Article 1, Section 7, Clause 1
[Volume 2, Page 375]
Benjamin Rush to Catherine Macaulay18 Jan. 1769Letters 1:71
In page 32, you propose that "the representative assembly should not have the power of imposing taxes till the subject has been first debated by the senate." Give me leave to observe here that I cannot help thinking that the representative assembly should retain the exclusive right of taxing their country to themselves. They represent the greatest part of the people. They are supposed to be collected from all parts of the commonwealth and are therefore [Volume 2, Page 376] much better acquainted with the circumstances of the country. Besides, they (from their greater number) are naturally supposed to have more property in the state, and therefore have a better right to give it away for the purposes of government.
Perhaps I am wrong in both these observations. If I am, I expect to be rectified by you, madam, who are so well skilled in the science of government. I am but a young scholar in the school of politics, although I have made great progress in the love of liberty; for this, let me assure you, madam, was among the first passions that warmed my breast.
Letters of Benjamin Rush. Edited by L. H. Butterfield. 2 vols. Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, vol. 30, parts 1 and 2. Princeton: Princeton University Press, for the American Philosophical Society, 1951.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago