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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 12

Financial Facts and Views

Financial Facts and Views.

What this War is. likely to cost.—It is quite impossible to foresee; but here are some indices of the result:—

page 553
The appropriations of the late special Congress were—
For the Army $196,036,305
For the Navy 63,384,230
Contingent for the War Department 255,455
Total $259,675,990

Solely for war purposes nearly $260,000,000, and only $535,400 for other purposes; or one dollar for civil purposes, to more than five hundred for war operations! There were voted at a dash $500,000,000, and authority to raise one million troops, with the assurance of men best informed on the subject, that the support of only half this number would cost not less than a million dollars a day. The Secretary of the Treasury admitted, that such were likely to be our expenses; and the man chiefly charged in Congress with providing funds for the government, frankly said we were then expending one million and a quarter a day.

Now, let us calculate the result to the whole country. The rebels must spend about as much as ourselves; and, if so, this would make the amount of direct expenses nearly a thousand millions a year. Add to this one million of able-bodied men withdrawn from the productive labor, at only half a dollar a day, ($5175,000,000,) and not less than thrice as much more lost by the suspension or derangement of business, ($5525,000,000,) and we have a grand total of some $1,700,000,000 a year. Reduce this one half, and how vast an amount to waste on rebellion! How long before such a drain would exhaust us, ere such a war-policy would ruin us!

In how many ways Rebellion taxes us.—There is the tax on tea, coffee, and sugar, the common, if not necessary articles of life, to the tune of many millions a year, with a direct tax of $20,000,000 more. There is scarce a farmer, mechanic, or common day laborer in all the land that does not now feel, and will not long feel, the effects on his income. Some articles have fallen one half in value, and the sum total of loss in this way through the land must be immense. The tax of three per cent, on all incomes above $800 per annum. In a thousand ways will this rebellion come home to us all. Well does one of our editors say, "if we will have wars, we must pay for them; and this war, when ended, will give us all something to chew upon for life-time."

Loss from Southern Debts.—The war is made an excuse for not paying this; and the total amount due from the Seceded States to Northern merchants and capitalists, is supposed to be more than Two hundred millions. They gave generous credits, trusting almost everybody that came from the Land of Cotton; and their reward is to be stript of large fortunes, and perhaps sent adrift in the decline of life, bankrupts, with hardly a chance of recuperation.

How much the whole Loss.—None can yet tell, but probably more in the end than the market value of every slave in the land; and better for us, if we could, to have purchased escape from the evils now upon us by paying fully for all the four millions now in the South.