October 18, 2013 am.
Early in the morning of October 16 and most of the day before, October 17; and still today, October 21, every time I put debt limit into Google at the top of the first search results page appears a CBC file heading “…Is the debt ceiling a ‘stupid’ idea? “. Now since I have come to notice that Canada’s official communications medium repeatedly authorizes news items from the United States, I have given this item more attention than I believe it should have, fearing that most of us Canadians will assume that because it is promulgated by Canada’s own public news organization it is as sacrosanct as the Bible itself.
The word “stupid” is of course meant to demoralize all rational arguments in favour of controlling government expenditures, for only “stupid” people would favour such control that might inhibit the will of a divinely supported ruler. But some time back when there was much talk of term limits for American politicians, the idea of limit, an ancient notion of constitutional freedom, was revived, for back when the Republican Romans said goodbye to their last king and gave the kingly power to two consuls, citizens ensured control of this absolute power by a one year limit on the term of each consul. When the Roman Republic declined into the Roman Empire the constitutionally limited power of the consuls was assumed by the unlimited absolute whim of the sometimes deified Roman Emperor.