Isaac Cruikshank created this cartoon - “The Deficit” - in 1788.
France was in financial trouble at the time, and many people blamed the royal family for the country’s woes. Others blamed the government’s heavy-taxation system.
The cartoon’s captions tells us about the exchange between the King (Louis XVI) and Jacque Necker (the financial minister):
Louis XVI: The funds are “no longer there.”
Necker: “I left them there.”
Meanwhile ... members of the heavily taxed aristocracy are leaving (with a full sack, presumably of money), heading to the “tax evaders” door and uttering these words: “I have got them.” A cleric, close behind, says: “I’ve got the rest.”
Image described above, online courtesy Boise State University.