"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." Most of us already know that Benjamin Franklin made this statement in The Works of Benjamin Franklin (1817).
But Daniel Defoe was actually the first to broach this subject in writing, having made the comment "Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed." in his book The Political History of the Devil, which was originally printed in 1726.
Later, Margaret Mitchell brought the disheartening subject back to the forefront in her epic novel Gone with the Wind. "Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them."
How profound. How acerbic. How utterly depressing!