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Debt Is the Price of Liberty

  • Paul Winfree
Chapter

Abstract

The early period covering the first presidential administrations was defined by a government of divided set of responsibilities and new powers to enhance the nation’s public credit. Debt was generally seen as a necessary means for providing for the needs of the country. Both Hamilton and Jefferson agreed that debt retirement was beneficial but disagreed on the mechanics. Far from a protectionist, Hamilton understood that the country’s standing in foreign debt markets was critical to long-run hopes of success for the new country. Jefferson, instead, showed how complicated the distribution of budgetary powers was in practice. This foreshadowed many debates to come where budget policy was shaped by domestic politics and differing notions on the type of federal government that the country should have, but also economic theory and external threats.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Winfree
    • 1
  1. 1.Heritage FoundationWashington, DCUSA

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