Shorter Verbatim Amity Shlaes: ‘There will be objections [to my cockamamie idea that federal taxes should be collected by the states], of course. The first is that states’ collecting the money isn’t our tradition. It is, actually. Under the Articles of Confederation, the states, not individuals, owed payments to the federal government.”
The fact that when tried under the Articles of Confederation it was a complete fiasco is to Shales presumably a feature rather than a bug — drowning government in a bathtub and all that.
While celebrating the disastrous constitutional order our current Constitution was designed to replace is extreme, fetishizing the discredited arguments of losers in constitutional struggles is pretty much what contemporary Republican constitutionalism consists of. The argument made by the reactionary dissent in NFIB v. Sebelius may seek to effectively overrule McCulloch v. Maryland and contradict the constitutional order created by the New Deal, but it’s not without precedent per se — cf. the jurisprudence of Roger Taney and James McReynolds. Whether this is an attractive vision of the American constitutional order I leave to the reader’s judgment.
…as a commenter notes, in fairness Shlaes’s ideas come from an unimpeachable source: Kevin “Dow 36,000″ Hassett. Who is a Romney adviser.