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Whereas our
quota, to keep the payments equal with the expenses, is two hundred
and fifty thousand pounds. Consequently, there is a deficiency of one
hundred and eighty-five thousand seven hundred and twenty pounds, and
the same proportion of defect, according to the several quotas, happens
in every other state. And this defect is the cause why the army has been
so indifferently fed, clothed and paid. It is the cause, likewise, of
the nerveless state of the campaign, and the insecurity of the country.
Now, if a tax equal to thirteen and fourpence per head, will remove all
these difficulties, and make people secure in their homes, leave them to
follow the business of their stores and farms unmolested, and not only
drive out but keep out the enemy from the country; and if the neglect of
raising this sum will let them in, and produce the evils which might be
prevented--on which side, I ask, does the wisdom, interest and policy
lie? Or, rather, would it not be an insult to reason, to put the
question? The sum, when proportioned out according to the several
abilities of the people, can hurt no one, but an inroad from the enemy
ruins hundreds of families.

Look at the destruction done in this city [Philadelphia]. The many
houses totally destroyed, and others damaged; the waste of fences in
the country round it, besides the plunder of furniture, forage,
and provisions. I do not suppose that half a million sterling would
reinstate the sufferers; and, does this, I ask, bear any proportion to
the expense that would make us secure? The damage, on an average, is
at least ten pounds sterling per head, which is as much as thirteen
shillings and fourpence per head comes to for fifteen years. The same
has happened on the frontiers, and in the Jerseys, New York, and other
places where the enemy has been--Carolina and Georgia are likewise
suffering the same fate.

That the people generally do not understand the insufficiency of the
taxes to carry on the war, is evident, not only from common observation,
but from the construction of several petitions which were presented to
the Assembly of this state, against the recommendation of Congress of
the 18th of March last, for taking up and funding the present currency
at forty to one, and issuing new money in its stead. The prayer of the
petition was, that the currency might be appreciated by taxes (meaning
the present taxes) and that part of the taxes be applied to the support
of the army, if the army could not be otherwise supported. Now it could
not have been possible for such a petition to have been presented,
had the petitioners known, that so far from part of the taxes being
sufficient for the support of the whole of them falls three-fourths
short of the year's expenses.

Before I proceed to propose methods by which a sufficiency of money
may be raised, I shall take a short view of the general state of the
country.

Notwithstanding the weight of the war, the ravages of the enemy, and the
obstructions she has thrown in the way of trade and commerce, so soon
does a young country outgrow misfortune, that America has already
surmounted many that heavily oppressed her. For the first year or two
of the war, we were shut up within our ports, scarce venturing to look
towards the ocean. Now our rivers are beautified with large and valuable
vessels, our stores filled with merchandise, and the produce of the
country has a ready market, and an advantageous price. Gold and silver,
that for a while seemed to have retreated again within the bowels of
the earth, have once more risen into circulation, and every day adds new
strength to trade, commerce and agriculture. In a pamphlet, written
by Sir John Dalrymple, and dispersed in America in the year 1775, he
asserted that two twenty-gun ships, nay, says he, tenders of those
ships, stationed between Albermarle sound and Chesapeake bay, would shut
up the trade of America for 600 miles. How little did Sir John Dalrymple
know of the abilities of America!

While under the government of Britain, the trade of this country was
loaded with restrictions. It was only a few foreign ports which we were
allowed to sail to. Now it is otherwise; and allowing that the quantity
of trade is but half what it was before the war, the case must show the
vast advantage of an open trade, because the present quantity under her
restrictions could not support itself; from which I infer, that if half
the quantity without the restrictions can bear itself up nearly, if not
quite, as well as the whole when subject to them, how prosperous must
the condition of America be when the whole shall return open with all
the world. By the trade I do not mean the employment of a merchant only,
but the whole interest and business of the country taken collectively.

It is not so much my intention, by this publication, to propose
particular plans for raising money, as it is to show the necessity and
the advantages to be derived from it. My principal design is to form the
disposition of the people to the measures which I am fully persuaded it
is their interest and duty to adopt, and which need no other force to
accomplish them than the force of being felt. But as every hint may
be useful, I shall throw out a sketch, and leave others to make such
improvements upon it as to them may appear reasonable.

