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Federalist No. 33



Concerning the General Power of Taxation (continued)

Wednesday, January 2, 1788 [Alexander Hamilton] (excerpt)

To the People of the State of New York:

THE residue of the argument against the provisions of the Constitution in respect to taxation is ingrafted upon the following clause. The last clause of the eighth section of the first article of the plan under consideration authorizes the national legislature "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers by that Constitution vested in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof"; and the second clause of the sixth article declares, "that the Constitution and the laws of the United States made in pursuance thereof, and the treaties made by their authority shall be the supreme law of the land, any thing in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding...."




Federalist No. 35



Concerning the General Power of Taxation (continued)

Saturday, January 5, 1788 [Alexander Hamilton] (excerpt)

To the People of the State of New York

BEFORE we proceed to examine any other objections to an indefinite power of taxation in the Union, I shall make one general remark; which is, that if the jurisdiction of the national government, in the article of revenue, should be restricted to particular objects, it would naturally occasion an undue proportion of the public burdens to fall upon those objects. Two evils would spring from this source: the oppression of particular branches of industry; and an unequal distribution of the taxes, as well among the several States as among the citizens of the same State. Suppose, as has been contended for, the federal power of taxation were to be confined to duties on imports, it is evident that the government, for want of being able to command other resources, would frequently be tempted to extend these duties to an injurious excess....






Federalist No. 34



Concerning the General Power of Taxation (continued)

Saturday, January 5, 1788 [Alexander Hamilton] (excerpt)

To the People of the State of New York:

I FLATTER myself it has been clearly shown in my last number that the particular States, under the proposed Constitution, would have COEQUAL authority with the Union in the article of revenue, except as to duties on imports. As this leaves open to the States far the greatest part of the resources of the community, there can be no color for the assertion that they would not possess means as abundant as could be desired for the supply of their own wants, independent of all external control. That the field is sufficiently wide will more fully appear when we come to advert to the inconsiderable share of the public expenses for which it will fall to the lot of the State governments to provide. To argue upon abstract principles that this co-ordinate authority cannot exist, is to set up supposition and theory against fact and reality....




Federalist No. 36



Concerning the General Power of Taxation (continued)

Tuesday, January 8, 1788 [Alexander Hamilton] (excerpt)

To the People of the State of New York:

WE HAVE seen that the result of the observations, to which the foregoing number has been principally devoted, is, that from the natural operation of the different interests and views of the various classes of the community, whether the representation of the people be more or less numerous, it will consist almost entirely of proprietors of land, of merchants, and of members of the learned professions, who will truly represent all those different interests and views. If it should be objected that we have seen other descriptions of men in the local legislatures, I answer that it is admitted there are exceptions to the rule, but not in sufficient number to influence the general complexion or character of the government. There are strong minds in every walk of life that will rise superior to the disadvantages of situation, and will command the tribute due to their merit, not only from the classes to which they particularly belong, but from the society in general....



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