If I Was in Charge... Part 5

Ban Governmental Debt

This article is the fifth in a series, created to answer the question of what I would do — if I was in charge of everything. Each article in the series is meant to offer a specific governmental directive, explaining what the directive is, why the directive is beneficial, and how the directive could be implemented. As the first and prime directive is to maximize overall wellness and thereby minimize overall illness, all other directives are intended as means to more effectively support the prime directive.


The fifth directive I would issue, if I was in charge, is to ban governmental debt. This entails banning all forms of financial debt incurred by all forms of government. Such would include not only federal, state, and local government bonds and loans but also more covert forms of government-incurred debt, such as unfunded pension obligations. Essentially, any scenario where a government attempts to financially burden the future in order to pay for the present or the past qualifies as a form of governmental debt and would be banned. Existing governmental debt burdens would be considered illegal and require just resolution for each instance.


Consider the following scenario. Suppose that a person wants to buy something but doesn’t want to pay for it and isn’t able or willing to steal it outright. So, instead of charging the purchase to their own account, they charge it to their child’s account without the child’s permission. When the child objects to paying for their parent’s debt (plus compounding interest fees), the parent tells the child that it’s alright because the child can avoid paying the debt by doing the same thing to the child’s children that the parent did to them. Because charging one’s expenses to another person’s account without their permission is a form of fraud, this scenario is obviously both immoral and illegal. Yet, this scenario is a fairly accurate description of what governmental debt is.

In essence, governmental debt creates financial burdens for people alive in the future to pay for the purchases made by people alive in the past and present. These financial burdens are contracts that require the servitude of people alive in the future in order to pay the expenses outlined by the contract, otherwise known as an indenture. Because the resulting indentured servitude was initiated without the consent of all those whom the contracts indenture, governmental debt creates involuntary indentured servitude, which has been explicitly illegal in the United States since the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000.

Because slavery is considered a condition of compulsory service or labor against one’s will, governmental debt constitutes a form of slavery whenever anyone who is obliged to pay for a governmental debt objects to doing so. Yet, slavery has been entirely illegal in the United States since the adoption of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865. Yet, despite being illegal both implicitly and explicitly, general governmental debt in the United States increased from 53% of GDP (gross domestic product) in 2001 to 128% of GDP in 2021 (according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis) at the same time that the U.S. GDP more than doubled.

So, to understand why the directive of banning governmental debt is beneficial and effectively supports the prime directive of maximizing overall wellness, we can start by acknowledging that governmental debt is immoral, illegal, and has been increasing exponentially in the world’s largest national economy. However, the fundamental reason why banning governmental debt maximizes overall wellness is that governmental debt forces current and future citizens into debt — and being forced into debt decreases the ability of debtors to function, literally creating illness.


Given that governmental debt has been literally illegal in the United States for over 20 years, while the size of its general governmental debt has more than quadrupled, banning governmental debt effectively is not as simple as issuing an executive order. Rather, answering the question of how to effectively ban governmental debt is more easily understood when considering governmental debt as a disease. Just as cancer can only be cured by both preventing it from appearing and treating it wherever and in whichever forms it does appear, the same can also be said of governmental debt.

When considering governmental debt as a disease it is not surprising that, in practice, banning governmental debt is likely to be as difficult as curing cancer. Yet, as the tumors of governmental debt have grown rapidly, it is now as necessary to cure humanity of governmental debt as it is to cure a Stage 4 cancer patient of cancer. Curing the patient, in this case, must begin by preventing the further growth of governmental debt, followed by the safe and healthy elimination of governmental debt from the body politic. Steps to prevent the growth of governmental debt would include:

  • Immediately setting all interest rates on government-incurred debt to 0%
  • Enacting laws, as needed, stating that incurring governmental debt is a criminal act, such that any governmental official or employee engaged in it will be summarily dismissed from their position without pay or benefits regardless of any prior contractual obligations made by their employer
  • Ensuring that all laws and regulations pertaining to the implicit and explicit illegality of governmental debt are enforced

To address how to treat the disease of governmental debt where it is already present we must first distinguish overt governmental debt, such as government bonds and loans, from covert governmental debt, such as unfunded pension obligations. When predetermined governmental financial obligations, such as pension outlays, are unfunded or underfunded, it results in the indentured servitude of future citizenry which may reasonably be considered involuntary. So, unfunded governmental financial obligations certainly qualify as governmental debt. However, funded governmental financial obligations do not. Thus, the portions of pension programs that are funded, for example, need to be distinguished from those that are unfunded in order to eliminate their governmental debt. Steps to eliminate all governmental debt would include:

  • Creating a Governmental Debt Accounting Commission (GDAC) to determine the true extent of governmental debt for each government within its jurisdiction
  • Having each GDAC determine and publish debts outstanding, amounts borrowed, and accrued interest for each government within its jurisdiction
  • Having each GDAC determine and publish the amount due to each lender so as to enable the return of borrowed funds to those lenders

    Note: the return of borrowed funds would not include accrued interest for any duration of time after slavery was made illegal within the jurisdiction, so as to prevent the lender from being legally considered as an accessory to a crime.
  • Requiring each government to pay back its debts to its lenders, without interest, over a span of 20 years based on the findings of its GDAC

Since panic selling of government bonds and other debts would likely occur in between the time of announcing these steps and the time of instantiating them, it is important to clarify that the setting of a 0% interest rate and the determination by the GDACs of lenders and amounts due must be performed retroactively based on the date and time of the initial announcement of intent. As such, rather than causing panic selling, governmental debt would effectively become unsellable. However, lenders would still be able to treat the outstanding governmental debt as collateral for bank loans, given that there would be a guaranteed 20 year payback of the debt. By not freezing assets entirely, while also not requiring involuntary indentured servitude, the act of banning governmental debt would maximize the wellness of not only the finances of governments and their citizens but also the overall wellness of humanity.

Continue to Part 6

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