The annual sum wanted is two millions, and the average rate in which it
falls, is thirteen shillings and fourpence per head.

Suppose, then, that we raise half the sum and sixty thousand pounds
over. The average rate thereof will be seven shillings per head.

In this case we shall have half the supply that we want, and an annual
fund of sixty thousand pounds whereon to borrow the other million;
because sixty thousand pounds is the interest of a million at six per
cent.; and if at the end of another year we should be obliged, by the
continuance of the war, to borrow another million, the taxes will be
increased to seven shillings and sixpence; and thus for every million
borrowed, an additional tax, equal to sixpence per head, must be levied.

The sum to be raised next year will be one million and sixty thousand
pounds: one half of which I would propose should be raised by duties on
imported goods, and prize goods, and the other half by a tax on landed
property and houses, or such other means as each state may devise.

But as the duties on imports and prize goods must be the same in all the
states, therefore the rate per cent., or what other form the duty shall
be laid, must be ascertained and regulated by Congress, and ingrafted in
that form into the law of each state; and the monies arising therefrom
carried into the treasury of each state. The duties to be paid in gold
or silver.

There are many reasons why a duty on imports is the most convenient
duty or tax that can be collected; one of which is, because the whole is
payable in a few places in a country, and it likewise operates with the
greatest ease and equality, because as every one pays in proportion to
what he consumes, so people in general consume in proportion to what
they can afford; and therefore the tax is regulated by the abilities
which every man supposes himself to have, or in other words, every man
becomes his own assessor, and pays by a little at a time, when it suits
him to buy. Besides, it is a tax which people may pay or let alone
by not consuming the articles; and though the alternative may have no
influence on their conduct, the power of choosing is an agreeable thing
to the mind. For my own part, it would be a satisfaction to me was there
a duty on all sorts of liquors during the war, as in my idea of things
it would be an addition to the pleasures of society to know, that when
the health of the army goes round, a few drops, from every glass becomes
theirs. How often have I heard an emphatical wish, almost accompanied by
a tear, "Oh, that our poor fellows in the field had some of this!" Why
then need we suffer under a fruitless sympathy, when there is a way to
enjoy both the wish and the entertainment at once.

But the great national policy of putting a duty upon imports is, that it
either keeps the foreign trade in our own hands, or draws something for
the defence of the country from every foreigner who participates in it
with us.

Thus much for the first half of the taxes, and as each state will best
devise means to raise the other half, I shall confine my remarks to the
resources of this state.

The quota, then, of this state, of one million and sixty thousand
pounds, will be one hundred and thirty-three thousand two hundred and
fifty pounds, the half of which is sixty-six thousand six hundred
and twenty-five pounds; and supposing one fourth part of Pennsylvania
inhabited, then a tax of one bushel of wheat on every twenty acres of
land, one with another, would produce the sum, and all the present taxes
to cease. Whereas, the tithes of the bishops and clergy in England,
exclusive of the taxes, are upwards of half a bushel of wheat on every
single acre of land, good and bad, throughout the nation.

In the former part of this paper, I mentioned the militia fines, but
reserved speaking of the matter, which I shall now do. The ground I
shall put it upon is, that two millions sterling a year will support
a sufficient army, and all the expenses of war and government, without
having recourse to the inconvenient method of continually calling men
from their employments, which, of all others, is the most expensive and
the least substantial. I consider the revenues created by taxes as the
first and principal thing, and fines only as secondary and accidental
things. It was not the intention of the militia law to apply the fines
to anything else but the support of the militia, neither do they produce
any revenue to the state, yet these fines amount to more than all the
taxes: for taking the muster-roll to be sixty thousand men, the fine
on forty thousand who may not attend, will be sixty thousand pounds
sterling, and those who muster, will give up a portion of time equal
to half that sum, and if the eight classes should be called within the
year, and one third turn out, the fine on the remaining forty thousand
would amount to seventy-two millions of dollars, besides the fifteen
shillings on every hundred pounds of property, and the charge of seven
and a half per cent.



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