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We have representatives but gen z does not. How is it fair to spend their money before they are even old enough to have a say? Was the idea of pushing debt onto future generations so unthinkable that it is a constitutional blind spot?

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  • 1. You misunderstand the concept of "representation" in that infamous quote, 2. This is more a question for the Politics or Philosophy SE, not here, you aren't asking about anything to do with the law. – Moo Apr 15 at 4:49
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    I’m voting to close this question because its not suited for this site, it belongs on either Politics SE or Philosophy SE. – Moo Apr 15 at 4:50
  • 1. I absolutely do not misunderstood the concept or "representation" and I also knew you would think that but hoped you wouldn't. 2. If you choose to not answer it with respect to law then no it isn't. But it's very obvious that there is as much room as anyone would need to include the law in an answer to this question. – user875234 Apr 15 at 4:59
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    Serious consideration of future generations has only recently started to seriously enter into the political process and discourse as anything beyond manipulative rhetoric, and then really only in a very small number of areas and locations. The western/european world simply never conceived of that as an issue worthy of consideration; subsequent generations will deal with their problems in their own time, and that was expected to be fine. The idea that present day people could seriously ruin things for later generations, in a way they could do nothing about, was nigh inconceivable. – zibadawa timmy Apr 15 at 5:14
  • This is a question of what the laws, and particularly the constitution permit, and of the legal history which formed the constitution,. As such it is on-topic here in my view, although it would also be on-topic in Politics. – David Siegel Apr 15 at 5:19
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No

"No taxation without representation!" was a slogan of the US war of independence, but it was never put into the Constitution. Indeed, the residents of the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico now pay Federal income tax, but are not represented in the Congress that sets the taxes.

National debt has some of the same economic effects of a tax, but it is not a tax in form nor in constitutional law. Constitutional limits on tax legislation (such as the rule against unapportioned direct taxes) do not apply to congressional borrowing.

"Representation", in the sense you mean, has never been applied to representatives of future generations, or even of people not yet of voting age.

Was the idea of pushing debt onto future generations so unthinkable that it is a constitutional blind spot?

Quite the reverse. Borrowing was initiated quite early, while many of the framers were still in government. In several places in the Federalist Papers, Hamilton emphasized the need for an unlimited power to tax, for, among other purposes, paying any national debts, and made it clear that such debts would be uncured, from time to time. See particularly Nos 30 and 43.

And when he became the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton embarked on he famous program of encouraging manufactures, funding needed "improvements" (of roads and harbors, in particular) largely by borrowing.

In short the Constitution does not contain any requirement such as the question suggests, and was never intended to do so.

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  • Here's the basic problem. I say something that you could choose to interpret as being dumb. Your response is then centered around that interpretation. I know what I said and that is as far as I will go. I have doubts about your answer. – user875234 Apr 15 at 13:16
  • @user875234 The question appears to me to reflect a mistatement of fact, I have no idea how you interpreted it. If there are specific aspects of my answer that you think are incorrect, or have doubts about, you are free to mention them. f you choose to do so, I will attempt to address them. Others may choose to offer answers. I don't assume that you,m or your question is foolish or "dumb". But as written it does seem to me to include some inaccuracies. – David Siegel Apr 15 at 16:12

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