Sheldon Richman: Americans Aren't Bound To Pay the Government's Debts


Credit: national-debt-clock-wallyg-Foter-CC-BY-NC-ND

As he has each time this issue has come up, President Obama emphasizes that increasing the debt would only permit the government to pay expenses already incurred and would not finance new spending. To which Sheldon Richman replies, rhetorically: Why is Congress allowed to spend money that it knows it won't possess unless the debt limit is raised? He quotes 19th-century libertarian Lysander Spooner on the question of whether the debts Congress incurs actually bind Americans in any way.