Saturday, October 28, 2017

"a proper distribution of the public burthens"

"Happy it is when the interest which the government has in the preservation of its own power, coincides with a proper distribution of the public burthens, and tends to guard the least wealthy part of the community from oppression!"

     [Alexander Hamilton], The Federalist no. 36 (the New-York packet, 8 January 1788, on "The representations of interests and federal taxation").  Hamilton is speaking here of "commercial imposts" imposed by federal rather than state regulation, and argues that "any real difficulty in the exercise of the power of internal taxation . . . must naturally tend to make it a fixed point of policy in the national administration to go as far as may be practicable in making the luxury of the rich tributary to the public treasury, in order to diminish the necessity of those impositions, which might create dissatisfaction in the poorer and most numerous classes of the society."

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