The meaning of, and background to, the well-known expression "Nothing is certain but death and taxes."
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Oct 2, 2012 Wordplay
N I Certain B D A T
Nothing is certain but death and taxes
This proverb appears to have its root in Daniel Defoe's Political History of the Devil (1726):
"Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed."
The first reference found in the USA is in a letter Benjamin Franklin wrote to Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Leroy dated November 13, 1789:
"Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
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