Was the 14th Amendment created to address insurrectionists sabotaging the economy?
Take a moment and click on the image and enlarge it to 1:1 size. It is easier to read that way.
Reading the entire page, There is reason to consider whether the Founders of the Nation had foreseen what we are living thru now with the 'Debt Ceiling crisis'. A crisis arising entirely from a circumstance created by a law (Gramm-Rudman) that was in conflict with the Constitution the instant it was passed.
That, and the plethora of effort to misguide the public's understanding on what the concept of a 'ceiling' on spending actually is. The internet is awash with politicians rhetoric that misguides the public. Wikipedia pages created on the topic of 'debt ceiling' are used to promote the belief that debate over whether to pay the nations bills is a long standing historical practice.
It is not. In fact, it has only ever happened twice in the nations history that the threat of default occured. Once in 2011, and now in 2023. There was never a legislated limit on spending until 1985. Prior to that there was no perceived need for a 'Legal' limit on spending. Past spending controls were relegated to departments and committees whose oversight were considered sufficient.
There was no 'debt ceiling' in 1917. There was no 'debt ceiling' in 1939.
None of the legislative actions that occurred in those time frames established, or were intended to establish a legal limit on spending. They established guidelines for future handling of the debt. That's all. Evidenced by the fact that no direction was codified in the law. No legislated limit. This is not a matter of interpretation of language and semantics. It is a matter of legislative fact and legislative history.
It was not until 1985 that a 'legal limit' to spending was codified into law. That law required that Congress manage and maintain it's spending within prescribed limits. It did not create a means to simply 'not pay' for what it had authorized because what it authorized exceeded a limit on spending. Participating in doing that would violate the individual oaths taken to uphold the Constitution.
But notice in the writing of the 14th Amendment how the paragraph stating unequivocally that the, "Nations debt, authorized by law", will not be questioned. That, is preceded with a full paragraph on insurrectionists functioning in the US Legislature.
Did they foresee our current dilemma, way back then? Seems that they very much did.
Click the image to read the 14th Amendment from the National Archives, it opens in a new window.