In Federalist Paper #33, Concerning the General Power of Taxation, Hamilton defends the provisions of the new Constitution that gave the Federal government power to tax and proclaimed laws made under the authority of the United States as the supreme law of the land against opponents who claimed that these clauses granted too much power to the national government.
Specifically, the Constitution says:
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18
“To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”
Article 6, Clause 2
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”
Hamilton responds that both clauses are common-sense provisions necessary for any functioning government. Hamilton argues further that granting this authority to the national government does not allow it to enact laws that violate the constitution.
Rather, it merely enables it to perform the basic functions of any government.
He also argues that the Federal government will be more responsible with this power than state governments, because the Federal government will be held accountable by the people of all the states, while state governments are only accountable to the people of their own state.
In conclusion, Hamilton argues that the Federal government’s power to tax is a necessary and proper power that will not violate the Constitution.
Credit for the summary and analysis of Essay #33 is given to Brittany Nelson and Christopher Higgins (second revision 09/15/2011). Weinbloom, Elizabeth ed. “The Federalist Papers Essay 33 Summary and Analysis”. GradeSaver, 30 December 2011 Web. 30 January 2019.