Political Trivia: Taxes

April 8, 1789–three weeks before George Washington will be sworn into office for the first time–James Madison stood up in the House of Representatives and introduced a tax bill.  It was the first bill ever introduced under the new form of government outlined in the U.S. Constitution. 

The very first order of business in the very first session of Congress was a bill to make sure that the economy was placed in a more sure-footed path, and that manufacturing would be promoted.  The means to do that was duties, and tariffs on a whole range of products from rum, beer, molasses, sugar cocoa, and coffee. 

There was a clear sense of the need for revenue, and while there was a lively debate about the taxes, the bill passed.

There is today in Washington far too few with the foresight of Madison, or the others who like him forged a new nation.  For all those Tea Party types who carry a copy of the Constitution while spouting about the Founding Fathers there remains a vast disconnect between real leadership, and the shallow end of the political divide.

One thought on “Political Trivia: Taxes

  1. Craig

    “Tracks in the Sea: Matthew Fontaine Maury and the Mapping of the Oceans”, by Chester G. Hearn.

    Details the struggle for funds solicited from a young start-up government for this epic undertaking from 1842 to 1861 to transforming trackless oceans into dependable winds and currents and showed shipmasters how to shave weeks and months from voyages.

    Taxes did come into play here.


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