A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America.
of canals and turnpike roads; the amount of which, instead of leaving a surplus of ten millions to the liquidation of the national debt, would not only have totally exhausted the treasury, but have actually exceeded by 20,000,000 dollars the revenue of the current year.  This manoeuvre was timely discovered by the administration, and the president consequently refused to put his signature to those bills, amongst a number of others.  He refused on two grounds.  The first was, that although it had been the practice of congress to grant sums of money for the purpose of making roads and perfecting other works, which only benefited one or two states; yet that such practice was not sanctioned by the constitution—­the federal legislature having no power to act but with reference to the general interests of the states.  The second was, that the road in question was local in the most limited sense, commencing at the Ohio river, and running back sixty miles to an interior town, and consequently, the grant in question came within neither the constitutional powers nor practice of congress.

The president recommends that the surplus revenue, after the debt shall have been paid off, should be portioned out to the different states, in proportion to their ratio of representation; which appears to be judicious, as the question of congressional power to appropriate money to road-making, &c., although of a general character, involves also the right of jurisdiction; which congress clearly has not, except where the defence of the country, or other paramount interests, are concerned.

The national debt will be totally extinguished in four years, when this country will present a curious spectacle for the serious consideration of European nations.  During the space of fifty-six years, two successful wars have been carried on—­one for the establishment, and the other for the maintenance of national independence, and a large amount of public works and improvements has been effected; yet, after the expiration of four years from this time, there will not only be no public debt, but the revenue arising from protecting tariff duties alone will amount to more than the expenditure by upwards of 10,000,000 dollars.

A brief abstract from the treasury report on the finances of the United States, up to the 1st January, 1831, may not be uninteresting.

Dollars.  Cts. 
Balance in the treasury, 1st January,
1828 6,668,286 10

Receipts of the year 1828                   24,789,463 61
Total                                       31,457,749 71
Expenditure for the year 1828               25,485,313 90
Leaving a balance in the treasury, 1st
January, 1829, of                            5,972,435 81

Receipts from all sources during the
year 1829 24,827,627 38

Expenditures for the same year, including 3,686,542 dol. 93 ct. on account of the public debt, and 9,033 dol. 38 ct. for awards under the first article of the treaty of Ghent 25,044,358 40

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A Ramble of Six Thousand Miles through the United States of America from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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