Press enter after choosing selection

Politicians Not Reformers

Politicians Not Reformers image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

1 lile Wlllg p;ijiuia tw v.ui ni i"ii v,i jr VV 0(X ist the Legislaturo for not reducing func pay from ihree to two dollars a day. wit10 referred soms weeks since to an }er, , in ihe Detroit Advertisor, n which even rgumeut was made to show that two sume rs a da y was ibiirteen dollnrs a week : ward four dollars a week would board them j0 c pay incidental expenses, and that the veter surplus of Ten Dollars a week was jojni igh compensation for their time, and char eaier sum than most of them would enst on their farms, hy their personal wn during the short days of winter. To ty. we fully agree. S( 3 we said, all ihe VV'hig pipera blame f a Legtslatora for payfcg ndj0, so extravnganily; bul wiih oñly a frOrr le and honorable exception, they are till 1 ectly silent on paying Members of mor gress Fïfly six dollars i week at will shington, and more than Five 0 D dollars a werk lor travelling to be i) city. Why this careful and profound proj ice, wlien eveiv whig editor knows two our Five Members of Covgrcss Pre: e more pay (han the whole Seventy Jarj ■nlcrs oj he Legislature? If they yea Jemn one abuse, why not the other istei ? lf the smaller matter be worthy of vy ' i constnnt, persevering reproof, should ordt the larger abuse receive notice? An ?he cxplanation of this seeming fas ency is easily made. The smaller and SySi re recenlly ejstabliáhed whig presses yen a f raid to takean independent stand of pe, ir own, lest thereby they might injure the ir'pecuniary prospects, or the interests slJp the Whig party, on which their slai iiy depends. Ilence, with scarcely an fro ;eption in all important positions, they ] guided by the leading Whig papers, dy ese, like the Detroit Adverliser for pee nee, are governed by the leading a s ians, and will not come out for any }0 ins that stand much in the way of the tnL crests oí that classofmen. Thus the nrc vertiser is disposed to make capital out thr n reduction of the pay of State w] ors, who aro chicfly working men,while te; exorbitant compensation of Members We Congrous is not nt all referred to. - nel ia paper is so far under the nfluence pei the leading Whig polilicians of Detroit lai it it daré not come out heartily nnd rnestly for n redtafcion of pay of sfl, rs to Congress from eight to four dollars ril jay, and from Nine Hundred to Ninety sa Hars for travelling fees. To do so ar Mild be at once to aliénate the favor of no ominent Whig gentlemen, like 1C rs Porter and Woodbtidge. and Hon c . Howard, as well as of tvll other whigs jj ho may have any hope, howevcr remote, c ever representing the State in QI ress. A diminution of the pay of w ïrs might be a curtailment of j lents that would hereafter accrue to Sl lem. All thisclasfe, it will beseen, have t n interest, in this respect, not only sepaale from thal of the producéis who earn jE ie money they receive, but directly t] oski) to it. It is the interest of the tj orer to pay lus Representativo no jt r price than will secure the best talents , ind integrity, while it is the interest of t he office holder to get all he can. j Tliïo urinoinlr linMs rrnnd in reference foffice holders and office expectants, , 'ilhout regard to party, lt s quite g easonable to expect reforms to origínate f ■■ith this classof men. YVhereis the a crat who would not be astonished, should j, e read in bis papérs tfiát Senator Cas or c Ir. McClelland had made a powerful 0 peech in Congress in favor of reducing f Iío pay of members one holf? No ono ] xpects any such thing of them. And f vhy 1 Because, as they live upon the 1 arningsof the producing classes, they mve an interest in this respect directly [ pposite to thal of the great masa they 1 cpresent. ' Menee it may fairly be presumed, ttiat I .mlcss checked by strong demonstrations jf public opinión, tho members of i gress will go on nppropriating more and more of the public money to iheir own i use, as fasl as they dnre. And they will grow more and more shameless in it the longer they practice tlieir peculations. - Every abuse, by continual practice comes to be regarded as a legiiimate usnge. - Thus the practice of voting Books to the members has now become systematized, and they aro voted and drawn as regularly as their pay. In this way the compensation of all the members has been increased one tbird by the process; but then this addilional expense comes out of their hiboring constituents. Six hundred dollars worih of Books to each member from Michigan would, indeed, cost at least three Thousand hard days work of the people of the State: but what care the members for that? New devices íor drawing money Trom the Treasury for the use of the members are discovered, and when once the precedent has been set, it is never forgotten. Thus, by a decisión of Vice President Dallas last spring, at the extra session of the Senate, all the Senators were allowed from One Hundred to two Thousand dollars each for travelling homo betweenunn ana mm uajfa ui mmu, uuu mtv. o thirds of them nevcr stirred from VVorc rooms. A similar decisión was made benig 41, and by 1849 it is probable tbat slighi lowance will bc made, as a maller Bu irse, without any question of its form r. Under the last decisión, Senator but t ibridge was aalhorised to take Nine siona Ired dollars from ihe public treasury, pie c art rendering, or pretending to deter mv actual services to the public as foro a formal renumeration. - We own that the Senator took the amount patie ed to him, in common whh others. as et me expects a Senator - especially a wrui ■an office