Monday, April 19, 2010

Birth of a Nation and a few Bills

Today is known as Patriot's Day. An actual holiday here in ye olde Massachusetts Bay Colony. It's the day that commemorates the kick off of the American Revolution that in turn led to the formation of these United States. I don't think nation building was in the back of the minds of those so-called minutemen on that morning back in 1775. They were a group of craftsmen, farmers, brewers, tradesmen who had had enough.

A lot of talk these days is about how those colonists were fed up with taxation. That was a very big part of it, but this was 1775, the famous tea party was three years ago. They had successfully mounted a boycott of British goods that got the Stamp Act repealed back in 1766. The taxes hurt, but another big factor was Parliment was chipping away at their rights as British subjects. They ended up going to war for the right to govern themselves.

Today, some people are saying that these founding fathers would be outraged at the amount of taxes we pay to the government they forged back then. I wonder about that. You see, after they fired those shots heard around the world that April 19th morning, the die was cast, as John Adams said. They had to go through with it. The most bizarre thing was they won! They got into a match with the biggest superpower of the day and they beat 'em!

Of course, then they had to form a country, with a government, and pay for it. Once they got into that part of the deal, they found out you have to get money from somewhere if you want to lay down a few streets, build a few ships, pay your soldiers. So, they found themselves on the other end of a revolution when they started taxing the guys who made whiskey. And, they did some of the same things the Brits did earlier. They sent the army after these tax evaders.

The thing is they found out you need money to run a country. So, I think they would understand the dynamics going on 230 years later. How to ride that fine line, maintaining a government that can provide what people want and need but, yet, keeping taxation fair and equitable. And, I'm quite sure that they would be quite familiar with the fact that you can't please all the people, all the time. Also, if they had it to do over again, they'd probably want to ease up on the whiskey tax!

1 comment:

John Nestor said...

Well thought out and articulated. But I think that the Founding Fathers would be at the forefront of those that find the level of government involvement in our personal lives abhorrent.