Melancton Smith Quote

“It is necessary that the powers vested in government should be precisely defined, that the people may be able to know whether it moves in the circle of the Constitution. Article I, Section 8 is intolerably vague. The Federal government will push its taxing power to the limit. It is a general maxim that all governments find a use for as much money as they can raise. Indeed, they have commonly demands for more. Hence it is that all as far as we are acquainted are in debt. I take this to be a settled truth that they will all spend as much as their revenue. That is, will live at least up to their income. Congress will ever exercise their powers to levy as much money as the people can pay. They will not be restrained from direct taxes by the consideration that necessity does not require them.”

~ Melancton Smith

Ratings and Comments

J Carlton, Carlton

Use fear, use intimidation, make examples of those who resist. Extortion.

Waffler, Smith

I don't think taxes are all that high. My friends and acquaintances are all doing very well. I vacation and see yachts and motorhomes strewn across the waters and countryside, and fabulous resorts every where. If taxes were so high how is it that we are able to live this way. I don't get it! We have hundreds of billionaires, and hundreds of thousands of millionaires and yet our government is 10 trillion dollars in debt, thanks to Reagan and Bush/Bush!

jim k, austin

Hey Waff, here's an idea. If you don't think taxes are high enough you are free to send in more. Maybe you can get some of your fellow travelers to pony up some more. As to the Regan- Bush statement, the cause of our huge debt started long before these gentlemen were in office. It started around 1913 and really got in high gear with the Roosevelt " New Deal". For you youngsters , 1913 was the year of the Fed and the income tax and it's been downhill ever since.

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    Blue    4/24/09

    come on Waffler go ahead and respond to Jim's challenge. Why dont you pay more taxes? I hate how you socialist scum think that people who have more money dont deserve their money and that the government should take it by force and give it to someone YOU think is more deserving.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Yep! Its not a balance the budget thing, its a power, control, and proselytizing thing.

    Mike, Norwalk

    Waffler, it doesn't matter if the direct taxes were one hundredth of what they are now, they are unlawful, immoral, and wrong. There are lawful ways to tax and Constitutional places to spend.

    E Archer, NYC

    Another reason the powers of Congress were to be strictly limited -- direct taxes, that is taxes applied directly to state citizens, were prohibited to the federal Congress --Congress could only lay excise taxes for which the state governments were responsible. The federal government has been gradually transforming itself (unconstitutionally, by the way) into a national government to which all are becoming subservient. We must reign them back in or else become Nazis all.

    Ben, Orem, UT

    HAHA! I KNEW waffler wouldn't think taxes were too high! HAHA! You still don't get it do you?! What is more wrong waffler: stealing 5 cents from someone or stealing 10 cents from him? The amount is irrelevant. The fact is that the money was exacted by coercion. Waffler mentions that he and his friends are still doing well. Amazing! Can you believe how marvelous the benefits of trade are? Capitalism creates so much wealth that even with the government taxing so much people can still make a profit. That is, unless waffler is working for the government....which is likely....I guess.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    Do you believe that it is moral and just for one person to be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another? For too many people, this is no simple question to answer — but it should be. Most of our nation’s great problems, including our economic problems, have as their root decaying moral values. Whether we have the stomach to own up to it or not, we have become an immoral people left with little more than the pretense of morality. You say, “That’s a pretty heavy charge, Williams. You’d better be prepared to back it up with evidence!” I’ll try with a few questions for you to answer. Do you believe that it is moral and just for one person to be forcibly used to serve the purposes of another? And, if that person does not peaceably submit to being so used, do you believe that there should be the initiation of some kind of force against him? Neither question is complex and can be answered by either a yes or no. For me the answer is no to both questions but I bet that your average college professor, politician or minister would not give a simple yes or no response. They would be evasive and probably say that it all depends. In thinking about questions of morality, my initial premise is that I am my private property and you are your private property. That’s simple. What’s complex is what percentage of me belongs to someone else. If we accept the idea of self-ownership, then certain acts are readily revealed as moral or immoral. Acts such as rape and murder are immoral because they violate one’s private property rights. Theft of the physical things that we own, such as cars, jewelry and money, also violates our ownership rights. The reason why your college professor, politician or minister cannot give a simple yes or no answer to the question of whether one person should be used to serve the purposes of another is because they are sly enough to know that either answer would be troublesome for their agenda. A yes answer would put them firmly in the position of supporting some of mankind’s most horrible injustices such as slavery. After all, what is slavery but the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another? A no answer would put them on the spot as well because that would mean they would have to come out against taking the earnings of one American (or Canadian) to give to another in the forms of farm and business handouts, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and thousands of similar programs that account for more than two-thirds of the federal budget. There is neither moral justification nor constitutional authority for what amounts to legalized theft. This is not an argument against paying taxes. We all have a moral obligation to pay our share of the constitutionally mandated and enumerated functions of the federal government. Unfortunately, there is no way out of our immoral quagmire. The reason is that now that the U.S. Congress has established the principle that one American has a right to live at the expense of another American, it no longer pays to be moral. People who choose to be moral and refuse congressional handouts will find themselves losers. They’ll be paying higher and higher taxes to support increasing numbers of those paying lower and lower taxes. As it stands now, close to 50 percent of income earners have no federal income tax liability and as such, what do they care about rising income taxes? In other words, once legalized theft begins, it becomes too costly to remain moral and self-sufficient. You might as well join in the looting, including the current looting in the name of stimulating the economy. I am all too afraid that a historian, a hundred years from now, will footnote America as a historical curiosity where people once enjoyed private property rights and limited government but it all returned to mankind’s normal state of affairs — arbitrary abuse and control by the powerful elite, just like in Canada. Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He has authored more than 150 publications, including many in scholarly journals, and has frequently given expert testimony before Congressional committees on public policy issues ranging from labor policy to taxation and spending.

