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as a revenue measure. The situation in the Senate repeated that of the House. Every friend of the bill was uissatisfied with it; yet willing to support it for the sake of party.
At this juncture the bill became a source of public scandal. The charge was made that it had been turned into a matter of bargain and sale by the Sugar Trust, whose members had secretly visited members of the Senate Finance Committee, and had secured a modification of the sugar schedule in the interest of the Trust, by means o which it would reap great profits. These profits were to be realized by placing a duty on sugar, but post. poning its collection till January 1st, 1895, thus giving the Irust a chance to stock up without duty, but at the same time to advance the price of refined sugar to the extent of the duty. The charge was further made that the Secretary of the Treasury had personally written, or dictated, a change in the sugar schedule in accordance with the wishes of the Trust. Still another charge was made that the Trust demanded and obtained this valuable con. cession in pursuance of a preëxisting agreement with the leaders of the Democratic party that its (the Trust's) interests should be protected for the consideration of a gift of a sum of money, estimated at $500,000, for campaign purposes in 1892. And again it was charged that information respecting the work of the Finance Committee had been sent out secretly to New York brokers, and that Senators had taken advantage of this leakage to speculate in sugar stocks.
The publication of these charges created quite a sen.
min, and cast a taint on tariff legislation. An investigation was ordered. The newspaper men who had made the
exposures refused to give the names of their informants and were turned over to the criminal courts to be tried for contumacy. The sugar magnates who were called to testify admitted the giving of money in unremembered amounts to State, but not the National, Campaigns, on the score of business, and for which they expected correspond. ing benefits. Other witnesses testified in a modified way, and some with very proper and natural excuses, to the truth of what had been charged, while even Senators when called did not in every instance place themselves beyond the suspicion that they had taken advantage of the situation to turn a penny in sugar stock speculation.
The revelations were a terrible blow to the national pride and to every sense of honor and honesty, but they did not serve to loosen the grip which the Trust had on the Senate. On the contrary, they served rather to ex. plain what had before been a rumor, that the position of the Trust was so strong that the fate of the entire tariff bill depended on its getting the protection it wanted. They also served to explain the indifference of the Trust to the sugar schedule when the bill was in the House, at which time it was given out that the Trust depended on the Senate for the protection it desired. Moreover they intensified the opposition to the bill in general, for the taint, like mildew, spread to other parts of it, especially to the internal revenue clauses relating to the taxes on whiskey and beer.
That there should have been such favoritism shown to a gigantic Trust, at a time when the exalted principle of tariff reform was seeking for recognitios in our industrial and commercial economy, was made all the more inexplicable by the clause in the Democratic platform of 1892, which read:
“We recognize in the Trusts and Combinations which are designed to enable capital to secure more than its just share of the joint product of capital and labor a natural consequence of the prohibitive taxes which prevent the free competition which is the life of honest trade, but believe their worst evils can be abated by law, and we demand the rigid enforcement of the laws made to prevent and control them, together with such further legislation in restraint of these abuses as experience may show to be necessary."
The bill was debated in the Senate for months with blended ability and acrimony. It was subjected to gradual modifications, generally in the direction of incieased duties and additional inconsistencies. The income tax portion precipitated the strongest debates, and, as had been the case in the House, the bitterest opponents of the tax were Democrats themselves. The opposition speeches of Senators Hill of New York and Smith of New Jersey, were remarkable for their vigor and ability. The ground taken by the former was not only economically important, but showed the great danger to the party likely to spring out of this kind of legislation. He deemed it unwise to incorporate an income tax into a reform bill, or to attach it to any measure of tariff revision. It was a war tax in time of peace. Democracy had never favored such a tax. It was a Populistic measure. It fulfilled no Democratic doctrine or promise. He ridiculed the idea that the United States should copy this form of taxation from England, whose form of government, natural surroundings and obligations were essentially different. But even in England it was rather tolerated than approved. Waxing warm, he repudiated the “Spurious Democracy of those modern apostles and prophets, who are part Mug.
wump, part Populist, and the least part Democratic, who
The arguments against the tax may be summed up thus: (1) It had no legitimate place in a tariff reform bill. (2) It was neither Democratic nor Republican in principle; had never been approved by the public; was a doctrine of Populism. (3) It was unnecessary as a rev enue measure. (4) It was a direct tax and therefore un constitutional. (5) It was unequal, unjust and sectional in its operations. (6) It revived an odious war tax. (7) Its exemption stamped it as an offensive piece of class legislation; all incomes should be taxed or none. (8) It was retroactive. (9) It usurped a field of taxation law fully belonging to the States. (10) It was inquisitoria. and offensive. (11) It would lead to conflict betweer State and Federal authorities. (12) It selects a class for Federal taxation.
The Populist senators were persistent and aggressive in support of the income tax clause. They averred that the tax was favored by a majority of the people; that the laboring classes thought the rich were not bearing their share of taxation; that officials who had to do with public moneys were corrupt, and the rich could secure from them lower assessments; that millionaires were too numerous, seventy of them averaging estates of $37,000,000 each.
As the summer of 1894 wore away, and there was a prospect of the passage of the Wilson bill in the Senate, anxiety arose as to how it would be received in its transformed shape on its return to the House. There was much probing of sentiment as to this, and it was found that many disciplinary lessons would be required in order