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Newspaper Page Text
THE TRUST PRESS CLOUDS THE ISSUE IN
DEFENDING RICH TAXDODGERS
BY N. D. COCHRAN
The practically unanimous defense of Julius Rosenwald as a tax
dodger by the Kept newspapers of Chicago is one more illustration of how
they poll together when the interests of Big Business are involved; and
the selfish, sordid interests at that.
When State's Attorney Hoyne and a grand jury were investigating
petty law violators, clairvoyants, crooked policemen and pickpockets, the
newspapers played the news stories up with big headlines; but the moment
Hoyne got after the millionaire violators of tax laws the newspapers began
to yell like so many stuck pigs.
An attempt has been made to lead the people to believe that Julius
Rosenwald had been singled out as a special victim of the state's attorney,
because of spite or some equally petty reason.
But State's Attorney Hoyne called attention to the fact that Rosen
wald had not only failed to file a schedule of his personal property for tax
ation, but had refused to appear before either the Board of Assessors or
the Board of Review; and Hoyne also made the statement that there was
evidence before the grand jury to indicate that Rosenwald had entered
into a conspiracy with an attorney to evade the tax law.
Now, it wasn't the mere fact that Rosenwald was indicted that kicked
up this newspaper rumpus, but rather the prospect of a general grand jury
investigation of many more rich taxdodgers, which might expose a com
mon practice of wealthy citizens dodging their fair share of taxes.
The stories in the various newspapers showing how unjust a burden
would be placed upon small savers by the taxation of savings bank deposits
are printed merely to cloud the issue and build up a general public senti
ment against Hoyne's crusade for fair taxation and all for the protection
of the rich taxdodgers.
Hoyne hasn't been driving at the small taxpayer. He hasn't been driv
ing at the savings bank depositor, the small home owner or the small busi
ness man. He has been trying to break down the vicious system that per
mits a private arrangement between rich men and taxing officials to deter
mine how much taxes the privileged few shall pay.
If a rich man refuses to file a schedule, telling under oath what his
personal property amounts to; if he refuses to go before the Board of
Assessors or the Board of Review to submit to questions, then it is up to
the assessors or reviewers to fix the amount of property upon which he
shall be taxed or leave him off the tax duplicate altogether.
If a man makes a tax statement under oath and lies, he can be pun
ished in a way that counts. If he fails to file a schedule, he can be indicted
and fined $200. And any man can well afford to pay a 200 fine if by so
doing he can save thousands of dollars.
But the trust press doesn't want him indicted or punished at all. They
want him left alone to do as he pleases; and many of him pleases to stay
off the tax duplicate altogether and pay no taxes at alL
Even though we have bad tax laws, their enforcement can't be as
vicious as a private arrangement between individuals and taxing officials.
There can be no equality of taxation so long as fixing what each citizen
shall pay is left to the discretion of a tax official. There is too much oppor
tunity for the rich toarrange for special exemptions and privileges.
The fight of the newspapers against State's Attorney Hoyne is onq