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The Tariff Reduction

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The tariff bilí which has just become law, is accounted a high tariff measure but slightly removed from the McKinley monstrosity. This is a great mistake. It does contain certain reminders of that trust den statute, more than it would contain had the people had their way; nevertheless it is a much more radical reform than most persons are aware. It is not such a measureas was promised, and expected. It contains excrescences which can : never be reconciled with a just meas ure of revenue reform, and henee the i republican press and politicians have done their utmost to decry the measure and magnify those features . of it which are modeled after their , own scheme of monopoly and trust I benefits. All these things have i conspired to disappoint the people and put them in a frame to deny to the act mucti of the merit that it really possesses. But that it is a much larger measure of relief from onerous protective taxation than is generally believed there can be no doubt. The truth of this statement will become more and more apparenfas the new rates and schedules are studied and compared with those of the measure which it supercedes. It makes larger reductions than the Mills bill and yet the opponents of that bilí denounced it as a free trade measure. Let Argus readers turn to the schedules which appear in another column and see for themselves how deep a cut has been made in the McKinley rates. Earthenware, chinaware and glassware are lowered very materially; iron ore from 75 cis. to 40 ets. a ton and coal the same; steel rails from I13.44 per ton to I7.84; woolen goods from 100 per cent. to 40 per cent., and in addition wool, lumber, salt, flax, hemp, jute, binding twine, burlaps, grain bags and various other articles are made free. These additions to the free list will save the people millions of dollars. The tax paid in 1893 on the principal articles now made free amounted to more than $ 11,000,000, besides the far greater amount which went to enrich the protected manufacturers in the form of an extra charge on home domestic producís. Competition in the petroleum trade was shut out by the McKinley duty, and the Standard Oil octopus was the result; the duty on cordage was prohibitive, and the cordage trust, with power to bleed the farmer, was the fruit. The tax on binding twine, burlaps and bags for grain, amounted to more than two millions of dollars in 1893, and most of this was paid by the farmer. The removal of this duty will make the purchasing power of his producís greater. Of course it is an outrage that the one-eighth of a cent a pound differential tax was left on sugar for the benefit of the trust, but even this is only one-fourth of the differential, given this monopoly by the McKinley act. But that which is best of all is that the country has turned about in its economie policy and will retrace its steps to a point where taxation shall be for the public needs alone. The passage of this bill marks the overthrow of McKinleyism. Business will revive, republican predictions of a flood of foreign importations which will drown out American industries will not materialize, and the republican bogy of disaster to follow from reduced rates of duty will cease to be a source of terror to the honest but misguided voter. When the revival of business which will surely follow adjustment to the new conditions, has become thoroughly established, it will furnish a barrier to any backward set of the current in the direction of the McKinley fetich. This is well understood by republicans, henee their determined efforts to prevent the enactment of tariff reform.


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News