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James Madison on Taxing the Rich

Beyond helping the economy, taxing the rich helps the political system. Here is what Madison published in the January 23, 1792 National Gazette:

"In every political society, parties are unavoidable. A difference of interests, real or supposed is the most natural and fruitful source of them. The great objects should be to combat the evil:

"1. By establishing political equality among all.

"2. By withholding unnecessary opportunities from a few, to increase the inequality of property, by an immoderate, and especially unmerited, accumulation of riches.

"3. By the silent operation of laws, which, without violating the rights of property, reduce extreme wealth towards a state of mediocrity, and raise extreme indigence towards a state of comfort.

"4. By abstaining from measures which operate differently on different interests, and particularly such as favor one interest, at the expense of another.

"5. By making one party a check on the other, so far as the existence of parties cannot by prevented, nor their views accommodated.

"If this is not the language of reason, it is that of republicanism.

"In all political societies, different interests and parties arise out of the nature of things, and the great art of politicians lies in making them checks and balances to each other. Let us then increase these natural distinctions by favoring an inequality of property; and let us add to them the artificial distinctions, by establishing kings and nobles, and plebeians. We shall then have the more checks to oppose each other; we shall then have the more scales and the more weights to protect and maintain the equilibrium. This is as little the voice of reason, as it is of republicanism."

In short, allowing increased inequality of property creates political extremism and incivility, just as we have seen in the USA since 1980. Madison would have predicted it all, and it was just common sense to favor a welfare state and higher taxes on the rich. It is the death of republics and the bleating of aristocracy to allow the kind of insane accumulations we have witnessed in America in the past generation.

I know I've posted this before, but really, people need to take it to heart.

by Anonymousreply 2808/25/2011

Indeed someone ought to send that to Daniel Loeb and the rest of the hedge fund criminals.

by Anonymousreply 108/23/2011

Wait, I thought the conservatives and Tea Parties worshipped the founding fathers' collective cock. Have they read anything those guys actually wrote/said?

by Anonymousreply 208/23/2011

Absolutely not R2, and it was Madison's Constitution, more than anybody else's.

by Anonymousreply 308/23/2011

I agree with everything he wrote but Madison, himself, was super-rich.

by Anonymousreply 408/23/2011

No, R2. They think the Founding Fathers were all conservatives (they weren't), Christians (they weren't all, by any means), supply-siders (the concept didn't even exist back then because back then leaders were educated and there's no way any of them would have believed in such a fraudulent load of bullshit as "supply-side economics"), etc, etc.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 508/23/2011

None of them, not a single one, was a born-again Christian. To the extent any of them were Christian, they would be considered virtual atheists today.

by Anonymousreply 608/23/2011

Born-again Christians didn't even exist until well into the 19th century.

by Anonymousreply 708/23/2011

Oh, and I really wish somebody would show these teabaggers some of the things Madison said about Christians and Christianity. He wasn't exactly complimentary toward them.

by Anonymousreply 808/23/2011

Neither was Thomas Jefferson.%0D %0D I think Adams was the most "Christian" of the founding fathers, no?%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 908/23/2011

bump because people hear this quote but don't take it with them to argue with the other side.

by Anonymousreply 1008/24/2011

[quote]Neither was Thomas Jefferson.

Which is precisely why the born-again hicks who produce the textbooks want to diminish his role in US history while propagandizing Reagan's role.

by Anonymousreply 1108/24/2011

The Founders were radical for their time, they were intellectuals, and thinkers very much affected by the writings of the Enlightenment Rousseau, Voltaire, The Rights of Man, etc. %0D %0D If the Bill of Rights were up for passage in today's Congress it would fail because it would be considered too Liberal. %0D %0D I was struck however, by one thing many of the Founders had in common with some of our Conservatives: few of the signers of the Declaration of Independence fought in the Revolutionary War. %0D %0D Thomas Jefferson and John Adams never took up arms in defense of Liberty.%0D Washington, of course, did. When I look at all of them, I have to say I am fondest of Alexander Hamilton, who was a genius, and John Adams.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 1208/24/2011

Madison didn't know what the framers had in mind! And if he did, I can fix it! Trust me!

by Anonymousreply 1308/24/2011

He's a commie "Lie-bral!"

by Anonymousreply 1408/24/2011

The fact that this has to even be mentioned, is indicative of the ruined Country that is now the USA. It is tantamount to discussing "Curing the Sick".

by Anonymousreply 1508/24/2011

r9, Adams gave many a scathing sentiment against the church in his writings to Jefferson.

The Founding Fathers were not necessarily Christians, they were Deists. And they still attended church services.

by Anonymousreply 1608/24/2011

Well... Diests, Unitarians, and Agnostics, as well as the odd Christian or two.%0D %0D

by Anonymousreply 1708/24/2011

If James Madison wants to give his money to the United States government, there is nothing to stop him. Let him make a donation!

by Anonymousreply 1808/24/2011

R18, I hope you're kidding. I mean I hope you're not some libertarian moron who thinks you're being "witty."

by Anonymousreply 1908/24/2011


It makes as much sense as criticizing Warren Buffet as a hypocrite for wanting to change the tax rates but not making donations in the meantime.

by Anonymousreply 2008/24/2011

Which is to say, it makes no sense, and it WAS a parody post?%0D

by Anonymousreply 2108/24/2011

[quote]I was struck however, by one thing many of the Founders had in common with some of our Conservatives: few of the signers of the Declaration of Independence fought in the Revolutionary War.%0D %0D Do you mean on the front lines? That seems like a strange thing to expect from them since they were planning and running the war. I understand the point about the conservative hawk assholes today who have never fought one day in their lives...and whose children and grandchildren and so on will never fight if they have anything to do with it...but I don't think the two are comparable.

by Anonymousreply 2208/24/2011

Deists were atheists pretending to be Christian in order to comply with religious tests for office in Virginia. They did not attend church service after independence, for the most part.

by Anonymousreply 2308/24/2011

I have no patience with people who twist what Warren Buffet was doing in urging higher taxes on rich people into some some sort of hypocritical position, which is what Fox News did.

My post about James Madison was an attempt to poke fun at those people.

by Anonymousreply 2408/24/2011

No, Deists are not Atheists, R23. You can't rewrite history any more than the Christians can.

by Anonymousreply 2508/24/2011

The OP sounds like a commie! Nuke the commies! tee-hee.

No, seriously, I have absolutely no issue with taxing the rich - so long as what exactly constitutes 'rich' is waaaaayyyy more than I've got.



PS. I think we should tax the ugly at 30%, obese at 40%, perverts at 50% and anyone famous at 60%, politicians at 70%, royalty at 80% and anyone with a fake tan at 90%.

by Anonymousreply 2608/24/2011

R26, you try way too hard. If humor doesn't come naturally to you, don't try to force it or you'll strain something.

by Anonymousreply 2708/24/2011

I'm not rewriting history R25, you are making "Deism" into a philosophical position, which it was not. These were highly anticlerical antireligion people and one or two references to "Creator" don't change that. Remember, that in Revolutionary America, 80% of families belonged to no church. So for these people to get elected, they had to be antireligion. But in Colonial Virginia, you could not hold office if you were not part of the established church. Hence Deism. After the Revolution, Deism disappeared. And by 1800, the proportion of American families with no religion had increased to 90%. It was in the 1800s when things took a turn for the worse and religios started gaining ground.

by Anonymousreply 2808/25/2011
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