The Supreme Dilemma

The Supreme Dilemma

Posterity and Perpetual Debt

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
October 8, 2013

The Preamble to the Constitution for the United States of America, which sets out the purpose of the government therein created, concludes with the following, “and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

To “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”, is a mighty powerful phrase, if taken as intended by the framers of our government.

A concept that was advanced among the people, over 10 years prior to the Constitution, dwelt upon the fair and just contribution of the people to the expense of government.  The phrase most often use, with regard to this contribution, was “no taxation without representation.”  This meant that only those selected to represent the people could impose taxation upon them.  Unless directly represented, there could be no justification for the imposition of a tax upon the people.

Let’s look at how “Posterity” was viewed in the past:

Primogeniture, as a concept of birthright and inheritance, goes back, in Biblical times, to before Isaac and his two sons, Esau and Jacob. The oldest child inherits, and the siblings are, for the most part, at the mercy of the oldest, or are simply on their own.  Over time, the right to “testament” allowed the patriarch to divide his estate as he saw fit. Under both systems, there was no appreciable cost imposed upon the inheritance.

In 1215 the Magna Carta was signed.  Articles 2 through 11 address the rights of heirs.  Only descendents of Lords and Knights paid any fees (Lords, 100£ and Knights, 100 shillings) to retain the estate, which included subsequent pensions.  Those of lower social standing received the estate, providing that only debt, without interest, could be taken, and that land could not be taken so long as personal property was sufficient to cover the debt.

In 1898, the first inheritance tax was enacted in the United States.  However, at the time, it was only on personal property, not real estate, and was based upon amounts over $10,000 (a very large sum, at that time).

Since that time, we have seen an escalation in the destruction of an estate that provides that only the very wealthy can pass nearly the entire estate on to their children, unaffected by ‘contributions’ to the government.

Beginning in 1913, with the advent of the “income tax”, we find that the “income tax” becomes the source whereby money is taken from the family, for the general good. We also find that a direct tax, in contradiction to the intent of the original direct tax provision of the Constitution, begins to take more and more of the annual earnings, as well as substantial portions of the estate, upon the death of the parents.

Beyond that, based upon the Congress having the power “to pay the Debts…”,  we find, now, that even after we have had our earnings taken from us, the “Debt” extends to an obligation upon our posterity, which, at this time, we can see no end.

What effect does this have on our descendents, “our Posterity”?  If we look simply at the current publicly acknowledged $16 trillion current debt of this country, without consideration of interest, we are looking at an obligation of about $50,000 per man, woman and child.  However, this is based upon only external (money owed to those outside of government) obligations.

Just for starters, let’s look at what USA Today report, in May 2007, with regard to the true debt.  Their estimate was $59 Trillion (with a “T”, being $59,000,000,000,000), which would put the debt at about $200,000,000 for every man, woman, and child. But, that was 6 years ago.

Let’s look at what that current debt obligation, as explained in a National Review Article,  which is an average estimate at $106,000,000,000,000.  This gives an average debt of $331,000 for every man, woman, and child. So, without consideration of additional annual costs, which will have to be added on each year, for the operation of government, we see that if someone works 50 years, simply paying on the past debt, it will be an obligation of $6,600 per year, for each man, woman, and child.

Looking at the annual proposed 2013 budget, we see that outlays will amount to $3,803,000,000,000. This means that every man, woman, and child, will have to fork over nearly $12,000 to meet this annual expense. However, little, if any, goes to the reduction of the debt outlined above.

To put this in hopefully simple terms, if every man, woman and child paid, this year, $343,000 ($331,000 plus $12,000), we would relieve the debt, completely, and only have to pay $12,000 next year, and subsequent years, so long as Congress doesn’t begin spending, again, like a drunken sailor (my apology to all sailors, drunk or sober).

Now, it is true that the government has revenue from other sources, and those must be taken into account. However, we must also look at just where the money comes from to supply those other sources with the means to pay their share of the annual contribution. Quite simply, that money comes from “Excise, Impost and Duties”, which simply add that cost to what we pay for certain goods. So, though all of the $12,000 won’t be directly on you, it will, without a doubt, be indirectly upon you.

So, what does this have to do with “Posterity” and “No taxation without representation”? Well, the reality of the numbers presented above is that we, the People of the United States of America, and our Posterity, have an insurmountable debt. It is perpetual, as was only intended of the Union, though now it is also of the debt. It cannot be retired (paid off), by any means currently within the grasp of government. It can only result in either an increase in taxes, or, the perpetuation to even more generations, yet unborn, or both.

So, from the days of the Magna Carta, where posterity was protected, and unburdened by future debt, we have evolved, as a free people, to the point that the “Posterity”, which was of great concern to the founders of this nation, has now become the scapegoat, burdened with perpetual debt — that can be described as no less than slavery.  They are without representation, as clearly, those unborn can have none to speak for them.

We have gone from “Last Will and Testament”, intended to pass on to our heirs what remained of our fortune, to one where though there may be a small residual, it can never approach the obligation we have burdened them with.

Is this what the framers intended? Is this what we intend to leave to our Posterity? If not, what do we intend to do about it?

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