On Submission to Domiciliary Vexation

As our nation staggers under a national debt approaching $10 trillion, and as its citizens are bled white with taxes to fund a mindboggling bureaucratic nightmare and an overseas empire, its interesting to look back from what we’ve become, to see what we once were.

 

When Thomas Jefferson delivered his second Inaugural Address, in 1805, he was able to present the country with some good news.   Even though virtually all of the federal government’s revenue at that time came from tariffs levied on imports (the IRS of the day being little more than a customs-collecting service), the country was running a large surplus and was close to completely paying off the national debt remaining from the War for Independence.  Mr. Jefferson’s words will sound astonishing to those accustomed to the monstrous federal government of today:

 

“The suppression of unnecessary offices of useless establishments and expenses enabled us to discontinue our internal taxes.  These, covering our land with officers and opening our doors to their intrusions, had already begun the process of domiciliary vexation which, once entered, is scarcely to be restrained from reaching successively every article of property and produce.”

 

Consequently, he continued, “It may be the pleasure and the pride of an American to ask, ‘What farmer, what mechanic, what laborer ever sees a taxgatherer of the United States?’”

 

Those words are so extraordinary two centuries later that their significance could be overlooked.  Let’s take a closer look:

 

The suppression of unnecessary offices of useless establishments and expenses enabled us to discontinue our internal taxes.

In plain-speak that might be written:  By getting rid of useless federal employees and expenses we have been able to eliminate all internal taxes. 

 

These (unnecessary offices of useless establishments and expenses), covering our land with officers and opening our doors to their intrusions, had already begun the process of domiciliary vexation which, once entered, is scarcely to be restrained from reaching successively every article of property and produce.

No more prophetic words have ever been spoken by an American president.  Our land is now truly covered with such officers, our doors are open to their intrusions, and the process of domiciliary vexation, which we did indeed enter upon, has reached successively every article of property and produce in this country.  We are subject to seemingly every form of taxation imaginable, including the most insidious of all, a tax on our very incomes.

 

It may be the pleasure and the pride of an American to ask, “What farmer, what mechanic, what laborer ever sees a taxgatherer of the United States?”

Having suppressed the taxes and retired the debt, Mr. Jefferson forsaw a future in which no American farmer, mechanic or laborer would ever see the federal taxman.  No doubt he would be horrified at what we have done to the Republic he was instrumental in creating.

 

Let us resolve to refuse to tolerate any longer the domiciliary vexations Mr. Jefferson warned us about.  Let us demand that the “useless establishments and expenses” of the federal government be ended.  Let us refuse to submit to “internal taxes” to fund them.  Let us no longer agree to “open our doors” to their “intrusions.”  Let us strive for the day that no American farmer, laborer or mechanic will ever again see a “taxgatherer of the United States.”

 

Grace and Peace.

 

 

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