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Cause Of The Treasury Deficit

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[t is a good thing sometimes to see ourselves as others see us. Below we give the views of the London Spectator as to the causes of the present financial straits of the ted States Treasury. They go straight to the sóuree of the trouble andaré worthy of the careful attention of every thoughiful ciüzeri. "Five years ago American finance was the envy of the workl. Taxa tion was not oppressive, the debt i was being paid off at a rate beyond i the drearns of economy, and every year there rolled into the Treasury a surplus which made European chancellors ot the exchequer sigh j with envy. Then came the Adminjistiauon of General Harrison, and i after four years of judicious indis cretions in ihe matter of finance, the I whole conditïon of things was ! changed, and the treasury was left [completeJy empty. Strange as it : sounds, the chief embarrassment of j the Republican party when they ! lodged their nominee in the White ! House was the rlourishing state of the rinances. They came into pow! er pledged to the manufacturers of the United States to maintain pro tection, and if possible to extend it; i but this was a very difficult thing to ! d,o in face of the,fact that the treasluryalready had more money than it knevv what to do with. If is easy to clap on a duty of 20 per cent. ; vvheu money is needed. When, however, you have got too much money,the natural - almost the necessary - thing to do is to take off taxation. The Republican managers faced the disagreeable situation like business men. Till the surplus was got rid of, and the finalices were thoroughly embarrassed, there could be no sure foundation fqr a protective system. They saw that the problem before them when properly understood, I presented itself in the following way: How to reduce the surplus in such a way that that the money got rid of should buy the protectionist party support in the country? Keeping fliis object before them, they succeeded in de vising a very ingenious scheme of expenditure - one which uot only most effectually embarassed the treasury, but which won or kept steady thousands of voters in every state in the Union. The fifty-first congress won itself an everlasting fame. The emptying of the treasury, and the imposition of new burdenson the people during a time of profound peace and prosperity, is its everlasting monument - one that will last till the end of recorded time as the great example of how public money may be wasted. Congress began by refunding the various states of the Union the product of the direct taxes. The next scheme was the establishment of bounties on the growth of sugar. These, however, were mere nothings compared to the great scheme under which an extra $60,000,000 a year was added to the already bloated pension list of the United States. Further, congress remitted taxes on tobáceo and sugar, and so lost a large block of revenue. Taking everything into acount, Mr. Wilson calculates that the fifty-first congress made ducks and drakes of about $350,000,000. Remember that forthe bulk of this money there is literally nothing to show - no ships, no forts, no military equipments, none of the great public works on which most extravagant nations spend their money. It was simply thrown away, and as far as the pensions are concerned, the waste was entailed for the next twenty or thirty years. The net result is that, whereas in 1889 the United States had a surplusof $105,000,000, it has now a deficit of $75,000,000, and a tanff so burdensome thas its weights feit in every household and on every article of consumption."


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News