This is an age of trusts. They are even organizing a resort trust in the city of Detroit to buy up the principle drinking resorts in that city.
It is said that Gen. Luna, Aguinaldo's commanding general, was badly wounded in the recent battle of St. Tomas. If this be true it may hasten the coming of peace in the Philippines.
Havana is yet free from yellow fever for the first time in years. This is owing to American sanitary measures. A few years of American occupation might nearly wipe out the dread scourge and so in doing good to the people of our neighboring island we protect our own shores from contagion.
The latest news from the Philippines seems to indicate that the Filipinos are beginning to recognize that they have been thoroughly whipped and the natives of these new possessions of ours are brave enough men, as we should be glad to find them. It encourages the idea that they should be given the largest possible measure of home government consistent with the welfare of civilization.
It is to be hoped the legislature will not indulge in the foolish and expensive luxury of a legislative investigation of alleged boodling among its members. That it is in their midst may be true, but even though it be true no one need think an investigation would discover it. To begin with it is extremely difficult to unearth the boodlers. Then when they are charged with investigating themselves it is idle to expect them to do a very thorough job. Unless the boodling is so rank as to smell to heaven, it is idle, therefore, to expect anything to come of an investigation. The legislature would better not indulge in on at this time therefore.
For heaven's sake what kind of endorsement does Germany want to convince her that our canned beef is all right? Hasn't she the endorsement of Generals Shafter, Alger, Wheeler, Merritt, all honorable men, and also two courts of inquiry? It is tru that the men who ate it said it was bad and they would never, no never eat any more, but they should not count in the face of such an array of evidence.
The legislators are greatly stirred up over newspaper reports that some boodling has been done and some of the members strove to expel a correspondent from the privileges of the house for spreading such reports. If true, such reports ought to be published, and if true certainly the guilty parties would deny it. The expulsion of a correspondent would prove nothing. The guiltier the parties the more they would be apt to call for the punishment of a reporter who would bring their guilt to light. But generally allegations without specific proof are worthless and the correspondent may be deemed to be a mere sensational scribbler unless he can produce something tangible to back up bis assertions.
The returning soldiers of the recent Spanish war who live in this city will undoubtedly greatly prize the medals which will be given them by a city which appreciates the motives of patriotism which took them as volunteers into their country's service. They have had their part in making the United States respected in Europe. For 80 odd years the United States had not come into a clash of arms with a European power and in her last war with England the capital at Washington was burned and our arms outside of the navy and the battle of New Orleans were not covered with particular glory. But the sudden and complete victory over Spain convinced Europe that this was a nation, which although it had no large standing army could soon create one, that our volunteers soon became veterans, and that our resources were almost unlimited. The United States flag was made more respectable in the eyes of the world and American genius and ingenuity made more patent. The war ought and probably will result in an increase of our foreign trade. It ought to bring an increased measure of prosperity to the country. And our soldier boys, whose patriotism made this possible, should be handsomely treated by a grateful city.
Wonder what the postmaster general will do to keep Dewey from being contaminated with those Edward Atkinson documents when he (Dewey) arrives in this country? It is said President McKinley has recently become such an inveterate smoker that he is injuring his health. He has probably taken to the excessive use of the weed in order to get that beef taste out of his mouth.
Speaker Adams has appointed a boodle investigating committee with Chamberlain at its head. The people may rest assured if there are any boodlers in the legislature they will be ferreted out by the "tall pine." No guilty man will escape.
There is only a difference of $10,000,000 between the total cost of the Detroit street railways and what Tom Johnson wants for them. This sum therefore represents the value of the franchises. Franchises are not taxed in Michigan. Along this line there is an opportunity for the legislature to do some legislating in the interest of the people.
Capt. Stewart calls the appropriation of $108,000 for the Mt. Pleasant Normal school a steal. Guess the captain is about right. A jump from $27,000 tor two years to $108,000 is a 'little" too large a jump to be explained on the grounds of actual needs. Some of this is for the purchase of land, but as the captain says $600 an acre is a pretty big price to pay for land at Mt. Pleasant and where the school is located.
Gen. Gomez thinks Cuba should have a standing army of 15,000 men. Such an outfit would enable the wily old general and others of his ilk, in time, to set themselves up in the dictator business as soon as Uncle Sam removes his hand. This standing army of 15,000 men will be a long time coming, however. Your Uncle Sam is not through with Cuba yet by any manner of means. The desire of Gomez shows very conclusively, however, how little appreciation he has of a real republic.
The senate yesterday passed a sweeping income tax bill by a vote of 26 to 1. It provides that all corporations doing business in the state shall pay the same income tax that individuals would be subject to. The bill provides that incomes over $1,000 and less than $2,500 shall be taxed one-fourth of one per cent. On incomes over $2,500 and under $5,000, one-half of one per cent. An income of $5,000 must pay one per cent. This is a proper measure and it should become a law. It may not be perfect in detail but the principle is right and time will perfect the details if it becomes law. An income tax is the most equitable of taxes. The objections that it is a tax on thrift and will cause men to perjure themselves are decidedly weak. The returns from a tax on poverty would certainly not be great. Then all taxation is a burden upon industry but it is less of a burden upon those with a considerable income than it is upon those whose income is barely sufficient for a living. The other objection is really no objection. Men who will swear falsely relative to their income will do the same relative to any kind of a property tax. By all means let it be placed upon the statute books.
The contest for Speaker Reed's shoes goes merrily on. There are but three candidates at the present time, Sherman of New York, Hopkins, of Illinois, and Henderson, of Iowa. Anyone of them, should he reach his ambition, will find himself in need of padding in order to fill Reed's place. Reed will undoubtedly be classed as one of the great speakers in the history of the house down to the present time. He will rank with Randall, Blaine, Carlisle and Crisp. He has encroached upon the prerogatives of the house in a dangerous way, but one point he has established for all time, that the majority is responsible and must do business. In accomplishing this he practically destroyed the rights of the minority. But these rights will return at the hands of future speakers, but he principle of "counting a quorum" when members will not respond to roll all is settled. Michigan of course has no direct interest in the speakership contest. She never has anyone at Washington capable of getting into the race. Her members as a rule are not kept there long enough, even though hey had the ability, to acquire the prominence to give them any claim upon the place.
The republican congressional committee which has been in session since congress adjourned trying to formulate a measure of currency reform is said to have agreed upon a bill. It is a milk and water affair. The three principal points of the measure are said to be as follows : 1. A provision that when greenbacks have been once redeemed in gold they shall not be paid out again except for gold. 2. The creation of an issue and redemption department of the treasury with a reserve of $100,000,000 with which to redeem government legal tenders. 3. Authority granted to the secretary of the treasury to sell bonds to replenish this stock of gold. Really the only new thing in the proposed measure is the proposition not to pay out greenbacks after they have once been redeemed except for gold. This would of course break the so-called "endless chain," but what a measure of reform is that after the campaign promises of two years ago. What does this milk and water policy mean? Simply that the party in power is already becoming cowardly because of the approaching presidential election of 1900. Everything, no not everything for the proposed legislation would be a gain of one point, is to be sacrificed to political expediency. So far as the committee is concerned that has had currency reform under consideration and brought forth this milk and water measure, it may be said that not one of them is recognized as an authority on financial questions. Their sole purpose has evidently been to formulate a bill that will command every republican vote and yet by courtesy be called a measure of currency reform. It is said the president is not satisfied with the proposed measure. It is not easy to understand how he could be.