In Federalist Paper #7, Alexander Hamilton continues his discussion about the need for a strong Union to avoid potential territorial and/or commercial disputes between the states in they continued to operate under the Articles of Confederation. In fact, the Commerce Clause, before it was abused by liberals and progressives to pass all manners of mischief up to and including ObamaCare was probably one of the singular achievements of the Constitution by unifying commercial activity and preventing potential dangerous interstate tariffs. However, another interesting sentence comes to mind:
“The public debt of the Union would be a further cause of collision between the separate States or confederacies. The apportionment, in the first instance, and the progressive extinguishment afterward, would be alike productive of ill-humor and animosity. How would it be possible to agree upon a rule of apportionment satisfactory to all? There is scarcely any that can be proposed which is entirely free from real objections. These, as usual, would be exaggerated by the adverse interest of the parties……. Delinquencies, from whatever causes, would be productive of complaints, recriminations, and quarrels. There is, perhaps, nothing more likely to disturb the tranquility of nations than their being bound to mutual contributions for any common object that does not yield an equal and coincident benefit. For it is an observation, as true as it is trite, that there is nothing men differ so readily about as the payment of money.”
WOW, does that sorta ring true today, or what? Why should the rest of the taxpayers bail out California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey or any of those other states that have made poor decisions and lived on the supposed never ending gravy train? But, here it comes, expect more bailouts from Obama and Nancy before the election to try and keep public employees and BLUE states afloat….
Interestingly, Anti-Federalist #7 also address the issue of public debt and taxation, although it approaches the problem from a different point of view, arguing for the distribution of taxes between the states and Federal government and the use of an import tax as the primary means of Federal government funding…hmmm, if only that were true now:
“The result of our reasoning in the two preceding numbers is this, that in a confederated government, where the powers are divided between the general and the state government, it is essential to its existence, that the revenues of the country, without which no government can exist, should be divided between them, and so apportioned to each, as to answer their respective exigencies, as far as human wisdom can effect such a division and apportionment….There is one source of revenue, which it is agreed, the general government ought to have the sole control of. This is an impost upon all goods imported from foreign countries. This would, of itself, be very productive, and would be collected with ease and certainty. — It will be a fund too, constantly increasing — for our commerce will grow, with the productions of the country; and these, together with our consumption of foreign goods, will increase with our population.”
Although issues of taxation are certainly dry and seemingly boring, they are, nonetheless, crucial to the economic health of the country, as we certainly know today…if only our current government carefully considered the implications of their tax (and spend) policies on the country….