According to Adam Smith, an invisible hand was supposed to control the economy, spreading the profits out to workers and investors alike. That was true until the rich began to dominate the US Congress, which has allowed the rich to fix both tax structure and supervision of stock trading that favors the richest 1% of US citizens. The invisible hand was now picking the pocket of the poor.
The lack of control of the US Congress over the banking industry has always caused boom-and-bust cyclical trading. This is why Jefferson and Jackson were both opposed to a National Bank. Here is what Jefferson said about the national debt:
“..I believe there is not a man scarcely in the United States not sacredly determined to pay it. The Republican Party (Modern Democrats) wishes it could be paid tomorrow. The fiscal party (Federalists) wish the debt to be perpetual because they find in it the engine for corrupting the legislature. Banks stand of a very different ground, as is those institutions are unauthorized by the Constitution and are subject to shocks..”
So in 2011 we are subjected to a perfect proof of Jefferson's fears. A political party is using the national debt as a club to ram a partisan economic policy down the throats of the public. A perpetual national debt is a tool for corrupt legislators to hide their corruption in a hurricane of bad contracts and bribes.. The natural fear taxpayers have of owing money is being used in perverse manner to force bad tax policy and deregulation of corporations into federal fiscal policy. These policies will increase the national debt and further increase the power of the rich to tax and spend. Meanwhile, the burden of paying for federal programs will fall on the working poor.
Will Power is a retired history teacher and creative writing instructor. The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of East County Magazine.