Thomas Jefferson on taxation and public debt…

“If we run into such debts as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our callings and our creeds, as the people of England are, our people, like them, must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, and give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses.

And the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread, we must live, as they do now, on oatmeal and potatoes, have no time to think, no means of calling the mis-managers to account; but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains around the necks of our fellow sufferers.

And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second, that second for a third, and so on ‘til the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automations of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering.

And the forehorse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

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