Hamilton: Finance: Public Funds, Communicated to the Senate, February 14, 1793



Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America’s first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.

Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America’s first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury.

Alexander Hamilton: The Works of Alexander Hamilton, Volume 3


Finance: Public Funds, Communicated to the Senate, February 14, 1793


[Explanatory Note: I’m posting these writings of Alexander Hamilton as a way to read and digest the works of Alexander Hamilton. I’ve made a commitment to myself to post at least every weekday, with an occasional Saturday or Sunday post]

Treasury Department,

February 14, 1793.
Sir:

I have the honor to transmit, herewith, in further pursuance of the order of the Senate of the 23d of January past, three several statements, marked A, B, C.1.

A being a general account of revenue and appropriations: exhibiting, on one side, all the income of the United States, except from the proceeds of loans, foreign and domestic, to the end of the year 1792; on the other, the respective amounts of all the appropriations which have been made by law, to the same period.

B being a general account of appropriations and expenditures to the same end of the year 1792. This statement takes up the excess of the appropriations beyond the expenditure, to the end of the year 1791, as contained in the account of receipts and expenditures, reported to the House of Representatives during the present session; and, including all the subsequent appropriations and expenditures to the end of 1792, shows the balance unsatisfied of each head of appropriation.

C being an explanatory statement, for the purpose of showing a conformity between the aggregate of the balances of appropriations unsatisfied, and the balance of the public income beyond the public expenditure, to the end of the year 1792, as represented in the statement B, heretofore reported.

It will be observed, that the most considerable item among the balances of appropriations is for interest on the public debt—amounting to one million three hundred and ninety-five thousand eight hundred and twenty-four dollars and sixty-five cents. This happens in three ways. 1st. The interest on the foreign part of the debt has been paid in Europe, out of the proceeds of the loans; the sum paid will consequently require to be replaced out of the domestic funds, and will operate as if an equal sum had been transferred here by drafts. 2d. The payment of interest to certain States, upon the difference between their quotas of the assumed debt and the sums subscribed upon the first loan, has been suspended, in consequence of the opening of the second loan, to avoid a double payment of interest, first to the States, and next to the subscribers, which might otherwise happen. 3d. There is a part of the public debt which has continued in a form that has not entitled the holders, under the existing laws, to receive interest either as subscribers or non-subscribers.

There are certain arrears of interest, on the part of the debt entitled to interest, which did not come into the accounts of the year 1792.

This balance of interest, however, will be a real future expenditure, as, indeed, will be the case with regard to most of the other balances of appropriations. There will be surpluses, but these surpluses cannot exceed, if they equal, the sum mentioned in my letter of the 4th instant, to the House of Representatives.

With perfect respect, I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant,

Alexander Hamilton,

Secretary of the Treasury.

To the Vice-President of the United States and President of the Senate.

A.—Statement of the revenue of the United States, and appropriations charged thereon to the end of the year 1792.

B.—General statement of the appropriations made by law, and of the expenditures of the United States in relation thereto, from the first day of January to the last day of December, 1792.

C.—Statement exhibiting the debts charged upon the unexpended and uncollected income of the United States on the last day of the year 1792.

[1.]See State Papers, “Finance,” vol. i., p. 218.

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