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In Favor Of An Income Tax

In Favor Of An Income Tax image
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The following are extracts from Urie S. Hali's article in the March Forum: The wealthy classes of the eastern states. vvho are now opposing us iu the enactnieot of tbis bill, are einbarrassing the best friends of a peaceful govern ment. The principie that the wealth of this country shoulcl help to bear the bur den of national taxation is too well set tled by logic, by authority and by expe rience to justify extended argument now. Too often already have mernbers of this congress been warned that when ever the richer class should be asked to ehare the burdens of government they prompted by avarice, would denounce the suggestion. It is their position, not mine, that needa defense. In a recent speech in the house of rep resentatives I said: "Were I called upon to frame a law that would keep down demagogy, that would take the lastgrain of justice from the conglomérate masa of Populistic heresies, it would be an income tax law." I sincerely feel that every word I said was true. Under our tariff systein its burdens are put upon eonsumption (the necessaries of life that the poor must have or perish), and a poor ínan with a wife and five children is forced to pay out of nis small income a larger suui f or the support of the government than is the average man of great wealth with a small f jnily. All the greatest authorities on taxation say that the subjeets of a nation should be taxed to support that nation according to their ability, not according to the aection in which they live, recognizing that we should all be common bearers and common supporters of a common country, ignoring sectionalism. Senator John Sherman, in a speech delivered in the United States senate Maren 15, 1882, used the following language: "The public inind is not vet prepared to apply the key of a genuine revenue reform. A few years of f urther experience will convince the whole body of our people that a systein of national taxes which rests the whole burden of taxation on consumptiou and not a cent on property and income is intrinsically unjust. "While the expenses of the national government are largely caused by the protection of property, it is but right to cali property to contribute to their payrnent. It will not do to say that each person consumes in proportion to his means. That is not true. ' Every one must see that the consumption of the rich does not bear the same relation to the consumption of the poor as the income of rich does to the wages of tb? poor. As wealth accumulates this iujnstice in the fundamental basis of our system will be feit and forced npon the attention of congress." Thorold Rogers says, "Taxation in proportion to benefits received is sufficiently nïar the truth for the practical opera tions of government." Rousseau and the eider Mirabeau, J. B. Say and G-arnier have approved of this system, while Sismondi, in laying down his canons of taxation, declares that "every tax should fall on revenue, not on capital," and that "taxation should never touch what is necessary for the existence of the contributor." John Stuart Mili declares that "equality of taxation as a maxim of politics means equality of sacrifice." If this income tax bill is defeated, one will be passed in the near future that will be f ar wider reaching and involving f ar greater danger of injustice toward wealth.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News