Another great day for Constituting America as Janine and Juliette continue their Constituting America East Coast Tour!

Today I had the privilege of joining Janine at the DC FOX Studios, where she taped an interview with Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday.  Janine will be featured as Power Player of the Week this Sunday, June 20. Click here to check your local listings for airtime!

I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.  As founder and Co-Chair of Constituting America, Janine has put her visionary idea into action, and is making a difference at the most fundamental level of our political system.  She is reminding us of our roots, inspiring us to learn about the Constitution, and the founding principles of our government.   I am honored to serve as co-chair of this effort with her, and am looking forward to seeing her as Power Player of the Week this Sunday!

Regarding tonight’s Federalist Paper No. 36:

Barrels of ink in the Federalist Papers were devoted to taxes – a sensitive subject for our forefathers.  Taxation without representation had been one of the causes of the American Revolution, and Publius obviously saw taxation as an issue that could derail ratification if not sufficiently understood.

Taxes are no less sensitive an issue for the public today.  Many a candidate has lost an election after being accused of raising taxes, wanting to raise taxes, or not paying his taxes!

In Federalist 36, Hamilton closes out a seven part series of explaining the federal and the states’ role in taxation, as well as defends the Constitution and the structure and powers set out for taxation.  Again and again through this seven part series it is evident that Hamilton could not have predicted the size and scope of today’s federal government, and the tax burden it puts on the American people.

Hamilton had envisioned minimal state taxes:

“When the particular debts of the States are done away, and their expenses come to be limited within their natural compass, the possibility almost of interference will vanish. A small land tax will answer the purpose of the States, and will be their most simple and most fit resource.”

However, states tax much more than land these days!  Only nine states don’t have a state income tax!  What happened?  One contributing factor to the ever increasing taxes at the state level are unfunded federal mandates, another way the federal government has crept slowly across Constitutional boundaries. As I was doing a bit of research for tonight’s essay, I stumbled upon a fascinating website:

The National Conference of State Legislators, Standing Committee on Budgets and Review has a section on their website called Mandate Monitor .  Unfunded federal mandates are tracked and catalogued on this site.  The most recent edition of the unfunded federal mandates list can be downloaded on this link:

Check out this weblink and list to see how much and what kind of burden our federal government is putting on the states!

As Jesse reminded us tonight, and as Janine likes to say: “Knowledge is power!”

Please continue to spread the word about Constituting America, our 90 in 90: History Holds the Key to the Future Blog, and the We The People 9.17 Contest for Kids! Please invite your friends to join us in our educational journey!

Thank you to all who are participating with us on the 90 in 90 Blog! Your voice is important, and we thank you for your gift of time, and your well thought out contributions.

Good night and God Bless,

Cathy Gillespie

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

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