    Ken, Allyn, WA

    So, what would be the most "fair" tax? Here is a question. Do rich people value the lives, safety, and education of their children more, less, or the same as poor people? Does a rich man's car traveling down the road wear it out any differently than a poor man's car? Does a rich man get hungry just like the poor man? As Archer pointed out the original Constitutional requirement was that federal taxes be apportioned to the states according to population so that everyone, regardless of situation, paid the same price. Fairness: I'm all for fairness.

    Ben, Orem, UT

    Well, taxes are generally, by definition, coercive. But, if a community got together and wanted to propose something that would require "public" funding, they could raise funds in a non-coercive way. Each person could be given the option of voting yes or no for a project. Those who vote yes could leave a credit card number. If the needed amount of people voted yes, the pledges would be activated and those who wanted the project would pay for it without coercing those who didn't want to pay into paying for it. Anyway, for the most part, it isn't really necessary for government to raise many funds if it is kept within its just limits. Taxes happen mostly because government is allowed to expand beyond its limits...and vice versa through central bank inflation.

    Waffler, Smith

    As long as you all vote for people who will cut taxes and then sell bonds, we will always be in debt, and not by 10 trillion by an exponential amount above that. The republicans say government should be run the way good republican families are, then get in power and BORROW AND SPEND us into ever greater debt. Why can't you get this simple message. We have fought a war under Bush and had 4000+ of our folk killed and we our to much cowards (some of us that is) to even pay for the damn thing. Will we ever grow up. Let us start at least on this site.

    J Carlton, Calgary

    And Waffler rambles inanely on...and on...

    Mike, Norwalk

    Waffler, all theocratic socialists (communists to fascists, progressives to neo-cons, left to right, democrats to republicans, etc.) accept the 2nd plank of the communist manifesto as a means to enslaving chattel (helots, serfs and slaves). It was well said by Lysander Spooner: "A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years."

    The slaves, in choosing their masters make it crystal clear that the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land does not represent individual sovereigns, nor their inalienable rights in a representative republic. Any debt incurred by said statist theocracy is not mine - by any lawful nexus, operation of law or otherwise, in any way, shape or form. Congress forever exercises powers to levy as much money as the people can pay to keep their slaves ignorant, to keep the carnal gods in control and to advance the theology's ideology as far as possible (by way of example, how could wars, death, and destruction be made to stay so popular in the collectives mind and heart? AND, the carnal god masters have purchased, through entitlements, a whole separate segment of slaves).

    E Archer, NYC

    All too true, Mike.


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