A big sum.
--The New York Tribune
, correcting a statement of the New York Commercial
, says that the Yankees
have five hundred thousand men under arms — that the soldiers of the old United States army cost at least $1,000 per man — and that it is not in the least probable that the Yankee
army will cost less per man. It, therefore, sets down the entire expense of the Yankee Government
, for the army alone, at $500,000,000 per annum It gives $200,000,000 more to the navy and the expeditions on foot or in contemplation, and puts the whole war expenditure down at $700,000,000 per annum.
This is a rousing sum — at least it seems so to us; but the Tribune
speaks of it as though there were nothing strange or unusual about it. It could hardly speak with more indifference of the receipts and expenditures of a small Yankee jobbing store.
Where it is to come from we are not informed.
certainly have but little foreign trade at present, and are not likely to have more than they now possess for some time to come at least.
It is hardly probable that the negroes they have set to picking out and ginning cotton on Port Royal Island
will furnish enough of that article to bring any large importation in return from any country it may be carried to, and they have nothing of their own but grain and cattle to send abroad.
Of course, the custom house will not furnish such a sum, and they must raise it by taxes.
But will the people pay these taxes?
Not unless soldiers be the tax gatherers.
Even great nations, like Great Britain
, will, according to Sidney Smith
, bear a very heavy load of infamy, rather than a very light burden of taxation.
Tory writers maintain that the indisposition to pay taxes for the most necessary wants of the Government
, cost Charles This life.
The Commons certainly refused to grant him supplies, and he was compelled to raise them on his own authority, in order to carry on the Government
The Whig writers say it is true that Parliament withheld supplies in order to make him concede certain rights which he withheld.
Be that as it may, taxation seems to have lain at the bottom of the ‘"Grand Rebellion,"’ as Clarendon
called it, or, as the Whigs
call it, the ‘"Glorious Revolution."’ When Cromwell
expelled the Rump, and took matters into his own hands, he collected taxes easily enough, it is true; and he did not wait for any Parliament or Council to lay them.
He laid them himself, and employed soldiers to collect them.
Now, if such a people as the English
then were, will smash a Government to which they had become accustomed by the habits of six hundred ears, rather than pay a trading tax, what will such a pack of thieves as the Yankee
nation not do to get rid of such a burden as $700,000,000 entails.
At eight per cent., the interest alone will amount to $50,000,000 a year.
And that interest will be doubled every year: for assuredly they will spend each succeeding year as much as they spent the year before.
How is Yankee doodledam to pay, that's the question?
Not by taxes; we are sure.
In 1819 the British Government
spent £127,000,000 sterling, that is to say about $630,000,000. This was the year the battle of Waterloo
was fought, and it was that of the largest expenditure Great Britain
ever made in a single year.
She had in service, on land and at sea, more than a million of men, and she subsidized besides the million and a half of Russians, Prussians, Austrians, Swedes, Bavarians, Saxons, Dutch
, &c., that entered Paris
after the fall of Napoleon
Her expenditure was considered the most enormous that was ever prompted by the madness and ambition of a minister.
And yet it fell short of Yankee extravagance in the first year of Yankee rule pure and simple, $70,000,000.--There is, moreover, this difference between the two cases. Only about one-fourth of the British
money, about £36,000,000, or about $180,000,000, was borrowed money.
About £75,000,000 sterling was raised by taxation, and the rest was an unexpended balance of the preceding year.
, on the contrary, borrow every dollar they spend — They go the whole figure.
They contract a loan for $700,000,000 at a dash, and agree to pay eight per cent for it.
We have before expressed the opinion that this lavish expenditure was a part of Seward
's policy, designed to make the Yankee
cities feel the less the withdrawal of the Southern
trade, by the introduction of these enormous sums, lavished among them for army and navy stores, and a general system of bribery.
By this plan it is hoped to reconcile them to the war, and to employ the swarms of idle hands that would otherwise convert the cities into so many scenes of pillage and slaughter.
How long this can last remains to be seen.
That many thousands will become interested in the public debt thus accumulating, and that the readiest way to extort taxes from them will be to give as many as possible an interest in this debt, is very probable.
But there must be a settlement in some way, some time or other.