An Irishman’s View of the Bond Question.
The Decatur Gazette reports the following conversation that occurred between a prominent Democrat and an Irishman of that city, recently. For convenience it designates the parties as Jack and Pat:
Jack — How do you like the Democratic platform?
Pat — I can’t understand it; would ye be after explaining it to me — all about the bond question?
Jack — Oh, yes, with pleasure. You see the rich men own all the bonds; and the poor men pay for the bonds.
Pat — The devil, ye say; Is that the way?
Jack — Yes, and now the Democratic party propose to pay off the debt in greenbacks, and thus everybody will be treated equally.
Pat — Is that in our platform?
Jack — Not in so many words — but that is what it means; and now Pat I want you to do all you can for the party — bring the boys to all the meetings, and –
Pat — Hould on, Jack; will yer payin the bonds off greenbacks make the poor man as rich as the bondholder?
Jack — Not exactly; there is not gold enough for the country.
Pat — Thin we are not to have gold at all. How in the divil are ye going to pay off the greenbacks?
Jack — A part of it will be paid off by taxation, the money we take from the people for revenue, and stamps, etc., and as the greenbacks get worn by constant handling we will print new ones.
Pat — I see; you propose to take the debt now carried by the rich bondholder and divide it among these people, rich and poor alike, by forcing the bondholder to spend his money for property.
Jack — Exactly — you are learning fast, and you see –
Pat — Hould on — an idee strikes me. If the government debt is all in greenbacks, and thim in circulation, how many cords of ‘em will it take to buy a cord of wood?
Jack — I cannot exactly say what they would be worth — that will regulate itself. But, by the by, Pat, could you pay me that little note you owe me? It was due yesterday, and I need the money very much.
Pat — Yes, I know the note is due, and I’ll pay ye according to the Dimmecratic platform
Jack — What do you mean?
Pat — I mane I’ll give you a fresh note for the one ye have.
Jack — There’s nothing about giving fresh notes in the Democratic platform.
Pat — Yis, ye said we’d pay the bonds oll in greenbacks, and both of them are promises to pay of the same govenment. Ye’s give one promise to pay for another one, and I’ll give you a fresh promise to pay for the one you have now. The note you have now says 1- per cent. interest; the new one will say without interest, and no time set for its payment.
Jack — But this is an individual matter and the other is a government matter. You honestly owe me, and promised to pay me yesterday. Your proposition is to cheat me out of my money.
Pat — An’ its chatin’ ye out of your money is it? An’ havn’t I as good a right to chate you as the government has to chate the widders and orphans whose money is all in government bonds? I’ll pay ye on the Dimmecratic platform!
The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) Sep 1, 1868