Indianapolis Indiana Journal in Indianapolis, Indiana 16 Jun 1830
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Indianapolis Indiana Journal (Newspaper) - June 16, 1830, Indianapolis, Indiana
Indiana journal. Vol. , wednesday june 16, 4830. No. 373. Published by Douglass amp Maguire. Terms. Two to ours per annul if paid in Advance. J free dollars at the end of the year. Advertisement inserted on the usual terms. Congress. From the United states Telegraph. Iio Usk Quot of representatives maj �7,1830. The following message was received from the president of the United states to turning to the House of representatives the enrolled Bill entitled Quot an act authorize air a subscription of Stock in the Maysville Washin Iton i a Rio and lexis ton Turnpike Road company Quot Vith his objections thereto to the House of representatives gentlemen i have maturely considered the Bill proposing to authorize Quot a subscription of Stock in the Maysville Washington Paris and Lexington Turnpike Road company Quot and now return the Sanne to the House of representatives in which it Origina Ted with Najy objections to its passage. Sincerely Friendly to the improvement four country by Means of roads and canals 1 regret that any difference of opinion in the Mode of contributing to it should exist Between us and if in stating this difference 1 of beyond what the Occam Jon May be deemed to Call for i Hope to find an apology in the great importance of the subject an unfeigned respect for the High source from which this Branch of it has emanated and an anxious wish to be correctly understood by my proper disposition of the surplus Revenue i sub join the following remarks a to avoid these evils it appears to me that the most Safe just and Federal disposition which could be made of the surplus Revenue would be its apportionment among the several states according to their ratio of represent Liefl Quot and should this measure not be found warranted by the Constitution that it would be expedient to propose to the states an amendment authorizing the constitutional Power of the Federal government to construct or promote works of internal improvement presents itself in two Points of View the first As bearing upon the sovereignty of the states within whose limits their execution is contemplated if jurisdiction of the territory which they May occupy be claimed As necessary to their preservation and use the second As asserting the simple right to appropriate Money from the National Treasury in Aid of such works when undertaken by state authority surrendering the claim of jurisdiction. In the first View the question of Power is an open one and can be decided without the embarrassment attending the other arising from the practice of the government. Although frequently and strenuously attempted the Power to this extent has never been exercised by the government in a single instance. It does not in my opinion possess it and no Bill therefore which admits it can constituents in the discharge of a a i my duties. Diversity of sentiment among receive my official Sanction Public functionaries actuated by the j but in the other View of the pow a Nae general motives on the charac or the question is differently situated ter and tendency of particular Mea the ground taken at an Early period sures is an incident common to All governments and the More to be expected in one which like ours owes its existence to the Freedom of opinion and must be upheld by the same influence. Controlled As we thus Are by a higher tribunal before which our respective acts will be canvassed with the indulgence due to the imperfections of our nature and with that intelligence and unbiased judgment which Are the True correctives of error All that our responsibility demands is that the Public Good should be the measure of our views dictating alike their Frank expression and honest maintenance. In the message which was presented to Congress at the opening of its present session i endeavoured to exhibit briefly my views upon the important and highly interesting subject to which our attention is now to be directed. I was desirous of presenting to the representatives of the Severtis states in Congress assembled the inquiry whether some Mode could not be devised which would reconcile the diversity of opinion concerning the Powers of this government Over the subject of internal improvement and the manner in which these Powers if conferred by the Constitution ought to be exercised. The act which i am called upon to consider has therefore been passed with a knowledge of my views on this question As these Are expressed in the me,8sage referred to. In that document the following Sirg Gest Ion will be found Quot after the extinction of the Public debt it is probable that any adjustment of the Tariff upon principles satisfactory to the people of the Union will until a Remote period if Ever leave the government without a considerable surplus in the Treasury beyond what May be required for its current service. As then the period approaches who the application of the Revenue to the payment of debt will cease the disposition of the surplus will present a subject for the serious deliberation of Congress and it May be fortunate for the country that it is yet it get decided. Considered in connexion with the difficulties which have heretofore attended appropriations for purposes of internal improvement and with those which this experience tells us will certainly arise whenever Power Over such subjects May be exercised by the general government it is hoped that it May Lead to the adoption of some plan which will reconcile the diversified interests of the state and strengthen the Bonds