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e of duty which can be laid for the bona ! purpose of collecting money for the supt of government. To raise the duties higher n that point, and thereby diminish the amount lectcd, is to levy them for protection merely, I not for revenue. As long, then, as Conss may gradually increase the rate of duly i given article, and the revenue is increased such increase of duty, they are within the fnue standard. When they go beyond that it, and as they increase the duties, the reve is diminished or destroyed, the act ceases ■ve for its object the raising of money to port government, but is for protection mere
rhe object of the above reasoning, if we
able to comprehend it, is to prove that rrtain low tariff of, say, fifteen or twenper centum, will produce more revenue n a high tariff of forty or fifty per tnm—that the precise rate of duty ich will produce the most revenue may ascertained by actual experiment, and 1 rate, whatever it shall be found to be, he revenue standard. Now this is all re hypothesis and delusion, without a Fie fact to support it. There is no such enue standard, nor is it true that a low ff will product as much revenue as a ber one, except where the low tariff vents smuggling; and we are much taken if the President's own figures do
prove this. The President and his retary appear to have adopted, as the is of their system of finance, Dean ift's celebrated paradox, that in political hmetic two and two do not make four. f the President means to say, that w tariff of five or ten per centum on tsc cotton fabrics, will produce more enuc from those fabrics than a high ff of fifty or one hundred per centum i!d do, then he asserts a fact which cdy ever denied or disputed; for
high tariff would be equivalent to iroliibition of the import of the arti
and would therefore produce no revei at all. If this was what the Presit meant, it was a mere truism, and rered no argument to sustain it. But if meaning was, that an average tariff of rcty per centum on the whole importm, will produce more revenue than an rage tariff of forty per centum on the ole importation, then he asserts a pal»le and plain absurdity, equivalent to trting that the half is greater than the
whole. The President's parade of argument, therefore, is either for the purpose of proving a truism which nobody denies, or an absurdity which no sensible man believes.
There is a well established principle of political economy, which neither the President, nor the Secretary of the Treasury, nor indeed any of their sect of political economists, seem ever to have learned; which shows, if not the absurdity, at least the futility of their idea of a revenue standard of duties on different articles of import.
The exports of a nation always do, and always should, control the imports, without regard to the rate of the duties. No nation should ever import more than the net proceeds of its exports. If this rule is violated, disaster immediately follows, as our own experience abundantly proves. A government, therefore, which encourages its citizens to import more than the net proceeds of their exports, violates a fundamental principle of political economy. The imports of a nation, however, always do, and always must, exceed by seven or eight per centum, the nominal exports. This excess of imports is caused by the profits, or net proceeds, of the exports above the valuation. Every merchant who exports a cargo of goods expects to realize, not only their original cost, but a profit on them. He expects to exchange his goods for others of more value to him, or for money; and these must be imported or there is an end to commerce. When a nation has got its proportion of the precious metals adjusted to its amount of property, there can be no profit on the importation of specie, because it is worth more abroad than at home, and there will be a profit on the importation of goods and exportation of money. Now, unless a high tariff on imports will prevent the export and sale of our surplus products, to those who are willing to give a good price for them, the rate of duty on the proceeds will not prevent them from being imported. So long, then, as our exports amount to a hundred millions of dollars a year, under a tariff thai shall average fifty, or even one hundred per centum, our imports will equal or exceed that amount. It is true that a horizontal tariff of one hundred per centum upon all importations, would entirely exclude a large portion of our present imports—all those that are produced, or could be conveniently produced, in the country; but other articles would be substituted in their place, so as to equal the full amount of our exports. The only effect, therefore, of a high duty on a given article, such as coarse cotton fabrics, would be to exclude that article and substitute some other in its place to an equal amount and value.
Although an increase of duty, therefore, on cotton goods, may decrease the revenue on that article, yet it does not follow, as the President seems to suppose, that the general revenue will be diminished, although such might be the case. If, for example, the duty on cotton and woollen goods should be increased to such a point as to exclude ten millions of them from our market, and articles paying no duty at all should be substituted in their place, the general amount of revenue would be diminished; but he would be but a shallow politician who could not prevent such a result.
The truth of this theory is proved by the history of every commercial nation in the world. Our imports have exceeded our exports every year since the government was established, with the exception, perhaps, of a single year. The same is true of England, and all other nations, without any regard to the rate of their tariffs. If the advocates of low tariffs will show a single exception to this rule, we will give up the argument.
There is a class of goods, however, upon which high duties will produce less revenue than low duties, although the high duties may not diminish the amount of imports. These are goods of small bulk and great value, such as jewelry, expensive laces, &c. A high duty on such goods would cause them to be smuggled to a great extent, and thus defeat the revenue. But the idea that an average high duty on the staple articles of consumption will prevent them from being imported through the custom-house, is utterly absurd. If it were otherwise, a tariff of two or three hundred per cent, on the transportation of oysters from Baltimore to Cincinnati would prevent them from being consumed in Cincinnati. If our government were to
enact a tariff which should be eqnirakai to an average duty of fifty per cenrtffl upon the whole import of the country i would afford a revenue of fifty millions <i dollars, so long as our exports equalled \ hundred millions of dollars ; and if our exj ports should equal one hundred and fifti millions of dollars, the duties on import would equal seventy-five millions of do! lars. The revenue his always been fomd to rise or fall in amount in proportion 1 the yeneral average has been raited i lowered. The President's own figun will show this.
