The Whiskey Rebellion and Taxation

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The Contemporary Tax Mindset in America

Emotions over a “tax and spend” Congress have been enough to elect popular presidents like Ronald Reagan, but in 1992 the same emotions vilified President George H.W. Bush because he had said four years earlier, “Read my lips; no new taxes,” and then had allowed new taxes.

More recently, former South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint, writing in the July 31, 2012 Wall Street Journal, warned readers against passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow the imposition of sales tax on all Internet purchases. Referring to the, “tax-hungry politicians,” DeMint argued that, “…online sales tax proposals are taxation without representation.” New versions of the act were introduced in spring 2013 in both the U.S. House and Senate.

“No Taxation without Representation” has become a phrase every student in American history can readily understand and identify with. They may not understand the complexities of government debt or the spending mechanisms, but they understand what the Pennsylvania farmers knew and what human beings have known since the first civilizations began: avoid the tax collector and treat him as a pariah within the community.


DeMInt, Jim. No Internet Taxation Without Representation. (2012). The Wall Street Journal. Accessed April 26, 2013.

Kelly, A.H., Harbison, W.A. The American Constitution: Its Origins & Development. (1976). New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Smith, P. The Shaping of America: A People’s History of the Young Republic. (1980). New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Time Lists. Top Ten Unfortunate Political One-Liners. (2008). Accessed April 26, 2013.

© Copyright 2013 Michael Streich, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Past

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  1. Linda Szollosy says:

    Well written !

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