Mandeville, LA – Patrick Henry would not approve of this “fairness” – Article by Mike Church
The U.S. Senate passed their version of the “Marketplace Fairness Act” by a huge, bi-partisan majority inspiring the National Retailers Federation to crow. ” ‘We applaud Senators Enzi, Durbin, Alexander and Heitkamp and the entire U.S. Senate for standing with local retailers and America’s small business owners in a strong, bi-partisan vote for final passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act, despite a highly-funded misinformation campaign by the legislation’s opposition,’ said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. ‘Today’s action in the Senate is a significant step for sales tax fairness and we look forward to a robust debate in the U.S. House of Representatives.’ ”
If the adage “misery loves company” holds any truth then this rush to tax must be the modern source of it. Where are the voices crying out for an end to all consumption/sales taxes? Most of the United States survived for hundreds of years without taxation of “sales” and most efforts in world history to bring about this most despicable of tyrannies resulted in ruined careers, lobbed off heads and lost thrones.
“[Francois]Quesnay might have learned by looking back on England’s Stuart line of monarchs. Charles I lost his head in 1642 after pushing sales taxes on his subjects; James II later lost the throne for good while taking his fiscal advice from Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) who favored more sales taxes.
Gaffney is just getting warmed up.
The upshot seems to be that sales taxes have been instruments of tyranny, voters do not like them, they stifle commerce and industry and their own base, and they lead to national bankruptcy. We will point up many more faults, in the next issue. Champions keep entering the field because those with an overplus of taxable property keep financing them. For most of us, though, the sales tax is a dumb idea.” – Mason Gaffney “Sales Taxes Are Dumb Ideas”
In June of 1788 Virginia was debating ratification of the Constitution. George Mason and Patrick Henry led the opposition to ratify and one of the new powers to be granted Congress that Henry feared most was the power of taxation. Direct taxation. Henry appealed to conservatives of the day to consider their children and grand-children’s well being before agreeing to a Constitution that could torment them with irrevocable taxation.
“The voice of tradition, I trust, will inform posterity of our struggles for freedom. If our descendants be worthy the name of Americans, they will preserve, and hand down to their latest posterity, the transactions of the present times; and, though I confess my exclamations are not worthy the hearing, they will see that I have done my utmost to preserve their liberty; for I never will give up the power of direct taxation but for a scourge. I am willing to give it conditionally; that is, after non-compliance with requisitions. I will do more, sir, and what I hope will convince the most skeptical man that I am a lover of the American Union — that, in case Virginia shall not make punctual payment, the control of our custom-houses, and the whole regulation of trade, shall be given to Congress, and that Virginia shall depend on Congress even for passports, till Virginia shall have paid the last farthing, and furnished the last soldier. Nay, sir, there is another alternative to which I would consent; — even that they should strike us out of the Union, and take away from us all federal privileges, till we comply with federal requisitions: but let it depend upon our own pleasure to pay our money in the most easy manner for our people.
Thus thousands of your people will be most shamefully robbed: our state sheriffs, those unfeeling blood-suckers, have, under the watchful eye of our legislature, committed the most horrid and barbarous ravages on our people.-Patrick Henry
Were all the states, more terrible than the mother country, to join against us, I hope Virginia could defend herself; but, sir, the dissolution of the Union is most abhorrent to my mind. The first thing I have at heart is American liberty: the second thing is American union; and I hope the people of Virginia will endeavor to preserve that union. The increasing population of the Southern States is far greater than that of New England; consequently, in a short time, they will be far more numerous than the people of that country. Consider this, and you will find this state more particularly interested to support American liberty, and not bind our posterity by an improvident relinquishment of our rights. I would give the best security for a punctual compliance with requisitions; but I beseech gentlemen, at all hazards, not to give up this unlimited power of taxation. The honorable gentleman has told us that these powers, given to Congress, are accompanied by a judiciary which will correct all. On examination, you will find this very judiciary oppressively constructed; your jury trial destroyed, and the judges dependent on Congress.
In this scheme of energetic government, the people will find two sets of tax-gatherers — the state and the federal sheriffs. This, it seems to me, will produce such dreadful oppression as the people cannot possibly bear. The federal sheriff may commit what oppression, make what distresses, he pleases, and ruin you with impunity; for how are you to tie his hands? Have you any sufficiently decided means of preventing him from sucking your blood by speculations, commissions, and fees? Thus thousands of your people will be most shamefully robbed: our state sheriffs, those unfeeling blood-suckers, have, under the watchful eye of our legislature, committed the most horrid and barbarous ravages on our people. It has required the most constant vigilance of the legislature to keep them from totally ruining the people; a repeated succession of laws has been made to suppress their iniquitous speculations and cruel extortions; and as often has their nefarious ingenuity devised methods of evading the force of those laws: in the struggle they have generally triumphed over the legislature.
It is a fact that lands have been sold for five shillings, which were worth one hundred pounds: if sheriffs, thus immediately under the eye of our state legislature and judiciary, have dared to commit these outrages, what would they not have done if their masters had been at Philadelphia or New York? If they perpetrate the most unwarrantable outrage on your person or property, you cannot get redress on this side of Philadelphia or New York; and how can you get it there.
If your domestic avocations could permit you to go thither, there you must appeal to judges sworn to support this Constitution, in opposition to that of any state, and who may also be inclined to favor their own officers. When these harpies are aided by excisemen, who may search, at any time, your houses, and most secret recesses, will the people bear it? If you think so, you differ from me. Where I thought there was a possibility of such mischiefs, I would grant power with a niggardly hand; and here there is a strong probability that these oppressions shall actually happen. I may be told that it is safe to err on that side, because such regulations may be made by Congress as shall restrain these officers, and because laws are made by our representatives, and judged by righteous judges: but, sir, as these regulations may be made, so they may not; and many reasons there are to induce a belief that they will not. I shall therefore be an infidel on that point till the day of my death.”
Henry and Mason were clearly psychic when it came to predicting the end result of Madison & Hamilton’s “creature” but their predictive powers were not mystical but were based on clear and honest understanding of what evils men will commit when they hold the power of governing and the even greater, more dangerous power of taxation. Those who so loudly cheer for the misery of sales taxes to be equally applied instead of universally reviled, richly deserve the fate they are about to earn. The tragedy is there will be much collateral damage and what pray tell is “fair” about that?