U.S. Debt, 1790
Memorial from the Public Creditors of Pennsylvania to President Washington and Congress:
But your Memorialists now humbly confess, that they have waited in anxious suspence for some evidence of the disposition of Congress upon this interesting Subject ... should Congress adjourn without any more decisive Act for the restoration of Public Credit, the mere Institution of Offices, or the Regulation of Imposts, will hardly protect the American Character from the derision of its Enemies
public Credit is the vital Spark of modern Policy
a Certain Amount of funded Debt (and surely the Debt of the United States would not be deemed too great) is a National Benefit.
Debt originating in the Patriotism that achieved the Independence, may thus be converted into a Cement that shall strengthen & Perpetuate, the Union, of America.
Hamilton's Plan for Restoring National Credit:
- Repay all foreign debt.
- Establish a new funding system.
- Redeem existing debt at full-value by exchanging previously-issued government certificates for new federal bonds.
- Maintain a sinking fund within the national debt.
- Assume, or take responsibility for, all state debt.
First Report on Public Credit
The economy of the United States was a tangled mess of foreign and domestic debt that [Hamilton] was determined to unravel, then place on firm fiscal footing by restoring public credit.