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What the labouring people of that country earn, they
apply to their own use, and to the education of their children, and
do not pay it away in taxes as fast as they earn it, to support Court
extravagance, and a long enormous list of place-men and pensioners;
and besides this, they have learned the manly doctrine of reverencing
themselves, and consequently of respecting each other; and they laugh
at those imaginary beings called Kings and Lords, and all the fraudulent
trumpery of Court.

When place-men and pensioners, or those who expect to be such, are
lavish in praise of a government, it is not a sign of its being a good
one. The pension list alone in England (see sir John Sinclair's History
of the Revenue, p. 6, of the Appendix) is one hundred and seven thousand
four hundred and four pounds, _which is more than the expences of the
whole Government of America amount to_. And I am now more convinced than
before, that the offer that was made to me of a thousand pounds for the
copy-right of the second part of the Rights of Man, together with the
remaining copyright of the first part, was to have effected, by a quick
suppression, what is now attempted to be done by a prosecution. The
connection which the person, who made the offer, has with the King's
printing-office, may furnish part of the means of inquiring into this
affair, when the ministry shall please to bring their prosecution to
issue.(1) But to return to my subject.--

I have said in the second part of the _Rights of Man_, and I repeat
it here, that the service of any man, whether called King, President,
Senator, Legislator, or any thing else, cannot be worth more to any
country, in the regular routine of office, than ten thousand pounds per
annum. We have a better man in America, and more of a gentleman, than
any King I ever knew of, who does not occasion half that ex-pence; for,
though the salary is fixed at 5625 he does not accept it, and it is
only the incidental expences that are paid out of it.(2) The name by
which a man is called is of itself but an empty thing. It is worth and
character alone which can render him valuable, for without these, Kings,
and Lords, and Presidents, are but jingling names.

But without troubling myself about Constitutions of Government, I have
shewn in the Second Part of _Rights of Man_, that an alliance may be
formed between England, France, and America, and that the expences of
government in England may be put back to one million and a half, viz.:

Civil expence of Government...... 500,000L.
Army............................. 500,000
Navy............................. 500,000
----------
1,500,000L.

And even this sum is fifteen times greater than the expences of
government are in America; and it is also greater than the whole peace
establishment of England amounted to about an hundred years ago. So much
has the weight and oppression of taxes increased since the Revolution,
and especially since the year 1714.

1 At Paine's trial, Chapman, the printer, in answer to fa
question of the Solicitor General, said: "I made him three
separate offers in the different stages of the work; the
first, I believe, was a hundred guineas, the second five
hundred, and the last was a thousand."--_Editor_.

2 Error. See also ante, and in vol. ii., p. 435.
Washington had retracted his original announcement, and
received his salary regularly.--_Editor_.

To shew that the sum of 500,000L. is sufficient to defray all civil
expences of government, I have, in that work, annexed the following
estimate for any country of the same extent as England.--

In the first place, three hundred Representatives, fairly elected, are
sufficient for all the purposes to which Legislation can apply, and
preferable to a larger number.

If, then, an allowance, at the rate of 500L. per annum be made to every
Representative, deducting for non-attendance, the expence, if the whole
number attended six months each year, would be.......75,000L.

The Official Departments could not possibly exceed the following number,
with the salaries annexed, viz.:



[ILLUSTRATION: Table]

Three offices at
10,000L.
each
30,000

Ten ditto at
5,000
u
50,000

Twenty ditto at
2,000
u
40,000

Forty ditto at
1,000
it
40,000

Two hundred ditto at
500
u
100,000

Three hundred ditto at 200
u
60,000

Five hundred ditto at
100
u
50,000

Seven hundred ditto at 75
it
52,500

497,500L.


If a nation chose, it might deduct four per cent, from all the offices,
and make one of twenty thousand pounds per annum, and style the person
who should fill it, King or Madjesty, (1) or give him any other title.

Taking, however, this sum of one million and a half, as an abundant
supply for all the expences of government under any form whatever,
there will remain a surplus of nearly six millions and a half out of
the present taxes, after paying the interest of the national debt; and
I have shewn in the Second Part of _Rights of Man_, what appears to me,
the best mode of applying the surplus money; for I am now speaking of
expences and savings, and not of systems of government.