holder - to even think of est f ; otherwise. Nor do we lay it to the are ge of his party: for we have not the for. partiële of doubt but Senator Cass the do likewise the very first the It is expeled of all the Senators. thot olso the precedent has been set that mer member of Congress be sick at the hav urnment of that body, he may draw hnn the Treasury Eighl dollars a day whc legelsable to Travel. Aftera few reft e examples of this kind, the precedent to n become an eslablished rule. n t ther abuses of a similar nature might i'iined. The amount asked to be apriated for Penbions for 1847 exceeds r and a half millions of dollars. The nin sident of the United Stateá urges a Te e increasc of the Navy, while in the Un r 1845, nccording to the Naval Te r, 28 out of the 08 Captains in the Te bad nolhing to do, but were "icailing the :rs" at a salary of 697,500. The lar ny and Navy oflicers are trying to saj en on ibis Repubüc the monarchical tem uf half páy, so thai after a few dia rs of service, the greater part of which, an haps, may consist in "waiting orders" mc y can all retire as gentlemen for lifo, .. ported at the public expense. This ve te of things, we unticipate, will go on, thi tn bad to worse. mt :3ut tho reader asks, is therc no Nfor these abuses? Why do not the nc] ple rise in their might, and hurl such jy et of men from power? To this it may m replied, first, that they will not hurl Ui se men froin oflïce, because the people ! governed by these office holders jn ough the party Press, and the Press re( 1 conceal and smooth over their th 5; nnd second, if these oflke holders en re dispossessed, olherá of íi similar er would fill their places, so that the ple, unlessthey exercised great q ice would gain but littleby thechange. But the reader asks, do you pretend to f that there are no men of real gf) y nnd patriotism in the nation? SYe y no such thing. We know that ihcre c( e multitudes of such men; but they are t( the ones who g$t office! Most of them, a, wever intelligent, are comparatively C( or, honest, obscure individuals, -j: ng to their own business, paying their Q bts, and asking no favors of any man. fj1 id when they have occasion to speak or tj rite for the public, they reprove public ces and follies, ho.vever popular. Will a tct men attain to the control of this ( onï - til But assume that good men could bo eicted, how long would it be certain that g C ley would remain true to the nterests of .{ ie working classes? Just so long and b ist so far as their personal i nterests were ulentifted with these classes; and no farer. After a man gels up se.veral de■MA&a ír 11 Itli rtrtfiiilnritv. nnn ii HIP. IPCüO 111 " Willij ivivii} -.. - - -] - - rgets his old associates, and makes new j)l itimacies among the weahhy and the b reat; and after a while, as we have Cl re stated, his interests as a consumer ná office-hoider becomodirectly opposed c] those of the working classes as p, srs. Henee, without any markedchange a f moral character, he wijl generally be Jj und on Ihe side of high Salaries, largo :, 'ees and Emoluments of every kind, and S( ir Monopolies and special Priviliges. - j: lad the "Mili Boy of the Slashos," t iT.)'s remained so poor as to be obliged to ;o to mili on horseback, he'would have itterly opposed the proposition advocated iy himself many years afterwards, when ie had become Speaker of the House, for ( ;reatly enlarging tlie pa of Members of Jongress. His circumstances and his f erests had changed. He was then, as i speaker, receiving twice as much pay as í he members, vet he declard he had not jeen able to meet his expenses. The ' -nembers of the aristocratie circles in ' litical lile, when once placed nbove all ! fear of wnnt, have little sympathy for the ■ [oiling millions through whose plodding , industry they live. This is the general rulo, but hero and there are individual exceplions ol a highly honorable characler, likc that of Dr. Franklin and some others. But Ihe ru'e holds good, not on!y with politicians, but with all the professions of life. Just as far as a man gets beyond all connection with the mass of the people, just so far does he cease to be on e of them and to labor for their best interests. Take the Clergy for nstance. Among the of Doctors of Divinity, how many can you ñud who are forward and active in unpopular reforms? They move in a different circle of beings. - Tlvey can condemn dancing, but not Manstealing: can pass resolutions against selling church petos, but have not a word to say against selling church members; can discuss with vast earnestness for the week together the validity of Popish baptísm, ; of Life from the souls of millionsot Th hted Americans ho receive not the Youn est rebuke! hits c t cannot any valuable political wouli ibe effecten? UndouUedly ihey can: in th iey wil] not be originaled by yy 1 politicians. The mass of the ery ' un have any reform they piense by puloi mining to huve it, and by supporting V"rl: [fice those individuáis only of their . numbcr who will effect it. But much fin(j nee and perseverance are requisite, allo ich improvement of the laws must be dmy )g out of the Legislators by the J ressure. The renl friends of reform lhcr ïot careful enough whom they vote wro When they are preparing to go to thes wils, they let the "Old Hunkers"- stor oer real Demagogues, of both parties, gh their party caucuses, nominatc ofc directly opposed to the reforms they dep 3 in view, and they walk up lo the fav Dt-box and elect individunis to office ket are the sworn enomies ot these very suc riïis they have been laboring for years ja] ccomplish! They will not effect much exc rv liis wav. , ' ihe 'pnT7 nu.RT nv tryas tn