Therefore, we demand enactment of the following Amendment to the Constitution:Section A:
Notwithstanding the provisions of the Constitution or Section 4 of the 14th Amendment, no entity, organ, authority or sub-unit of government in the United States or its possessions may issue or maintain debt except;
1. In anticipation of tax revenue to be collected within a 12 month period via tax anticipation notes, with each such issue binding the specific sequester of tax revenues so-anticipated;
2. During a time of declared war, the declaration of which contains a specific statement declaring and defining an existential threat to the continued existence of or liberty in the United States, and only to fund the specific and identifiable costs of said conflict with a maturity of no more than 10 (ten) years beyond the termination of hostilities;
So, per Denninger’s proposed amendment, the government would be able to issue debt as long as there is a declaration of war and the bonds mature within ten years of the termination of hostilities, provided the funds were used to pay for the conflict. So, it could hypothetically be the case the government could engage in an expensive war that has no apparent end in sight, which it then funds with debt. Further, the government could perpetuate the war by funneling arms to resistance groups which in turn rebel against the government that gave them the weapons, and incite the public to fear by arguing loudly for the need to stand up to, say, terrorists. Additionally, the government could a) redefine budget items as pertaining to war and b) simply shuffle money from the armed forces to other branches. Honestly, it doesn’t look like Denninger’s proposed amendment would really change that much given its loopholes.
The reason for this is pretty simple: good government is a function of good men, not good laws. The only thing Denninger’s amendment could do is change the government paperwork that makes its current behavior kosher. The bigger issue is not that the law isn’t sufficiently thorough, it’s that politicians and bureaucrats are almost morally bankrupt and the average voter completely so. If the American people were sufficiently outraged, no change in law would be necessary for the people would vote the current bums out of office. That the American people have yet to do so indicates that they are indeed well-represented by their elected officials.
Sadly, Denninger is stuck on the modernist myth of America, a nation of laws. Unfortunately, laws without morality are merely hoops to jump through, and no number of codified regulations can save a nation that is morally corrupt for, fundamentally, laws must interpreted and enforced by men. Thus, Denninger is clinging to the false god of rule of law. The truth is that we have always been ruled by men all along. Now that men are thoroughly corrupt, we see what a charade rule of law really is.