1 A friend of Paine advised him against this pun, as too
personal an allusion to George the Third, to whom however
much has been forgiven on account of his mental infirmity.
Yorke, in his account of his visit to Paine, 1802, alludes
to his (Paine's) anecdotes "of humor and benevolence"
concerning George III.--_Editor_.

I have, in the first place, estimated the poor-rates at two millions
annually, and shewn that the first effectual step would be to abolish
the poor-rates entirely (which would be a saving of two millions to the
house-keepers,) and to remit four millions out of the surplus taxes to
the poor, to be paid to them in money, in proportion to the number of
children in each family, and the number of aged persons.

I have estimated the number of persons of both sexes in England, of
fifty years of age and upwards, at 420,000, and have taken one third of
this number, viz. 140,000, to be poor people.

To save long calculations, I have taken 70,000 of them to be upwards of
fifty years of age, and under sixty, and the others to be sixty years
and upwards; and to allow six pounds per annum to the former class, and
ten pounds per annum to the latter. The expence of which will be,

Seventy thousand persons at 6L. per annum..... 420,000L.
Seventy thousand persons at 10L. per annum.... 700,000
-----------
1,120,000L.

There will then remain of the four millions, 2,880,000L. I have stated
two different methods of appropriating this money. The one is to pay it
in proportion to the number of children in each family, at the rate of
three or four pounds per annum for each child; the other is to apportion
it according to the expence of living in different counties; but in
either of these cases it would, together with the allowance to be
made to the aged, completely take off taxes from one third of all the
families in England, besides relieving all the other families from the
burthen of poor-rates.

The whole number of families in England, allotting five souls to each
family, is one million four hundred thousand, of which I take one third,
_viz_. 466,666 to be poor families who now pay four millions of taxes,
and that the poorest pays at least four guineas a year; and that the
other thirteen millions are paid by the other two-thirds. The plan,
therefore, as stated in the work, is, first, to remit or repay, as is
already stated, this sum of four millions to the poor, because it is
impossible to separate them from the others in the present mode of
collecting taxes on articles of consumption; and, secondly, to abolish
the poor-rates, the house and window-light tax, and to change the
commutation tax into a progressive tax on large estates, the particulars
of all which are set forth in the work, to which I desire Mr. Adam to
refer for particulars. I shall here content myself with saying, that to
a town of the population of Manchester, it will make a difference in its
favour, compared with the present state of things, of upwards of fifty
thousand pounds annually, and so in proportion to all other places
throughout the nation. This certainly is of more consequence than that
the same sums should be collected to be afterwards spent by riotous
and profligate courtiers, and in nightly revels at the Star and Garter
tavern, Pall Mall.

I will conclude this part of my letter with an extract from the Second
Part of the _Rights of Man_, which Mr. Dundas (a man rolling in luxury
at the expence of the nation) has branded with the epithet of "wicked."

"By the operation of this plan, the poor laws, those instruments
of civil torture, will be superseded, and the wasteful ex-pence of
litigation prevented. The hearts of the humane will not be shocked by
ragged and hungry children, and persons of seventy and eighty years of
age begging for bread. The dying poor will not be dragged from place to
place to breathe their last, as a reprisal of parish upon parish. Widows
will have a maintenance for their children, and not be carted away, on
the death of their husbands, like culprits and criminals; and children
will no longer be considered as increasing the distresses of their
parents. The haunts of the wretched will be known, because it will be
to their advantage; and the number of petty crimes, the offspring of
poverty and distress, will be lessened. The poor as well as the rich
will then be interested in the support of Government, and the cause and
apprehension of riots and tumults will cease. Ye who sit in ease, and
solace yourselves in plenty, and such there are in Turkey and Russia,
as well as in England, and who say to yourselves, _are we not well off_
have ye thought of these things? When ye do, ye will cease to speak and
feel for yourselves alone."

After this remission of four millions be made, and the poor-rates
and houses and window-light tax be abolished, and the commutation
tax changed, there will still remain nearly one million and a half
of surplus taxes; and as by an alliance between England, France and
America, armies and navies will, in a great measure, be rendered
unnecessary; and as men who have either been brought up in, or long
habited to, those lines of life, are still citizens of a nation in
common with the rest, and have a right to participate in all plans of
national benefit, it is stated in that work (_Rights of Man_, Part ii.)
to apply annually 507,000L.



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