Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on April 26, 2018

in Adam Smith, Budget Issues, Other People's Money

… is from page 915 of Book V, Chapter 3 of the 1981 Liberty Fund edition of Adam Smith’s 1776 masterpiece, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations:

To relieve the present exigency is always the object which principally interests those immediately concerned in the administration of publick affairs. The future liberation of the publick revenue, they leave to the care of posterity.

DBx: It’s very easy for politicians to spend money that belongs to people who are currently disenfranchised – namely, the many taxpayers of tomorrow who, being today too young to vote, or even as yet unborn, will be compelled to pay tomorrow for the programs of today.

Americans are fond of the trope “No taxation without representation!” While my own sympathies would make me more inclined to repeatedly use this trope if the final two words were deleted from it, I admit that taxation with representation is a lesser evil than is taxation without representation. So note: when government pays for today’s spending with borrowed funds, it engages in taxation without representation. Many of the persons who will be obliged to pay the taxes to service these government debts are constitutionally (and Constitutionally) disenfranchised when their tax obligations are created.

Comments

Add a Comment    Share Share    Print    Email

Previous post:

Next post: