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for America ; because, he observes, they already raise most of their taxes internally, including this tax. A most curious reafon truly! because their lands are already heavily burthened, he thinks it right to burthen them ftill further. But he will recollect, for surely he cannot be ignorant of it, that the lands of America are not, as in England, let at a rent certain in money, and therefore cannot, as here, be taxed at'à certain pound rate. They value them in gross among themselves; and none but themfelves in their several districts can value them. Without their hearty concurrence and co-operation, it is evident, we cannot advance a step in the affeffing or collecting any land tax. As to the taxes which in fome places the Americans pay by the acre, they are merely duties of regulation : they are small; and to increase them, notwithstanding the secret virtues of a land tax, would be the most effectual means of preventing that cultivation they are intended to promote. Befides, the whole country is heavily in arrear already for land taxes and quit rents. They have different methods of taxation in the different provinces, agreeable to their several local circumstànces. In New England by far the greatest part of their revenue is raised by faculty taxes and capitations. Such is the method in many others. It is obvious that parliament, unaffified by the colonies themfelves, cannot take fo much as a single step in this
mode mode of taxation. Then what tax is it he will impose? Why,* after all the boasting speeches and writings of his faction for these four years, after all the vain expectations which they have held out to a deluded publick, this their great advocate, after twisting the subject every way, after writhing himself in every posture, after knocking at every door, is obliged fairly to abandon every mode of taxation whatsoever in America. * He thinks it the best method for parliament to impose the fum, and reserve the account to itself, leaving the mode of taxation to the colonies. But how and in what proportion? what does the author fay? O, not a single fyllable on this the most material part of the .whole question. Will he, in parliament, undertake to settle the proportions of such payments from Nova Scotia to Nevis, in no fewer than fix and twenty different countries, varying in almost every possible circumstance one from another? if he does, I tell him, he adjourns his revenue to a very long day. If he leaves it to themselves to settle thefe proportions, lie adjourns it to doomsday, ''s
Then what does he get by this method on the side of acquiefcence? will the people of America relish this course, of giving and granting and applying their money, the better because their affemblies are made commiffioners of the taxes ?
* P. 37, 38.
This is far worse than all his former projects; for here, if the assemblies shall refuse, or delay, or be negligent, or fraudulent, in this new-imposed duty, we are wholly without remedy; and neither our custom-house officers, nor our troops, nor our arm. ed ships can be of the leaft use in the collection. No idea can be more contemptible (I will not call it an oppreffive one, the harshness is lost in the folly) than that of proposing to get any revenue from the Americans but by their freeft and most chearful consent. Most monied men know their own interest right well; and are as able as any financier, in the valuation of risks. Yet I think this financier will scarcely find that adventurer hardy enough, at any premium, to advance a shilling upon a vote of such taxes. Let him name the man, or set of men, that would do it. This is the only proof of the value of revenues; what would an interested man rate them at? His fubscription would be at ninety-nine per cent. discount the very first day of its opening. Here is our only national security from ruin; a security upon which no man in his fenfes would venture a shilling of his fortune. Yet he puts down those articles as gravely in his fupply for his peace establishment, as if the money had been all fairly lodged in the exchequer,
Very handsome indeed! but if supply is to be got in such a manner, farewell the lucrative mystery of finance ! If you are to be credited for savings, without thewing how, why, or with what safety, they are to be made; and for revenues, without specifying on what articles, or by what means, or at what expence, they are to be collected; there is not a clerk in a publick office who may not outbid this author, or his friend, for the department of chancellor of the exchequer; not an apprentice in the city, that will not strike out, with the same advantages, the fame, or a much larger, plan of supply.
Here is the whole of what belongs to the author's scheme for saving us from impending destruction. Take it even in its most favourable point of view, as a thing within poffibility; and imagine what must be the wisdom of this gentle- . man, or his opinion of ours, who could first think of representing this nation in such a state, as ng friend can look upon but with horroyr, and scarce an enemy without compassion, and afterwards of diverting himself with such inadequate, impracti- . 1 cable, puerile methods for our reljef? If these had been the dreams of some unknown, unnamed, and nameless writer, they would excite no alarm; their weakness had been an antidote to their malignity. But as they are universally believed to be written by the hand, or what amounts to the same thing,
under the immediate direction, of a perfon who has been in the management of the highest affairs, and may soon be in the fame fituation, I think it is not to be reckoned amongft our greatest consolations, that the yet remaining power of this kingdom is to be employed in an attempt to realize notions that are at once so frivolous, and so full of danger That consideration will justify me in dwelling a little longer on the difficulties of the nation, and the solutions of our author. ; . is *. I am then persuaded that he cannot be in the leaft alarmed about our situation, let his outcry be what he pleases. I will give him a reason for my Copinion, which, I think, 'he cannot difpute. All that he bestows upon the nation, which it does not poffefs without him, and fuppofing it all fure money, amounts to no more than a sum of £.300,000 à year.' This, he thinks, will do the bufiness compleatly, and render' us flourishing at home, and refpectable abroad. If the option between glory and Thame, if our salvation or destruction, depended on this' fum, it is impossible that he should have been "active, and made a merit of that activity, in taking off a shilling in the pound of the land tax, which came up to his grand defideratum, and upwards of £,100,000 more. By this manæuvre, he left our trade, navigation, and manufactures, on the verge of destruction, our finances in ruin, our crédit expiring, Ireland on the point of being cedod