OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, April 19, 1917, NOON EDITION, Image 2

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1917-04-19/ed-1/seq-2/

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all tjliies, has shown that this is
never completely accomplished ex
cept by PUBLICITY.
A man has GOT to be honest about
the size of his income if his report
to the government on this topic is
to be published. For if he isn't, his
neighbors will tell on him.
This fact is certainly percolating
into the heads of those who sit in the
congressional halls. The attitude of
these progressive officials is fairly
summed up in the statement of Rep
resentative Crossei of Ohio, who
"What is the use of formulating
new tax schemes unless we are
going t'o adopt some efficient means
of stopping tax-dodging? What do
we gain when we increase income
tax RATES, if the same amount of
fraud and evasion as to the principal
is allowed to cpntinue?
The only effective means that I
know or anyone else knows for stop
ping tax frauds in time of war, or
peace, is to throw the returns open
to the public, so that everybody can
tell who is paying his just taxes, and
whether.the revenue agents are en
forcing the law rigidly and impar
tially. "No one can pretend that we are
at the present time getting anything
like complete returns under the in
come tax. The secretary of the
treasury says Ave are not; the com
missioner of internal'evenue reports
hundreds of delinquents in the one
district in which hehas made a thUr
ough investigation; and every man
in the street knows of numerous
cases of men who are completely
evading the tax or are paying only a
part of what they should.
"Unless we make the returns pub
lic this scandalous situation is sure
to grow even worse when we raise
the tax rates as we are certainly
going to do. The man who will dodge
10 per cent tax will certainly not re
sist the temptation to make a false
return when the rate is rised to 30
or 40 per cent And when we begin
taking all or nearly all of the incomes
over $100,000, as I hope and believe
We shall, every possible check on eva
sion will be required.
"Under the state and municipal
tax laws; the tax collector goes into
the homes of the poor and lists every
piece of furniture, every watch, every W
piece of personal ornaments that
they possess. And these lists, show
ing the most intimate-facts about the
household arrangements of the fam
ilies, are open to the inspection of
all. In asking for publicity of income
tax returns, we are not delving into
the personal affairs of private Citi
zens, but are merely providing a
means of knowing whether they have '
paid their JUST taxes.
"No phrase ever received a more
generous response or took a. strong-
er hold on the imaginations ef the
people' than the president's declara
tion at the beginnihg Of his first term
for 'pitiless publicity There is no
part of public affairs which needs the
white light of publicity so much as
the imposition and collection of
taxes. Publicity will show not only
whether the federal government is
getting what it is entitled to, but also
Whether the law is being impartially
enforced and equitably distributed
over all those whose incomes bring
them within Its terms.
"Taxation is public business and
public business ought to be public."
o o
Washington, April 19. Adminis
tration determined that politics shall A
not defeat conscription army .bill,
which army men say is absolutely
vital to safety of nation.
President will stand for no com
promise. He favors Chamberlain,
bill, which provides selective draft
without modification, and will fight
for its passage.
Is his purpose to get bill through
senate, then put issue auarely be-

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