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THE question of taxation is becoming one of exceeding interest, as the public attention, through political strife, becomes more directed to the subject. The system of indirect taxes is invidious in its operation and pernicious in its ultimate tendency. There is no shape in which taxation can be made agreeable to the payers. It is a necessary evil, an expense incidental to the organization of civilized life, like house-rent, or the wages of domestics, and as such, should be met in a common sense way. The actual necessary outlay for the protection of persons and property should be ascertained, and the amount levied upon the community seeking that protection, in a manner to lay the burden proportionably upon each individual. All the persons in the community look, in about an equal degree, to the government for security in person; for protection in life and limb against all aggressors whatsoever. Hence, it is apparently reasonable that every member should contribute something to that purpose. In addition to this object a portion of the public require security for property, and protection against those who would deprive them of it. In this latter object a large portion of the community is not directly interested, or in a very minor degree only. It is true that all are interested in making the reward of industry secure; but it is not until a man has acquired property, that he becomes dependent upon the government protection for security in its enjoyment. Hence the holders of property having a double demand upon the government, viz., for security in property as well as person, are bound to pay doubly for its support. The problem is to apportion and collect the required sum from each person in the most prompt and cheap manner, so that the money may be applied as directly as possible to the purpose for which it is collected, and that the mode of its collection should interfere in the least degree with the ordinary business of the country, and the interchange of its products. The system of indirect taxation is comparatively of modern date, and it became a favorite with governments, from the facility with which money could thereby be raised without exciting discontent. In former ages, when taxes were demanded directly from each citizen, the government was restricted in its expenditure, through the difficulty of collecting large sums from the people, and exposed to dangerous revolts through the insolence and extortion of its agents. Had the wants of governments been moderate, and the direct collections conducted in a judicious manner, there is but little doubt but that much of that great inequality in condition, which now exists, would have been avoided; because wealth would have been obliged to pay

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