… is from page 226 of Douglas Irwin’s 2017 book, Clashing Over Commerce (citation deleted); the “Wells” referred to here is David A. Wells, Special Commissioner of the Revenue during part of the U.S. reconstruction era:
In his third report, published in January 1869, Wells bluntly observed that the matter of tariffs “involves more of prejudice and of opinion founded on private self-interest than almost any other policy issue facing the government.”
DBx: And it is as it has always been. You show me a tariff or other trade restriction and I’ll show you a greedy, politically powerful producer group, or groups, whose members successfully use the state to rob fellow citizens.