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The Tariff Tax--who Pays It?

The Tariff Tax--who Pays It? image
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In one breath the Republican expounders of protection - the paper Chinese vvall designed to shut foreign poachers out of the domestic preserves - teil their hearers that the duty laid on imports does not increase the price of the prutected article to the consumer, - in fact that it cheapens the taxed fabric in the market: then, failing to explain to the satisfaction of some curious and incredulous inquisidor hovv such an absurdity can be, they assert that the foreign manufacturer or producer of the imported goods pays the duty and contributes that much to the support of our government. If this be so, it is easy to determine just how much the employer of free trade pauper labor in England, or protected pauper labor in France, Germany, Italy or elsewhere, is willing to pay for the privilege oi selling the producís oí his factory, field or vineyard in competition with the protected manufacturer and pro ducer - not employee or laborer - ol the United States in the markets of the Uuited States. A few illustrations ought to suffice. I. The duty on prepared opium is $10 a Ib., an average duty on the impovtations for the fiscal year endingjune 30, 1SS7, of 110 per cent The importations for the same yeai were 60,902 lbs. ; the invoice valuation on which duty was paid $549,040; and the duty paid$6o9,02O What must the combined capita! and philanthropy of the Turkish 01 othei opium producers, be to induce or enable him to , give our government a bonus of $609,020 to secure the sale ot $549,040 worth of his poppy juice? The stupidity of such a deal would indícate that he hac fed on his own opium. II. The fluty imposed on window glass over 16x24 and under 24x30 inches s 23 cents a pound or ovei 106 per cent. The importations oi the last fiscal year were 16,419,970 pounds, the invoice valuation $307,146, and if our republican friends are right in the statement as to who pays the duty, the foreign manufacturei paid to Uncle Sam's custom house collectors $389,974 for the privilege of rilling American windows with $367,146 worth of glass. The duty on window glass larger than 24x30 inches is ioSi per cent., and the foreign manufacturer contributed in the same year $506,242 lor the pleasure (if not profit) of selling to our importéis $466,603 worth ot glass. On plate glass above 24x6o inches in size the duty is 50 cents a square foot, or 152.94 percent. Anxious to give the universal Yankee nation unobstructed light and a gooc! bargain, the enterprising and generous foreign manufacturer of plate 2flass donated tothe already plethoric treasury of our paternal government $853,368 for the privilege of unloading in a mission of pure ch irity - the protection of their brother glass manufacturéis in Indiana - $557,968 worth of plate glass. And taking the whole glass schedule, the wholesouled foreign manufacturers volun:arily paid duties aggregating $4,510,312 on the $7.301,340 worth of jlass sold to the American mporter. [sn't that ihedding one's light abroad almost without money and without jrice. III. The duty on spirits distilled 'rom grain is $2 a gallon, or 396.43 er cent. The importations for the iscal year ending June 3oth, i887, were 645,873 gallons, invoiced at $325,846, and the duty collected, $1,291,747. The same year $450,156 duty was paid on $1 18,715 worth of spirits distilled from other materials, or 379-19 per cent. if this duty was paid by the foreign distillers one would naturally think that both their capital and spirits would soon be depressed, and that the American consumer would have to rely on home production for stimulus and motive power. The same year the cigar makers and tobáceo growers of Cuba, Spain and elsewhere generously deposited in the treasury vaults $3,563,298 in order to work off $3,301,177 worth of cigars and $5,333,523, worth of tobáceo in ordei to induce American manutacturers to use $7,493,662 worth of unmanufactured leaf. Verily, was such liberality ever heard of before. It exceeds even that of the g. o. p., which proposes to take off the internal revenue tax from homegrown tobáceo, and home-made spirits in aid of agricu'.ture, and to insure the families of the consumers of tob;icco and alcoholic beverages, better living. Not to multiply illustrations, it is saie to say that the statement that the foreign manufacturer and not the consumer pays the duty is the baldest falsehood that can beuttered. By the inevitable Iaws of trade, all articles of commerce, whether grown or manufactured, go to the consumer with their cost of production increased by the commission or profit of the importer, jobber, broker, and retail dealer, plus taxes, freights, insurance and any other charges before the consumer comes, into possession. And if protection protects, the home manufacturer or producer incieases the sale prices ofhis products of what-ever name to the limit of the import duty. E. B. P.


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