Federalist No. 21 and Federalist No. 22 close the enumeration of the deficiencies of the United States under the Articles of Confederation. The argument that the federal government was impotent under the articles is well known but I did pick up two important points here. From Federalist 21:
It is a signal advantage of taxes on articles of consumption, that they contain in their own nature a security against excess. They prescribe their own limit; which cannot be exceeded without defeating the end proposed, that is, an extension of the revenue. . . If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. (emphasis added)
This is still true today of taxes on consumption, but especially the part I emphasized can be applied to our income tax (which is not a consumption tax for those who are not familiar with that term). When we look at the lengths that people will go to in their efforts to avoid paying their income taxes it indicates that the rate of taxation, especially at higher levels of income where more efforts are made to elude the taxes, is outside the appropriate bounds. Those who would argue that those rates are necessary (or even insufficient) tofund our government might want to consider the possibility that this truth might be an indication that our government spending itsself is also outside the bounds of moderation or necessity.
In Federalist 22 I see the arguments that lead to the Electoral College and a bicameral legislature taking shape and I also find the less common argument against the Articles of Confederation – namely that the Articles of Confederation did not provide any kind of judiciary system to interpret the laws. Today that would be inconceivable.
After reading about the necessity of forming a new government rather than simply trying to modify the existing confederation I was left to wonder if it might not be time again for us to convene a convention of people representing their fellow citizens for the purpose of examining our Constitution and determining if our government and Constitution as presently constituted are still consistent with the principles of good government and if either or both of them should be reformed. Personally, I would expect an answer from such a convention to be that the Constitution is fine, but might need to be updated for the purpose of bringing the government organization back into alignment with the law that it is designed to support.