Andrew Jackson on taxation

November 20, 2010

From President Jackson’s farewell address:

It is well known that there have always been those amongst us who wish to enlarge the powers of the General Government, and experience would seem to indicate that there is a tendency on the part of this Government to overstep the boundaries marked out for it by the Constitution. …There is, perhaps, no one of the powers conferred on the Federal Government so liable to abuse as the taxing power. …Congress has no right under the Constitution to take money from the people unless it is required to execute some one of the specific powers intrusted to the Government; and if they raise more than is necessary for such purposes, it is an abuse of the power of taxation, and unjust and oppressive. …Plain as these principles appear to be, you will yet find there is a constant effort to induce the General Government to go beyond the limits of its taxing power and to impose unnecessary burdens upon the people. …There is but one safe rule, and that is to confine the General Government rigidly within the sphere of its appropriate duties. It has no power to raise a revenue or impose taxes except for the purposes enumerated in the Constitution, and if its income is found to exceed these wants it should be forthwith reduced and the burden of the people so far lightened.

Hmmm… Maybe President Obama should spend more of his time studying his predecessors than his golf swing.

via Dan Mitchell

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Founding Fathers and Mudslingers

October 31, 2010

You think modern American political campaigns are vicious, mudslinging affairs in which no smear is too vile to be hurled? Hah! The modern candidates are nothing –nothing!– compared to the men whose dignified portraits grace our history books. Reason.TV presents just one amusing example:

Remember that the next time you hear someone whine about “tone” and “civility” in our election. And it wasn’t just the Founders who got down and dirty; supporters of Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams  knew how to sling a slander or two:

John Adams lived long enough to see his son become president in 1825, but he died before John Quincy Adams lost the presidency to Andrew Jackson in 1828. Fortunately, that meant he didn’t have to witness what many historians consider the nastiest contest in American history.

The slurs flew back and forth, with John Quincy Adams being labeled a pimp, and Andrew Jackson’s wife getting called a slut.

As the election progressed, editorials in the American newspapers read more like bathroom graffiti than political commentary. One paper reported that “General Jackson’s mother was a common prostitute, brought to this country by the British soldiers! She afterward married a mulatto man, with whom she had several children, of which number General Jackson is one!”

Jackson supporters were riled because Adams won the Presidency in 1824, defeating Jackson by winning in the House of Representatives while losing the popular vote in what has been called “The Corrupt Bargain.” Jackson’s supporters considered the younger Adams to be an illegitimate president and a usurper who stole the office.

Hey, that sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it? Now where have I heard that before?

Face it, folks: civil, dignified elections are are much more the exception than the rule, here. Now, excuse me while I go get some more mud to sling.

RELATED: The 10 dirtiest campaigns in US history.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)