In his message to Congress in comber, 1845, he states the exports domestic products for the fiscal year ing the 30th June, 1845, to have of the value of ninety-nine and th tenths millions of dollars. (We omit fral tions less than tenths.) The imports i\ consumption for the same year,, were < the value of one hundred and one miUiri of dollars, and the receipts into the Tres ury on the above amount of imports, *i twenty-seven and five-tenths millions I dollars, equal, within a small fraction. • twenty-seven per centum upon the who import of that year. This was under 0 tariff of 1842.
In his message to Congress, (Decern!* 1846,) the President says: "The vsh of the exports for the fiscal year enda the 30th June, 1846, amounted to a hundred and two and one-tenth mi ions of dollars. The imports for census tion for the same year, were of the val of one hundred and ten and three-teri millions of dollars. The duties paid a the Treasury upon the above amount imports, was twenty-six and seven-tent millions of dollars," equal to twenty-fa and a fraction per centum upon the wb< importation for that year. This was & under the tariff of 1842. Although l tariff is the same in different years, vet t average of duties will vary one or twu: centum in different years, in consequet of larger proportions of free iroods. goods paying a low duty, being" impori one year than another.
In his late message the President svn the exports of domestic products for 1 fiscal year ending the 30th of June U atone hundred and fifty and six-ted millions of dollars. The imports for i stic consumption, including specie for same year, were one hundred and sixty *ven-tenths millions of dollars in value, •luding specie, the imports amounted >ne hundred and thirty-eight and fiveihs millions of dollars, the duties upon ich were twenty-three and seven-tenths ions of dollars, equal to fourteen and action per centum upon the whole imtation, including specie. Excluding .ie, which paid no duty, the per centum duty was seventeen and a fraction. ing five months of this fiscal year, tariff of 1842 was in operation, in that time seven and eight-tenths ions of dollars were collected, leaving fifteen and nine-tenths millions to be sctcd under the tariff of 1846. The al average tariff of 1846 is, therefore, od deal less than seventeen per centum; as our cause does not require us to d for trifles, we will allow that the »ge duty under the tariff of 1846 was nteen per centum. This makes the F of 1846 about nine or ten per cent. ;r than the tariff of 1842, and the du paid into the treasury from twelve to in millions of dollars less than they M have been under the tariff of 1842. I 1845 twenty-seven millions of rev! were collected on one hundred and millions of imports. In 1846 twentymillions of revenue were collected on hundred and ten millions of imports, in 1847 but twenty-four millions of nne (we give the benefit of the fracI were collected on one hundred and j-eight and five-tenths millions of ims, exclusive of twenty-two millions of if. This enormous amount of exports consequent imports, was caused by the itiful harvest in this country and the th in Europe, and not in any degree tur tariff; and yet the President and Secretary have the hardihood, not to audacity, to argue before the Ameripeople the superiority of the tariff of B over the tariff of 1842 as a revenue •ure. These high functionaries have only attempted to maintain the supefry of that miserable delusion, which r have christened a revenue tariff, but f have garbled and perverted the reci of the Treasury Department to make n speak favorably of their bantling. A the President tells us that
"The net revenue from customs in the year ending on the 1st of December, 1846, being the last year under the operation of the tariff act of 1842, was 822,971,403 10; and the net revenue from customs during the year ending Dec. 1st, 1847, being the first year under the operation of the tariff act of 1846, was about $31,500,000; being an increase of revenue for the first year, under the tariff act of 1846, of more than §8,500,000 over that of the last year of the tariff of 1842."
But facts are stubborn things, and figures will not lie, even to accommodate the President. The above paragraph could have been put into the President's message for no other purpose but to deceive. The object was to make the people believe that the tariff of '46 was more productive of revenue than the tariff of '42, else why not give the exports and imports for the same period of time? Had these been given it would have appeared that twenty-two and nine-tenths millions of revenue were collected on less than one hundred millions of imports, while only thirty-one and fivetenths millions of revenue were collected on nearly or quite two hundred millions of imports, and nearly the same amount of exports. This is too paltry, if not for the man, at least for the officer who wrote it.
During the first year of the operation of the tariff of 1846, the treasury has lost from twelve to fifteen millions of dollars, which would have been raised under the tariff of 1842. But the President and the free trade sect of politicians will, no doubt, tell us, that whatever the treasury may have lost by a low rate of duty, the people have gained; that if the people have more taxes to pay in consequence of the low rate of duties, they have more to pay with; all of which is as false as their theory.
Among political economists of the old school, with Adam Smith at their head, it was held as a maxim, that whatever taxes were collected upon an article of consumption, whether it was by an excise or an impost, must be ultimately paid by the consumer; so that if twenty-five per cent, of duties were collected on an article imported for consumption, the consumer would have to pay twenty-five per cent, more for it than if no duty had been collected on it. This was a plausible but superficial theory, and it was received and
Excluding specie, the i to one hundred and thii tenths millions of dollar which were twenty-thre millions of dollars, equa. . a fraction per centum upon lit portation, including specie, specie, which paid no duty, tk» of duty was seventeen and a m During five months of tbi the tariff of 1842 was m and in that time seven aaa1 < milhons of dollars were _ but fifteen and nine-tenths _ collected under the tariff rf 1 actual average tariff of 18Mk. x>d deal less than sev ; as our cause does _ od for trifles, we wfll duty under the tfenteen per centum. Hal "T of 1846 about nine or i ■ than the tariff of m#* paid into the treasury in. en millions of dollars* }aa> ild have been under tk»
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