One thought on “Thanks to Robert Sullivan’s Harper’s Essay …

  1. Having read Chernow’s book, and your “Whiskey Rebellion,” I see two precedents set then that have grown into monsters today.

    First, Hamilton grew up as a British citizen, working for British slave traders in St. Croix. No one knows for sure who financed his trip to New York, entry into King’s College and quick passage of the bar. I contend he was an agent for those slave traders and British mercantilists. While he passively opposed slavery, he never stood firmly against it.

    He was a passionate proponent of the Constitution, and wrote most of the Federalist papers. The Constitution is an economic document which presumes taxpayers are federal government property. It gives congress the power to make laws before defining the specific requirements of congressmen. It then provides for compensation for congress, president, vice president, and supreme court, with minimal requirements for each. It mentions an electoral college without defining it.

    The constitution also gives the federal government control of the “economic narrows,” such as the money supply, roads and bridges, the postal system, coasts, patents and copyrights, to name a few.

    As soon as Hamilton got himself appointed Treasury secretary, he introduced legislation to create the Whiskey Tax to provide perpetual financing to the first central bank, with legislation introduced two days apart, in December, 1790. He then arranged for a $50,000 loan from this bank to pay off revolutionary war debts (a bank which he helped start). Presumably the money was to pay the Revolutionary soldiers, but I guarantee it went to largely British creditors, who helped finance both sides of the war with such items as guns and textiles.

    The outcome of the Whiskey Rebellion was that it set the precedent for the federal government to invade individuals’ homes whenever they wanted and take what they wanted under suspicion of illegal activity, such as whiskey making. Thus we have the precedent for the raft of alcohol and drug laws, and the federal government’s presumption that it can confiscate personal property at whim and not be accountable for it. It also set the precedent for government spying on taxpayers.

    Second, Hamilton set the precedent for central banking. Later, the Federal Reserve Act, tied to the income tax in 1913, officially put congress in the debt-creation business, such that our financial system now starts at the bottom line and goes down from there.

    The Harper’s article doesn’t mention Adam Smith’s 1776 best seller, “Wealth of Nations,” but I believe Hamilton and other “Framers” used Smith’s survey of taxing opportunities to great advantage. Smith’s work was regarded so highly that he was subsequently appointed Commissioner of Customs in Edinburgh.

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