Schemes for mending the currency are as plentiful as blackberries.
None of them seem to command universal assent, although all of them are worthy of consideration.--The one reported to the House of Delegates by Mr. Buford
, proposes to raise $400,000,000 by joint subscription of the States, and of individuals and corporations, the debt to be funded, and not subject to taxation.
This is objected to on the score of its creating in our midst a species of privileged property, the holders of which must, of necessity, become privileged persons.
This, it is alleged, is contrary to the spirit of our institutions, and is calculated to excite the hatred of our people and by consequence to bring on the risk of repudiation.
Another objection to it is insisted on, viz: that it requires the assent of all the States, which it is not likely to get, or to get at so late a period as to render it of no value.
, of Fauquier
, has a scheme before the Senate, the features of which we do not understand well enough to attempt an explanation.
A writer in the Enquirer,
who hails from Georgia
, proposes a forced loan.
We ourselves have long since proposed a Confederate loan, based upon the principle of the National Loan
, but it seems to have met with little attention.
We very much fear, from what we have seen and heard within the last few weeks, that any plan, to be successful, must be compulsory.
In the Whig,
of yesterday, Mr. Alexander H. H. Stuart
comes forward with a plan of his own. He supposes the whole property of the Confederacy
, within the reach of Confederate taxation, to be worth $4,500,000,000, specie valuation, or about $20,000,000,000 in Confederate currency.
He proposes to lay an assessment upon this property of twelve per cent., specie valuation.
This would yield $540,000,000. Of this six per cent., or $90,000,000, is to be considered a tax, and the other ten per cent., or $450,000,000, is to be considered a loan, and funded.
The loan will extinguish enough of the currency to leave $200,000,000, all we have need of, in circulation, while the surplus of $90,000,000 will be left for other purposes.
All these plans concur in insisting upon the absolute necessity of stopping the issue of Treasury notes.
That is regarded as absolutely indispensable by everybody.
There is one plan better than any of these, were we blessed with a Congress that had the nerve to pass it. It is to lay a tax which shall bring into the treasury at once enough money to retire all the treasury notes now afloat, or afloat at the time of the passage, with the exception of only so much as is necessary for the business of the country — that is, according to the estimate of Mr. Memminger
, about $150,000,000. When this money shall have been brought in, let it be destroyed and not funded.
The system of funding is a radical defect in every plan yet proposed — our own among them — and was only adopted, we are persuaded, because Congressmen were afraid to levy the necessary taxes.
It enhances more than anything else the distrust in Confederate securities which begins to be prevalent.
We do not believe that a debt accumulated in this way will ever be repudiated; but men of capital are proverbially the most timid of all God's creatures,--they not only have their doubts, but communicate them to others.
Besides, we should like to see the Confederacy
start upon the great career, to which undoubtedly it is destined, untrammeled in any respect whatever.
A tax of three per cent. on the value of the property of the Confederacy
, estimated in our currency at $20,000,000,000, will yield $600,000,000. This is more than enough to retire all that we wish to retire (about $450,000,000) and leave $200,000,000 in circulation.
As the present condition of the currency arose from the ignoble fears of Congress — their fears for their popularity — they could make atonement for their former sins in no manner so appropriate and at the same time so effectual.
The disease is alarming; but it is far from being beyond reach of remedy, and no man will deny that this is the remedy.
We are confident that members mistake the character of their constituents.
They prefer a tax for the purpose of redeeming the currency to burdens laid on for paying the interest of a huge national debt.