A blog collecting every use of the term “corruption” among the records of the Framers. Submitted to the Supreme Court as an appendix to an amicus brief by Lawrence Lessig for the Constitutional Accountability Center.
Mr. MADISON reminded Congress that the commutation proposed was introduced as a compromise with those to whom the idea of pensions was obnoxious, and observed, that those whose scruples had been relieved by it had rendered it no less obnoxious than before, by stigmatizing it with the name of a perpetuity. He said, the public situation was truly deplorable. If the payment of the capital of the public debts was suggested, it was said, and truly said, to be impossible; if funding them and paying the interest was proposed, it was exclaimed against as establishing a dangerous moneyed interest, as corrupting the public manners, as administering poison to our republican constitutions. He said, he wished the revenue to be established to be such as would extinguish the capital, as well as pay the interest, within the shortest possible period, and was as much opposed to perpetuating the public burdens as any one; but that the discharge of them in some form or other was essential, and that the consequences predicted therefrom could not be more heterogeneous to our republican character and constitutions than a violation of the maxims of good faith and common honesty. It was agreed that the report for commuting half-pay should lie on the table till to-morrow, in order to give an opportunity to the delegates of Connecticut to make any proposition relative thereto which they should judge proper.