They seem to have confused the U.S. Constitution with the Articles of Confederation

Don’t tell the Tea Party caucus who, along with Grover Norquist and a cabal (yes, cabal) of soulless financiers who crave power and hate taxes, that when they dream of a balanced budget and  call for a return to our ‘founding principles’, they only reveal ignorance of American history. In Salon, William Hogeland points out that The Founding Fathers would have hated the debt ceiling.

The Constitution came about precisely to enable a newly large government — a national one — to tax all Americans for the specific purpose of funding a large public debt. Neither Alexander Hamilton nor his mentor the financier Robert Morris made any bones about that purpose; James Madison was among their closest allies; and Edmund Randolph of Virginia opened the Constitutional Convention by charging the delegates to redress the country’s failure to fund — not pay off, fund — the public debt, by creating a national government.

Beginning during the War of Independence, and continuing throughout the 1780s, American nationalists committed themselves to a small class of upscale high financiers (largely identical with the American nationalists), who had bought bonds from the confederation Congress in hopes of earning regular, tax-free, 6 percent interest payments — not in the Congress’s crashing paper currency but in hard, cold metal or its equivalent, stable bills of exchange. Morris, Hamilton, Madison and others believed that swelling the debt to immense proportions would make a coherent nation out of 13 squabbling states and make that nation a player on the world economic stage. Their plan to do so depended partly on making military-officer pay a pension, thus turning the entire officer class into public bondholders — and giving Congress new power to tax all Americans to support that debt.

But they are certain of their righteousness (as defined by right-wing Christian Evangelicals and FOX News) and will fight on, financed by those whose allegiance is not to any nation, much less our own.

12 responses to “They seem to have confused the U.S. Constitution with the Articles of Confederation

  1. The Tea Party needs decaf….and a few brains.


  2. One thing that I notice is a lot of nostalgia, but for what period is often a little unclear.

    Sometimes it seems like about 1900 before the dreaded Progressive movement. Most tea party types seem to be here.

    Other times it seems pre-civil war, before Lincoln established once for all no secession. Actually, I’ve only rarely seen anyone suggest this, it sounds too much like your pro-slavery. Most tea party fans aren’t racists (I think) and don’t want to be seen that way.

    Quite a few though seem to go back to the creation of the constitution, and some would I think associate themselves with those who were wary of a strong federal government growing out the constitution. In fairness you should point out Hamilton had many critics who though he favored too strong a central government, no less than Jefferson. I think it fair to associate the tea party with those folks, and perhaps those who wanted to keep the articles of confederation.

    Maybe big government liberals should pine for being a British Colony again!

    We’d have the national health and all. Teaparty people likely wouldn’t care for that.


    • bruce, indeed Hamilton had many critics and opponents and there was minority that didn’t want the Constituion. Many of our Tea Party friends seem to think that discussion is still open!

      By the way, I have often thought of what we’d be like if we were still British. I guess we’d be Canada. I’m willing to admit I embrace many of those values we don’t have here.

      Whig is me! 🙂


  3. Moe, balancing the budget is not only NOT part of any agenda of the Congress whether Republican or Democrat. They exist for one thing … to gain and retain as much power and control as possible. Take a look at this and tell me if you think “balancing” anything is a reality …


    • Steve! You have a new blog – the place looks nice. Congrats. (if I”ve been there before, don’t tell me cuz I don’t need any reminders of advancing age!).

      Haven’t read the link yet, but no way do I or anyone other than the Tea Party and those pandering to them, think that balancing hte budget is remotely possible. It’s not even a good thing. That said, there’s a great deal we CAN do. And I damn them all for not having the courage to let the Bush tax cuts expire on schedule. That would have made a really big difference. The right may oppposed ‘revenue enhancers’ or whatever, but no way is it anything but a good thing to actgually have more revenue.

      And I agree it’s all about power – but the power is not their own or ours. The power is being relinquished to a corporate oligarchy and damn the rest of us.


  4. I need to put you on my blog roll again …


  5. Pingback: Constitution of the United States – A Forward « ZeraLand, USA

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