which unite them. Every member of the Union in peace and in War will be benefited by the improvement of Inland navigation an the construction of highways in the several states. Let us then Endeavor to attain this Benefit in a Mode which will be satisfactory to All. That hitherto Quot adopted has been deprecated As an infraction of the cons Fitu. Tion by Many of our fellow citizens while by others it has been viewed As inexpedient. All feel that it has been employed at the expense of Harmony in the legislative c0uncils&Quot and add averting to the constitutional Power of Congress to make what i consider a ver Money has been raised by the general authority and is to be applied to a particular measure a question a rises whether the particular measure be within the enumerated authorities vested in Congress. If it be the Money requisite for it May be applied to it if not no such application can be the document in which this principle was first advanced is of deservedly High authority and should be Helm grateful remembrance for its a Ftp tie Agate Agency in rescuing the country from much existing abuse and for its conservative effect upon some of the most valuable principles of the Constitution. The symmetry and purity of the government would doubtless have been better preserved if this restriction of the Power of appropriation could have been maintained without weakening its ability to fulfil the general objects of its institution an elect so Likely to attend its admission notwithstanding its apparent fitness that every subsequent administration of the government embracing a period of thirty out of the forty two years of its existence has adopted a More enlarged construction of the Power. It is not my purpose to detain you by a minute recital of the acts which sustain this assertion but it is proper that i should notice some of the most prominent in order that the reflections which they suggest to my mind May be better understood. In the administration of or. Jefferson we have two examples of the exercise of the right of appropriation which in the consideration that led to their adoption and in their effects up on the Public mind have had a greater Agency in marking the character of the Power than agy subsequent events. I allude to the payment of fifteen millions of dollars for the Purchase of Louisiana and to the original appropriation for the construction of the Cumberland Road the latter act deriving much weight from the acquiescence and approbation of three of the most powerful of the original members of the confederacy expressed through their respective Legislatures. Although the circumstances of the latter Case May be such As to deprive so much of it As relates to the actual construction of the Road of the Force of an obligatory exposition of the Constitution it must nevertheless be admitted that so far As the Mere appropriation of Money is concerned they present the principle in its most imposing As Spect. No less than Twenty three different Laws have been passed through All the forms of the Constitution appropriating upwards of two millions and a half of dollars out of the National Treasury in support of that improvement with the approbation of every president of the United states including my Pride Cesar since its commencement. Independently of the Sanction Given to appropriations for the Cumberland and other roads and objects under this Power the administration of or. Madison was characterised by an act which furnishes the strongest evidence of his opinion of its extent. A Bill was passed through both houses of Congress and presented for his approval Quot setting apart and pledging certain funds for constructing roads and canals and improving the navigation of water courses in order to facilitate promote and give Security to internal Commerce among the several states and to More easy and less expensive the Means and provisions for the common regarding the Bill As asserting a Power in the Federal government to construct roads and canals within the limits of the states in which they were made he objected to its passage on the ground of its unconstitutionality declaring that the assent of the respective states in the Mode provided by the Bill could not Confer the Power in question that the Only cases in which the consent and cession of particular states can extend the Power of Congress Are those specified and provided for in the Constitution and super adding to these avowal his opinion that Quot a restriction of the Power to provide for the common defence and general welfare to cases which Are to be provided for by the expenditure of Money would still leave within the legislative Power of Congress All the great and most important measures of government Money being the Ordinary and necessary Means of carrying them into i have not been Able to consider these declarations in any other Point of View than As a Concession that the right of appropriation is not limited by the Powers to carry into effect the measure for which the Money is asked As was formerly contended. Be views of or. Monroe upon thie subject were not left to during his administration a Bill was passed through both houses of Congress conferring the jurisdiction and prescribing the Mode % which the Federal government should exercise it in the Case of the Cumberland Road. He returned it with objections to its passage and in assigning them took occasion to say that in the Early stages of the government he bad inclined to the construction that it had no right to expend Money except in the performance of acts authorized by the other specific Grants of Power according to a i strict construction of them but that on further reflection and observation his mind had undergone a change t hat his opinion then was Quot that Congress have an unlimited Power to raise Money and that in its appropriation they have a discretionary Power restricted orly by the duty to appropriate it to purposes of common defence and of Genera not local National not state Benefit Quot and this was avowed to be the governing principle through the residue of his administration. The views of the last administration Are of such recent Date As to Render a particular reference to them unnecessary. It is Well known that the appropriating Power to the utmost extent which had been claimed for it in relation to internal improvements was fully recognized and Eker cited by it. This Brief reference to known facts will be sufficient to show the i Firul to if not impracticability of bringing Back the operations of the government to the construction of the Constitution set up in 1798, assuming that to be its True Reading in relation to the Power under consideration thus giving an a monitory proof of the Force of implication and the necessity of guarding he Constitution with sleepless vigilance against the authority of precedents which have not the Sanction of its most plainly defined Powers. For although it is the duty of All to look to that sacred instrument instead of the statute Book to repudiate at All times encroachments upon its spirit which Are too Apt to be effected by he conjuncture of Peculiar and a imitating circumstances it is not less True that the Public Good and the Nati ire of our political institutions require that individual differences should yield to a Well s a titled acquiescence of the people and confederated authorities in particular constructions of the Constitution on doubtful Points. Not to concede this much to the spirit of our institutions would impair their stability and defeat the objects of the Constitution itself. The Bill before me does not Call for a More definite opinion upon the particular circumstances which will warrant appropriations of Money by Congress to Aid works of internal improvement for although the Extension of the Power to apply Money beyond that of carrying into effect the object for which it is appropriated has As we have seen been Long claimed and exercised by the Federal government yet such always been professedly under the control of he general principle that the works which might be thus aided should be Quot of a general not local National not state Quot character. A disregard of this distinction Yould of necessity Lead to the subversion of the Federal that even this is an unsafe one arbitrary in its nature and liable consequently to great abuses is too obvious to require the confirmation of Cape Rienche. It is however sufficiently definite and imperative to my mind to forbid my approbation of any Bill halving the character of the one under consideration. I have Given to its provisions All the reflection demanded by a just regard for the interests of those of our fellow citizens who have desired its passage and by the respect which is due to a co ordinate Branch of the government but i am not Able to View it in any other Light than As a measure of purely local character or if it can be considered National that no further distinction Between the appropriate duties of the general and state government need be attempted for there can be no local interest that May not with equal propriety be denominated National. It has no connexion with any established system of improvements is exclusively within the limits of a state starting at a Point on the Ohio River and running out sixty Miles to an Interior town and even As far As the state is interested conferring partial instead of general advantages. Consider ing uie magnitude and importance of the Power and the embarrassments to which from the very nature of the thing its exercise must necessarily be subjected the real friends of internal improvement ought not to be willing to confide it to Accident and Chance. What is properly National in its character or otherwise is an inquiry which is often extremely Difili cult of solution. The appropriations of one year for an object which is considered National May be rendered nugatory by the refusal of a succeeding Congress to continue the work on the ground that it is local. No Aid can be derived from the intervention of corporations. The question regards the character of the work not that of those by whom it is to be accomplished. Notwithstanding the Union of the government with the corporation by whose immediate Jig ency any work of internal improvement is carried on the inquiry will still remain is it National and conducive to the Benefit of the whole or local and operating Only to the advantage of a portion of the Union but although i might not feel it to be my official duty to interpose the executive veto to the passage of a Bill appropriating Money for the construction of such works As Are authorized by the states and Are National in their character 1 do not wish to be understood As expressing an opinion that it is expedient at this time for to lib general government to embark in a system of this kind and anxious that my constituents should he possessed of my views on this As Well As on All other subjects which they have committed to my discretion 1 shall state them frankly and briefly. Many minor considerations there Are two prominent views of the subject which have made a deep impression non my mind which i think Are Well entitled to your serious attention and will 1 Hope be maturely weighed by the people. From the official communication submitted to you it appears that if no Adverse and unforeseen contingency happens in our foreign relation and no unusual diversion be made of the funds set apart for the payment of the National debt we May look with Confidence to its entire extinguish ment in the Short period of four years. The extent to which this plea amp ing anticipation is dependent upon the policy which May be pursued in relation to measures of the character of the one How under consideration must be obvious to All and Equay so that the events of the present session Are Well calculated to awaken Public solicitude upon the subject. By the statement from he Treasury department and those from the clerks of the Senate and House of representatives herewith submitted it appears that the Bills which have passed into Laws and those which in All probability will pass before he adjournment of Cor Gress anticipate appropriations Wuich with the Ordinary expenditures for the support of government will exceed considerably the amount in the Treasury for the year 1830. Thus whilst we Are diminishing the Revenue by a reduction of the duties on Tea Coffee and Cocoa the appropriations for internal improvement Are increasing be yer the available Means of the trea sury and if to this calculation be added to seamount contained in Bills which Are pending before the two houses it May be safely of firmed that then millions of dollars would not make up the excess Over the Treasury receipts unless the payment of the National debt be postponed and the Means now pledged to that object applied to those enumerated in these a Well regulated sys pm of internal improvement this exhausting Mode of appropriation is not Likely to be avoided and the Plain consequence must be either a continuance of the National debt or a resort to additional taxes. Although Many of the states with a laudable Zeal and under the influence of an enlightened policy Are successfully applying their separate efforts to works of this character the desire to enlist the Aid of the general government in the construction of such As from their nature ought to devolve upon it and to which the Means of the individual states Are inadequate is both rational and patriotic and if that desire is not gratified now it does not follow that it never will be. The general intelligence and Public spirit of the american people furnish a sure guarantee that at the proper time this policy will be made to prevail under circumstances More auspicious to its successful prosecution than those which now exist. But great As this object undoubtedly is it is not he Only one which demands the fostering care of the government. The preservation and Success of the Republican principle rests with us. To elevate its character and extend its influence rank among our most important duties and the Best Means to accomplish this desirable end Are those which will rivet the attachment of our citizens to the government of heir Choice by the Compi Aratin e lightness of their Public l burdens and by the attraction which the Superior Success of its operations will present to the admiration and respect of the world. Through the favor of an overruling and indulgent Providence our country is blessed with general Prosperity and Wiir citizens exempted from the pressure of taxation which other less favored portions of the human family Are obliged to Bear yet it is True that Many of the taxes collected from our citizens through the medium of imposts have for a considerable period been onerous. In Many particulars these taxes have borne severely upon the Labouring and less prosperous classes of the Community being imposed on the necessaries of life and this too in cases where the Burden was not relieved by the consciousness that it would ultimately contribute to make us Independent of foreign nations for Alicles of prime necessity by the encouragement of their growth and manufacture at Home. They have been cheerfully borne because they were thought to be necessary to he support of government Aad the payment of the debts unavoidably incurred in the acquisition and maintenance of our National rights and liberties. But have we a right to calculate on the same cheerful acquiescence when it is known Tipit the necessity for their continuance would cease were it not for irregular improvident and unequal appropriations of the Public funds will not the people demand As they have a right to do such a prudent system of expenditure As will pay he debt of the Union and authorize the reduction of every tax to As Low a Point As the Wise Observance of the necessity to protect hat portion of our and labor whose Prosperity is Ial to our National safety and Independence will allow when the National debt is paid the duties upon those articles which we do not raise May be repealed with safety and still leave i Trust without oppression to Uny Section of the count ran accumulating surplus fund which May be beneficially applied to some Well digested system of improvement. Under this View the question As to the manner in which the Federal government can or ought to embark a a the construction of roads and canals and the extent to which it May impose Burthen on the people for these purposes May be presented on its own merits free of All disguise and of every embarrassment except such As May arise from the Constitution itself. Assuming these suggestions to be Correct will not our constituents require the Observance of a course by whih can be effected ought they not to require it with the Best disposition Tai Aid As far a i can conscientiously in furtherance of works of internal improvement my opinion is that the soundest views of National por Licy at this time Point to such a course. Beside the avoidance of an
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