View Poll Results: Is it unconstitutional to default on our debts?

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Thread: Is it unconstitutional to default on our debts?

  1. #1
    Student BigRedChief's Avatar
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    Is it unconstitutional to default on our debts?

    We pay our debts. It is mandated in the constitution. Congress authorized and spent the money. We have to pay it back. Thats my and our debtors belief.

    14th Amendment Section 4:
    The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    Poll question:
    Is it unconstitutional to default on our debts?
    Quote Originally Posted by Moot View Post
    The constitution says corporations have some of the same rights as "persons".

  2. #2
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    Re: Is it unconstitutional to default on our debts?

    It could be argued that a large foreign creditor, who loans money to a country, knowing that money will be used by an antagonistic government in such a way that the debtor country will be neutered and destroyed, it's livelihood and prosperity taken from it, is a co-conspirator in the crime and therefore not only should receive no renumeration, but in fact should be prosecuted.

    Civilly, the legal doctrine of Promissory Estoppel could be applied using the same rationale.
    Last edited by Ray410; 01-07-13 at 12:57 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Is it unconstitutional to default on our debts?

    Yes, and more importantly, it would wreck our credit if we defaulted on our debts. But I have no worries about that happening despite the threats from some in the GOP. Without credit there would be no more excessive military spending and wars of choice, and the GOP is not about to give that up!
    Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children. ~ Ancient American Indian Proverb

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    Re: Is it unconstitutional to default on our debts?

    I'm not a constitution lawyer, nor do I want to be, but I believe it would be a very bad idea for the US government to default whether it's "legal" or not.
    Mt. Rushmore: Three surveyors and some other guy.
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    Re: Is it unconstitutional to default on our debts?

    I would apply Original Intent to say that yes, it would be against the Constitution for our government to willingly default on our debt. Ergo, if (for example) we run up against and do not raise a debt ceiling, we would have to cut all other spending prior to failure to make good on interest payments. Failure to make an interest payment would pretty much (I would suspect) cause a near-on run on the dollar and wreck our economy.

    However, we live in Living Constitution Times, and I'm sure that the authors of the 14th Amendment Never Could Have Realized That Debt Could Get Really, Really Big And So This Minor Tweek Is The "New Social Consensus" Which Is Like The Same Thing As The Constitution Anyway.


    Besides. It's actually quite Constitutional for the government to effectively default. We've done it twice and look set to do it again, through manipulating our money supply.

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