Tuesday, January 04, 2005


Deja vu all over again

The benefit of making time to read.
“The few months that Hamilton spent [in 1782] trying to gather taxes demonstrated anew the erils of the Articles of Confederation. States regarded their payments to Congress, in effect, as voluntary and often siphoned off funds for local purposes before making any transfers. This situation, combined with a lack of independent federal revenues, had forced the patriots to finance the Revolution by either borrowing or printing paper money. On July 4, in his sixth 'Continentalist’ essay, Hamilton, with a nod to Morris [Robert Morris, superintendent of finance for Congress, who appointed Hamilton as tax receiver for New York State], applauded the appointment of federal customs and tax collectors to ‘create in the interior of each state a mass of influence in favour of the federal government.’ This essay makes it clear that, in the Revolution’s waning days, Hamilton had to combat the utopian notion that America could dispense with taxes altogether.” (Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, p. 170).
A) It was never “utopian,” in fact rather quite the reverse. Taxes are what we all owe each other.

B) How little has changed!

Gotta pay the bills, man.
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