their discharge. Is public credit an indispensable resource in time of public danger? Is commerce of importance to national wealth?

No. 43: The Same Subject Continued: The Powers Conferred by the Constitution Further Considered
Author: James Madison

To consider all debts contracted, and engagements entered into, before the adoption of this Constitution, as being no less valid against the United States, under this Constitution, than under the Confederation.

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