Northern War debts and taxes.
--The Southern people will have more and more reason every day, as time progresses, for felicitating themselves on their escape from the Yankee Union.
When Northern citizens begin to contemplate in earnest the debt which the Washington Government
is now running up for them, and begin to realize the hopelessness of ever restoring the Union
and obtaining the aid of the South
in discharging it, they cannot fail to be filled with dismay.
The expenditures of their Government at this time, on ordinary account, are $80,000,000 a year, by report of their Secretary of the Treasury
Their war expenditures are known to be at least at the rate of $300,000,000 a year, which is raised on eight per cent. bonds, sold at eighty cents in the dollar — that is to say, at the rate of ten per cent. interest, besides the loss of the twenty per cent margin on the bonds, equal to one per cent. a year on twenty-year bonds.
At this rate of eleven per cent per anunm, their war debt will cost the North
$33,000,000 a year for interest and discount, besides the par redemption of the principal.
The ordinary expenditure being $80,000,000 per annum, the people of the North
are saddled with an annual charge of $113,000,000, which must be paid by taxation in some form; and this annual charge will be increased by the sum of thirty-three additional millions for each additional year that the war is protracted.
At present they cannot eke out more than $50,000,000 a year from their tariff and from direct taxation; and there is thus a deficit of sixty-three millions already in their annual accounts, which will be increased to ninety-six millions, one hundred and fifty-nine millions, and so on, should the war be continued one, two or more years longer.
During the continuance of the war, this annual deficit will probably be supplied by sale of bonds; but when peace recurs, it will have to be met by stern taxation; and the predicament of the people having to pay it will be in the last degree unenviable.
The South will find out that they have escaped the most enormous taxation which a free people have ever yet had to endure; and that their secession, in a mere financial point of view, was the happiest deliverance ever vouchsafed to people since Israel crossed the Red Sea
sang her song of triumph.
The London Times
has some very striking remarks upon the frightful rapidity with which the North
is running up its public indebtedness, that are well worthy of Southern attention, and which we copy, substituting dollars for pounds sterling:
"We entreat the reader to observe for a moment what this implies.
Such a course throws all-our borrowing into the shade.
In all the nine years of the American
war, from 1773 to 1783, we only borrowed $520,000,000. In the twenty-two years of the great revolutionary war we averaged less than $200,000,000 a year, and in the tremendous year 1813-14 the loan was but $180,000,000. But this is only half the battle.
The burthen of a load depends not so much on the amount of principal as on the rate of interest.
We borrowed our money even in 1813 at a little above four and a half per cent, and in 1854 at a little above three per cent. The Americans
, however, began by an offer of seven per cent., and are at this moment compelled to pay ten or twelve per cent.
--We find, therefore, that while $300,000,000 annually would be added to their national debt, $30,000,000 annually would be added to the charge of that debt, so that four years and three-quarters of their present expenditure would saddle them with a burthen equal to that which we have incurred in decentury and a half. Mr. Gladstone
has to provide some $115,000,000 to satisfy the public creditors of Great Britain
In the year 1866, if the American
war should be protracted so long, Mr. Chase
's successor will have to provide rather more than that sum for the creditors of the Union
contains a subsequent article, which concludes with the declaration that, if the North
should attempt to defray the cumulating charges of the debt and of the war with money borrowed at these exorbitant rates of interest, they will find themselves engaged in an expenditure ‘"that no country in the world can support."’
The condition of the North
will be a melancholy one indeed.
In addition to the unaccustomed burdon of an unprecedented public debt, they will have lost the prime source of the princely wealth which the South
has poured into their coffers continually for fifty years. They have none of the staples which enter largely into the commerce of the world.
Their export of breadstuffs and provisions is very small, and they will have no employment for that vast shipping that has heretofore been engaged in carrying the immense trade which grew out of and depended upon our Southern staples.
They will have created such a sentiment of hatred and antipathy among the Southern
people, that European
manufactures, and European
merchants, will be constantly preferred to their own. Their shipping will have to rot at their wharves and three-fourths of their factories will have to stop short in their operations.
The channels of princely revenue which formerly poured the wealth of the South
into their lap, will be dried up; and whereas, before, they would have been able to pay the most enormous taxes without feeling them as a burden, they will now be unable to pay even small taxes without difficulty and suffering, much less the prodigious taxes which will fall upon and crush them utterly.
The people of Virginia
will recollect the somewhat lugubrious prophecies of heavy taxation by the Confederate Government with which the advocates of submission were wont, a few months ago, to urge that measure upon them.
It may be granted that secession will cost our people a considerable increase of public taxation; but this public taxation will not, after all, be equal to the voluntary tribute which the North
, under the Union
, was constantly extracting from the South
Be the taxes levied by the Confederacy
ever so heavy, however, they will not be one- half so great as those which our people would have had to pay if we had remained in the Northern Union.
In escaping, the frightful debts so graphically depicted by the London Times
has escaped a dead-fall which would have crushed out forever every spark of vitality in her constitution.