October 12, 1789

I thank you, my dear sir, for the line you were so obliging as to leave for me, and the loan of the book accompanying it, in which I have not made sufficient progress to judge of its merit. I don’t know how it was, but I took it for granted that you had left town earlier than I did; else I should have found an opportunity, after your adjournment, to converse with you on the subjects committed to me by the House of Representatives. It is certainly important that a plan as complete and as unexceptionable as possible should be matured by the next meeting of Congress; and for this purpose it could not but be useful that there should be a comparison and concentration of ideas, of those whose duty leads them to a contemplation of the subject. As I lost the opportunity of a personal communication, may I ask of your friendship, to put to paper and send me your thoughts on such objects as may have occurred to you, for an addition to our revenue, and also as to any modifications of the public debt, which could be made consistent with good faith—the interest of the public and of the creditors.

In my opinion, in considering plans for the increase of our revenue, the difficulty lies not so much in the want of objects as in prejudice, which may be feared with regard to almost every object. The question is very much, What further taxes will be least unpopular?

(Source: http://oll.libertyfund.org/)


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