In the same category

Thomas Jefferson’s Second Inaugural Address

IMG Auteur
Published : January 22nd, 2013
485 words - Reading time : 1 - 1 minutes
( 2 votes, 4/5 )
Print article
  Article Comments Comment this article Rating All Articles  
0
Send
0
comment
Our Newsletter...
Category : Editorials

Here’s what Thomas Jefferson had to say about taxes, the size of government, and the national debt in his second inaugural address on March 4, 1805. For anyone today, that second sentence below is mind-blowing.

At home, fellow citizens, you best know whether we have done well or ill. The suppression of unnecessary offices, of useless establishments and expenses, enabled us to discontinue our internal taxes. These covering our land with officers, and opening our doors to their intrusions, had already begun that process of domiciliary vexation which, once entered, is scarcely to be restrained from reaching successively every article of produce and property. If among these taxes some minor ones fell which had not been inconvenient, it was because their amount would not have paid the officers who collected them, and because, if they had any merit, the state authorities might adopt them, instead of others less approved.



The remaining revenue on the consumption of foreign articles, is paid cheerfully by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts, being collected on our seaboards and frontiers only, and incorporated with the transactions of our mercantile citizens, it may be the pleasure and pride of an American to ask, what farmer, what mechanic, what laborer, ever sees a tax-gatherer of the United States? These contributions enable us to support the current expenses of the government, to fulfil contracts with foreign nations, to extinguish the native right of soil within our limits, to extend those limits, and to apply such a surplus to our public debts, as places at a short day their final redemption, and that redemption once effected, the revenue thereby liberated may, by a just repartition among the states, and a corresponding amendment of the constitution, be applied, in time of peace, to rivers, canals, roads, arts, manufactures, education, and other great objects within each state. In time of war, if injustice, by ourselves or others, must sometimes produce war, increased as the same revenue will be increased by population and consumption, and aided by other resources reserved for that crisis, it may meet within the year all the expenses of the year, without encroaching on the rights of future generations, by burdening them with the debts of the past. War will then be but a suspension of useful works, and a return to a state of peace, a return to the progress of improvement.

Of course, with the important exception of the Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson was a lot more frugal with the government’s money than he was with his own. From everything that I’ve read, he had what we call today a “compulsive shopping disorder” that left him with massive debt his entire life, so much so that when he sold his personal library to the Library of Congress for $24,000 in 1815 (a princely sum at the time), most of that money was passed on to debt collectors.


<< Previous article
Rate : Average note :4 (2 votes)
>> Next article
Tim Iacono is the founder of Iacono Research, a subscription service providing market commentary and investment advisory services specializing in commodity based investing.
WebsiteSubscribe to his services
Comments closed
Latest comment posted for this article
Be the first to comment
Add your comment
Top articles
Latest Comments
Predicting The Next Crisis, Programming Behavior: “The Ability To T...
18 JanS W.
Excellent article with a small touch of healthy paranoia. Good idea, 'leave the phone at home sometimes' Go smell the roses !
Racism-O-Rama
18 JanS W.
Fancy specialising in race and gender studies ! And then do exactly what? I suspect, write papers ad infinitum that hardly anyone would read.
Who Moved My Xanax?
17 JanThemis0
I actually agree with a lot of what Trump says while deploring the tone and his lack of judgment in making such remarks publically while in office.
Socialist Dystopia: Starving Venezuelans Loot As Runaway Inflation ...
17 JanThemis
There is a 19th century English word that is particularly appropriate in this instance - "kakistocracy", i.e. government by the worst or least qual...
Who Moved My Xanax?
15 JanMr. Gnawbone1
It is an exploitation of the ignorant and uninformed population, but that is what happens when they pay attention to meaningless information and ...
Racism-O-Rama
15 JanMr. Gnawbone1
It sounds racist, so it has to be. Overton Bubble at work, the faculty were programed to respond as if to a Pavlovian Bell. There is no way to ch...
Racism-O-Rama
16 Jandennyc2
Ah, yes, black welfare recipients receiving our hard earned and easily spent tax dollars and providing us nothing save their lives for our investme...
Racism-O-Rama
15 JanDoom2
It's not just the English that is considered RACIST, it's also mathematics, and a wide range of other things: http://professorconfess.blogspot...
Most commented articlesFavoritesMore...
World PM Newsflow
ALL
GOLD
SILVER
PGM & DIAMONDS
OIL & GAS
OTHER METALS
Take advantage of rising gold stocks
  • Subscribe to our weekly mining market briefing.
  • Receive our research reports on junior mining companies
    with the strongest potential
  • Free service, your email is safe
  • Limited offer, register now !
Go to website.