Public debt

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PUBLIC DEBT. That which is due or owing by the government.
     2. The constitution of the United States provides, art. 6, s. 1, that "all debts contracted or engagements entered into, before the adoption of this constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this constitution, as under the confederation." It has invariably been the policy since the Revolution, to do justice to the creditors of the government. The public debt has sometimes been swelled to a large amount, and at other times it has been reduced to almost nothing.

References in periodicals archive ?
The Mena states had a public debt by end of 2012 was $798 billion compared to $757 billion by end of 2011, a 5 per cent change.
They are followed by countries with a public debt of $1-3 trillion.
It revealed that the largest percentage-based increase of the public debt among the countries studied was in Kazakhstan, where the debt increased by more than a third (+32 per cent), moving the country to 58th place in volume of public debt.
The public debt of Greece also decreased by 8 per cent, which can be explained by the fact that the creditors wrote it down in 2012 and Hungary's financial liabilities decreased by 15 per cent, giving it 42nd place in the general rating.
At the time that he wrote Public Principles of Public Debt, however, these writers' ideas had been abandoned and replaced by the idea that the burden of public debt is born by present rather than future generations because "we owe it to ourselves" (Lerner 1948, 256).
Second, by comparing utilities intertemporally in a public-finance setting, we would be aggregating individuals' intertemporal consumption preferences and thereby engaging in the very "aggregation fallacy" ([1986] 2000g, 375) implicit in the "we owe it to ourselves" logic that Buchanan debunked when determining the incidence of public debt (373-75).
If Ricardian equivalence holds, today's taxpayers will write down the value of their assets in anticipation of the future taxes that will be required to repay public debt issued today.
Because the burden of public debt falls on future taxpayers rather than on present ones, Barro implicitly assumes that all present taxpayers are inherently altruistic or at least possess perfect foresight.
According to Barro (1992), at the time he wrote his 1974 paper he was not aware of Ricardo's writing on the equivalence between taxation and public debt, which was "unfamiliar to most economists.
If politicians are informed that public debt is not malignant and is even beneficial, they will no longer feel restrained in either public-debt issuance or public spending.
As noted at the outset, the central prediction of Buchanan's work on public-debt finance is that, barring moral or constitutional constraints, public debt will be an ever-present phenomenon.