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government by the people will be at hand. And of the means to this end, not one would, in my judgment, be more effective than an amendment to the Constitution disqualifying the President from re-election.
When we consider the patronage of this great office, the allurements of power, the temptation to retain public place once gained, and, more than all, the availability a party finds in an encumbent whom a horde of office holders, with zeal born of benefits received and fostered by the hope of favors yet to come, stand ready to aid with money and trained political service, we recognize in the eligibility of the President for re-election a most serious danger to that calm, deliberate and intelligent political action which must characterize a government by the people.
I do not think that any one will attempt to answer the argument made by Mr. Cleveland; certainly no one will who has seen a political convention dominated by "a horde of office holders," and has realized how correctly Mr. Cleveland's description fits those who exhibit “a zeal born of benefits received and fostered by a hope of favors yet to come." If it is said that crises may arise in which a second term would be of benefit to the country, I reply, first, that as an offset to this possible danger we must consider the danger, equally possible, that the President may be led to make a crisis for his own benefit; and, second, that whenever this nation can find within its borders but one man qualified for the Presidency, it will have reached a condition when its preservation will be a matter of little concern. In all matters of government we must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the policies proposed, and I am convinced that the dangers which arise from the possibility of a second term are greater than the dangers which would follow the adoption of the constitutional amendment proposed by Mr. Cleveland.
In expressing my opinion upon this subject as emphatically as possible, both upon receiving the bulletin announcing my nomination and, later, in my letter of acceptance, I desired to protect myself from myself and, by removing the hope of a re-election, leave nothing to interfere with the proper discharge of the duties of the office, in case election should follow.
Our opponents endeavored to make it appear that the income tax plank of our platform assailed the Supreme Court. This criticism was entirely without foundation. The platform commended the income tax, and suggested the possibility that the court might hereafter reverse its decision and return to the earlier precedents. It is easier to believe that the court will some day return to the construction placed upon the Constitution for a hundred years than it would have been, three years ago, to suppose that the court would render the decision.
which it did. A future court has a right to declare a similar income tax law constitutional. Even the present members of the court have a right to change their opinions on this subject as judges have in the past changed their opinions. Therefore, it is neither treason nor sacrilege to express the hope that an income tax law may some day be enforced, even without a change in the Constitution. If I may be pardoned for expressing my own opinion, I will add that I have in the past advocated, and do now advocate, an amendment to the Constitution which will specifically authorize the collection of an income tax, to the end that the burdens of the Federal Government may be equitably distributed among those who enjoy the protection of the Government.
I have found considerable misunderstanding among the people as to the reason for bond issues during the present administration. All the bonds issued were issued for the purpose of buying gold, but the proceeds of the sale of the bonds were used to make good the deficit in the nation's revenues. The Republicans have generally insisted that bonds would not have been necessary if the revenues had equaled the expenditures; but this argument, it seems to me, is without foundation. While bonds would have been necessary to make good the deficit, they may, under the gold standard, be issued when the revenue is sufficient. The revenues are not necessarily paid in gold, and so long as gold can be drawn out at will by the holders of coin obligations, the gold reserve can be drained regardless of the condition of the revenues. To be sure, if the surplus should increase until it was equal to the total amount of greenbacks and Treasury notes, these obligations might be held in the Treasury so that those desiring gold could not find any paper upon which to demand it from the Government. But the letter written by Secretary Carlisle during the campaign sustains the position taken by silver advocates and shows that even in case all paper obligations are withdrawn, gold can be drained from the Treasury by the presentation of silver dollars and silver certificates. We must either have one standard money or two. If we have two, the government cannot undertake to redeem one with the other.
The Democratic platform took, in my judgment, the only defensible position when it declared that the Government should have the right to redeem coin obligations in either gold or silver. In this way, and in this way only, can the Government protect itself. As early as March 2, 1894, I introduced a bill relating to this subject. It was entitled: "A bill to construe the law which gives the Secretary of the
Treasury the right to redeem coin obligations in gold or silver, at his discretion," and read as follows:
Whereas an act entitled "An act directing the purchase of silver bullion and the issue of Treasury notes thereon, and for other purposes," approved July fourteenth, eighteen hundred and ninety, provides "that upon demand of the holder of any of the Treasury notes herein provided for, the Secretary of the Treasury shall, under such regulations as he may prescribe, redeem such notes in gold or silver coin, at his discretion, it being the established policy of the United States to maintain the two metals on a parity with each other upon the present legal ratio, or such ratio as may be provided by law;" and,
Whereas this provision and other similar provisions for redemption in coin have been construed to mean that the Secretary of the Treasury has no discretion, but must redeem in that coin which the holder of the obligation demands; and
Whereas such construction violates both the letter and the spirit of the law, destroys the principle of bimetallism, and places the Treasury at the mercy of any who may conspire to reduce the gold reserve for the purpose of forcing an issue of bonds; therefore,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all obligations heretofore or hereafter incurred by the Government of the United States, whether such obligations bear interest or not, which, according to their terms, call for payment in coin, shall be payable in gold or silver coin of present weight and fineness, at the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury, and the right of the holder of any such obligation to demand payment in a particular kind of coin, whether gold or silver, is hereby expressly denied; and that the Secretary of the Treasury is directed to maintain gold and silver coin on a parity with each other upon the present legal ratio, or such ratio as may be provided by law, by receiving the same without discrimination against either metal, in payment of all public dues, customs, and taxes.
During the last campaign the relative merits of national bank currency and government paper were discussed to some extent, and the question is one which will grow in importance until the people finally determine whether the banks or the people shall control the volume of paper money. The demand for the retirement of greenbacks comes largely from the national banks, and the reason for the demand is found in the desire of the banks to exercise a control over, and derive a profit from, the issue of all paper intended to circulate as money. For several years there has been an effort on foot to so change existing laws as to permit banks to issue notes up to the par value of the bonds and to reduce the tax upon the circulation from I per cent. to of 1 per cent. I gave in my letter of acceptance the three general objections to banks of issue, and it may not be out of place here to enlarge somewhat upon those objections. The first is, that the right to issue paper money is a valuable privilege, and to grant