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Newspaper Page Text
girl already." She hesitated a mo
ment and then she whispered in a ter
"What do you suppose the rest of
the family will say to us?"
"I don't know," was my guilty an
swer. (To Be Continued Monday.)
WAR MONEY WILL BE RAISED IN
LOTS OF WAYS PUBLIC PAYS
By Cilson Gardner.
Washington, D. C, April 25. The
cost of war with Mexico, if war is
necessary, will be levied on the users
of beer, tobacco, drugs and on com
mercial transactions represented by
checks, drafts, stock transfers and
This is the usual method of financ
ing a war. It was employed in the
Spanish-American war. The beer tax
was increased nearly one-third, and
the result was smaller glasses of beer.
The tobacco tax was increased in
about the same proportion, and the
tobacco trust took it out of the pub
lic by decreasing the sizes of the
packages, allowing the price for
standard makes to remain the same.
The commonest tax, the one noted
in commercial transactions, is that on
checks. Everybody paying by check
had to have a two-cent stamp on the
check, and in course of time the
checks books were issued with the
stamps, printed on the checks, and a
charge was made for the book to
cover the international revenue tax.
The stock exchange transfer was
theoretically aimed at rich "people
transferring valuable properties in
.stocks. It was successfully evaded
by all large firms like Morgan & Co.
by various tricks, such as making no
official record of stocks bought and
sold on the stock exchange. All the
nominal sales by margin of such
stocks escaped the war tax.
The beer and tobacco tax was eas
ily transferred to the consumers of
these articles, and even the tax "on
checks was handed down to the peo
ple who, pay the bills." In other w5rus,
wars are-financed by taxes on tlie
producing public rather than upon
the possessors of accumulated
At present revenues are scant and
a deficit is piling up in the treasury.
The first step in financing a real war
would be the issue of bonds.
These are the source of profit to
big financiers and to large banking
firms floating them, but the real cost,
which is the interest payments and
the repayment of principal, comes out
of the consumers of the country
through future taxation to take care
of such interest and principal.
The iricome tax, now made (thor
oughly constitutional, affords an ex
cellent opportunity for financing the
Mexican war. During the civil war a
large amount of money was raised by
an income tax, no question then be
ing raised as to its constitutionality.
A sharply-graduated increase in the
income tax could very easily be ar
ranged by a brief amendment to the
present income-tax law. The adminis
tration of such a measure would be
simple, since the returns are in and
the government knows who must pay
It would be necessary only to send
a notice to those who have paid that
their bills will be a certain percentage
higher, according to the graduated
increase which might be made by
An. inheritance tax could very eas
ily be added by Congress, and this
would be an even more certain way
of tapping accumulated wealth rather
than levying the burden of war on the
poor producer and consumer.
The cost of a war depends entirely
on circumstances. If the war is short
and quickly terminated a hundred
million would dq to start with, and
the cost would pile up from this, with
accumulated pensions and incident
als, until it reached probably a billion
dollars. That for a short war.
It is impossible to estimate how
many billions a war would cost that
lasted over a year or two.
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