By Dr Dale Livingston, DLC, JD

The claim that Section 4 in the 14th Amendment denies the questioning of the public debt.

Due to a particular clause of a particular section, Section 4, contained in the Fourteenth Amendment, people have been mislead to believe that today’s national debt may not be either challenged or questioned, no matter how deep the fraud may exist as fact or how dangerous it may grow toward the ultimate destruction of our great nation.

As always, I see these people misquote, or quote only the comfortable part of the Constitution or a law, and leave out parts that are important for the correct understanding.

The correct language for this part of the Fourteenth Amendment reads, in reality, "Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

Now, let's take this one step at a time.

The first phrase worthy of our attention are the words "the public debt." The word "the" signifies a specific thing being talked about here, not something vague or ambiguous. That is, a present tense kind of existence. I will give you 3 variations of the following. You will note that it does not say there, nor can it be automatically understood as such, any of the 3 following: (1) "The validity of the public debt, now and arising at any time in the future, of the . . . (2) "The validity of the public debt of the United States, now and arising at any time in the future, authorized by law," (3) "The validity of the pubic debt of the United States, authorized by law, now and arising at any time in the future,".

Three (3) strikes and you're out. Three (3) different places were given opportunity to insert any phrase to counteract the "the" directive, directing the matter to the existing debt of the time, much like passing a resolution in Amendment form if you will. This whole idea is further given credence by the following language, . . . "including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion." (emphasis added)

The word "incurred" is past tense! It was used as a word supportive of the word "including," which goes to the recognition of a broader base that must exist in order for something to be "included" in. Both words are directly linked to the real existence of the concepts of "insurrection" and "rebellion." These were things that the Congress had certainly been concerned with as a matter of the aftermath of the Civil War itself. But these concerns were for what existed at THAT time, or "the" ... "debt." Nothing is said here about any future debt being given such protection from being questioned; in fact it would be ludicrous to believe that the Amendment's framers would have been so ignorant of what future public debt might possibly entail, without actually ever "seeing" that public debt, that they would even propose that such unseen, unnamed, not yet authorized public debt could not be questioned at all.

Thus, we are forced by every logical conclusion by the facts as we ourselves see them, that the Fourteenth Amendment's Section 4 was intended to be regarded as the equivalent of more at a "resolution" to excuse or forgive by force of a constitutional amendment that the public debt that had arisen as a result of the Civil War itself - THAT public debt was not to be questioned! NOT every public debt that might exist thereafter! Remember, no indication has been given here as to future public debts that might arise thereafter, but rather it is "the" public debt, and furthermore you will note that the word "debt" itself is also SINGULAR! One debt. By the simple logic that says this, "what if we, the people of the United States, actually paid off the 'public debt' at any time, right? Would the next debt that might be incurred thereafter be construed to be the same public debt? NO, certainly not.

And that was not what the Congress was proposing at that time that the States were actually ratifying.

The ratification of an Amendment, as with any ratifying act of any form of contract, as to what that Amendment is all about, or that is, what the actual obligations are, goes to the understanding and subsequent of the States themselves when ratifying the Amendment. That is, what did the States believe that the Amendment was doing for THEM at the time? Certainly not that they, the States, would at no time in the future be able to "question the validity" of the public debt! There is no proof anywhere to verify that THAT is what was in the minds or understanding of any of the States that participated in the ratification process of the Fourteenth Amendment. None. Even if parole evidence were admissible on the matter, there is nothing that indicates that future debts (plural) of the United States, as opposed to just to the existing one that there was a concern with, could be questioned. So, that also goes now to support the fact that the only (public) debt that the Fourteenth Amendment actually applies to is the one that existed BECAUSE OF the CIVIL WAR!

The word "public" therein raises the question as to whether the United States may have had a "private" debt or not. If so, it would have to be one that existed under "the law," or that is, "authorized by law." The first question that must arise is, what law? Obviously the debt (again a singular issue, not a comprehensive plural one) that the Congress and the States were concerned with must be connected to a law authorized by Congress. Also note that the word "authorized" is also past tense, not as in the case of "to be authorized." So which authorized (past tense) law could that be?

We know that Lincoln undertook to create money on the part of the United States by having it printed directly out of the Treasury Department of the United States. In fact, there is speculation that it was that very act, above all others, that got him assassinated. The people that would have him assassinated for creating money would have to be the ones who had already loaned the United States "Union" great sums of money to fight the Civil War with, for they would not want that debt be so easily paid off as just printing it up the way that Lincoln had ordered by executive order to be done.

I do not have the specific law or laws that brought about the debt of the Civil War, but I don't have to in order to realize that there had to be one or more, for the Civil War was very costly - to both sides. Remember, we don't have the Federal Reserve Bank Act of 1913 at this time, so that "law" is not the one being envisioned here.

Further research will certainly reveal those laws, but clearly the word is debt, not debts. Any difference in the meaning of the two words? Most definitely! The second word, "debts," more than one, and the first word, debt, means just one. Isn't that basic English? Don't we all understand the concept of plural words the same way at least? If so, then only the "public debt" that existed could not be "questioned" as to its "validity." Such a condition could not be applied to any public debt arising after that one, because future debts were not provided a prohibition against.

Of course, this means that we have every right to question the debt of the Federal Reserve Bank, which they have been imposing upon the people for decades now, without question, because of someone's misconstrument of the Fourteenth Amendment. But a correct analysis of it gives us the understanding that the Amendment's framers were not "off their rockers" for inserting that verbiage into the Constitution.

It just takes applying common sense and the correct understanding of our grammar and language to be able to perceive what is going on here, that along with some basic understanding of contract law itself here.

With all of this understanding, to correct the misleading proclamations of politicians of yesteryear and today, we now see the need to challenge the national debt of today, more than ever, considering that the national debt has been brought upon us by some very fraudulent means, such as, but not limited to, creating money out of thin air.

By providing you with this insight, you are now better equipped to help correct the understanding of those others around you who have likewise been lead down the primrose path, to "not question" what those sadly corrupt politicians would rather surround in mystery.  Kind of reminds you of the dark ages, doesn’t it, back in the days when everyone was forbidden to question anything, lest the truth might set the people free.