The remaining revenue, on the consumption of foreign articles, is paid chiefly by those who can afford to add foreign luxuries to domestic comforts. being collected on our sea-board and frontiers only, & incorporated with the transactions of our mercantile citizens, it may be the pleasure and the pride of an American to ask What farmer, what mechanic, what labourer ever sees a tax-gatherer of the US.?
Thomas Jefferson’s Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1805
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Successful leaders should brag (a little).
This paragraph continues the theme of the previous post, the President’s elimination of unnecessary government offices, officers and the taxes to support them. Where, then, did government get the funds for necessary functions? From taxes (customs duties) imposed on imported goods.
Most customs were paid by the more affluent, those who could afford imported “foreign luxuries.” The cost of necessary services were funded for everyone by the few who could really afford it. That left the vast majority of ordinary citizens … farmers, mechanics, laborers … free from the grasp of the tax man.