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The Political Standing Army

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An imperfect idea exists of the immense amotint of money that may be raised foi' electioneering purposes by assessing ollice-holders, and by drawing upon otlier resources always at the command of an Administration disposed to use them. The Blue Book gives only thenaines and pay of persons generally employed in the public service, and specificaily authorized by law. There are thousands on the temporary Hsts, that do not appear at all in this official register, paid f rom eonditional appropriations, or from some speciflc fund voted for a special object. Itis by no means unusual to allow a large number of clerks for temparary duty to bring up arrears in some department, as in the Pension and the Land Offices who might all go out inside' the tvvo years which elapse between the biennial publications of the Blue Book. In that case none of the names would be entered in the regular register, and the actual nuinber of employees would not appear. According to the best data, there are over one hundred thoucand Federal ofticeholders, exclusive ot' mechanies and laborers in the navy yards and upon the public buildings. The animal compensation of this host of tax-eaters is about thirty-one and a q uarter millions of dollars. The usual assessment for the ordinary run of clerks, who are paid from $S00 to $1,200 a year, is one per cent. on the salary, and above that one per cent.. with a still greater levy on the beads of bureaus, chiefs of divisions, and the like, who are mostly wülingto pay ioï the priviliges of retaining their places, anfl whn ña not TPnnirato be Dl'OSSed. Ileretoforetbe deputy marshals have been paid flve dollars a day i'or partisan service, and the law allows them to be employed ten days before a Presidential or a Congressional election. An active and inlluential politician might therefore get flfty dollars for attending the polls. But the usual custom has been to hire the greatest nuinber practicable on the eve of an election, to swell the vote in any particular locality. Nearly a ihird of a million has been eonfessedly expended for this object every second year, and perhaps much more. ïhe supurvisors were smuggled into theermanent appropriations by a trick in the Bevised Siatutes, but they will be taken care of at the approaching session of Congress. Next, as an unfailing resource, the pet banks may be counted certain for almost any (Iemand a Secretary like John Sherinan would make. He has given a few of them enormous advantages, both in taking the recent loans, and as public depositónos with nearly two hundred millions of nioney in theirvaults not drawing a cent of interest, and not Hable to be drawn out without full and friendly notice from the Treasury. One of these favored eorporations must have cleared eeveral millions in the last two years by a good understanding at Washington, though it is not supposed all the pronta were appropriated here in New York. ïhat sort of monopoly is forbidden by the golden rule of Addition, División, and ilence. Finaliy, the standing army of contractors, who furnish the immense supplies for the public service, only to be estimated by tens of millions every year. They have been taught to know by eight years' experience of Grantism tliat a man who makes bis money easily is expected to contribute freely to the support of the party whieh gives him the opportunity to get rich. That is tacitly uuderstood, and some of this class are among the most generous


Old News
Michigan Argus