"By the power to lay and collect imposts Congress may impose duties on any or every article of commerce imported into these states to what amount they please. By the power to lay excises, a power very odious in its nature, since it authorizes officers to examine into your private concerns, the Congress may impose duties on every article of use or consumption: On the food that we eat, on the liquors we drink, on the clothes that we wear, the glass which enlighten our houses, or the hearths necessary for our warmth and comfort. By the power to lay and collect taxes, they may proceed to direct taxation on every individual either by a capitation tax on their heads or an assessment on their property. By this part of the section, therefore, the government has a power to tax to what amount they choose and thus to sluice the people at every vein as long as they have a drop of blood left."
Luther Martin
(1744-1826) Maryland delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia
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Reader comments about this quote:
Thank you so much for suppling all of these quotes. This site saved me from a major F so thank you again.
 -- carson, tulsa     
    Sounds like a description of a Democrat.
     -- helorat, Milton     
    That is the platform of every Democrat since Roosevelt. It is the pernicious thought that free people and free enterprise might be successful without the government regulating their every move.
     -- Ed, Cincinnati     
    So you people find it acceptable to take every drop of your blood when you have no more money? Then you are fools. Look at what you are taxed and you will see more than 50% goes to the government (federal income tax, state tax, property tax, sales tax, etc.). Do you like getting only half of what you earn? I sure don't.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    Anti-tax pro-big business folks seem to forget that they get rich only through the existance of society (otherwise we'd all still be living in caves and trading flint knives). It is reasonable for society to expect (and recieve) a tax on those profits which came from the benefits society has used past taxes to build for all to use. And on top of that, every human should be able to have a core level of income that is "tax free" to provide for their basic needs. To those who need according to their needs, from those who have according to their ability... it is what Jesus would do.
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    The lust for power got the best of the some of the Founders -- but nothing compares to the corruption that is happening today. Next step, revolution, for better or worse.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
     -- Anonymous, detroit     
     -- Renee, austin      

     -- Anonymous     
    I don't think Jesus was a Marxist, and I certainly think he would want the needy provided for by charity not by taxes collected by force of a Roman sword.
     -- Dave, Hubert, NC     
     -- Anonymous      
    People who are against taxes are for small business not big business.The big business people seem to lobby and get all that money. Look at the banksters. We became the greatest country in the history of the world not because of our government but inspite of it.
     -- Mike, Milwaukee     
    Taxation and the collection thereof is not a function of the Federal Government. Nor are the monies collected as taxation are not used for infrastructure. The various tax agencies of the western world are merely extension of the central banking cabals. The monies collected are simply profits to those central privately owned banks. So before anyone gets on their high horse and advocates taxation as a control measure for "greedy capitalists"...consider how badly fooled you are. The very worst of the greedy capitalists you so readily despise are the central bankers who own you, own your property own your government...and everything else you see. You are "subjects" not citizens. Property of the bankers...human capital...inventory...sheep. So do us a favor, either get educated or...STFU. :)
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    "They" should start using that power immediately and stop borrowing in order to pay for our military to fight and die. Our soldiers are brave, we and our political leaders are cowards.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    Reston, just how in the hell do you suppose to know what Jesus would do. Oh, I forgot, you Marxists know everything.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    Jim you obviously know that after the Resurrection "the early chruch assembled together and kept much in common". A commonality that many of the right wing nuts abhore. At Christmas we make much about this commonality among men and then go on our Merry Way after Chirstimas, again lost in our right wing, individualist, screw society and everything around me as long as I get mine attitudew.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
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