Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 26, 1909)
a tax, nvG-sixths of which goes to a protected
If tho Post follows its own theory and favors
a' tax for revenue only it would not favor giv
ing the protected industry so large a percent
age of tho total amount collected because of
If instead of paying the tax out of their own
pockets tho manufacturers transferred the taxes
on raw materials to tho consumers of manu
factured products, then they must have collected
from the consumer at least six times as much
as the government collected from tho taxes
Will the Post say that such a tax is in the
interests of consumers? It complains that in
talcing the tariff off of hides that It became
necessary to put a tax on something else. Does
it not know that a tariff may be so high as to
bo prohibitory? Does it not know that a re
duction in the tariff on a' given article may re
sult in an Increase in tho revenue? Take tho
tariff on the leather goods for instance: The
tariff was so high under the Dingley law that
we imported practically nothing in that line,
and therefore the revenue from that source
A reduction of one-half in tho tariff might
result in the multiplication of the revenue from
that tax. If the decrease in the tariff on leather,
harness, boots and shoes does not bring an in
crease in imports and thus an increase in
revenue, it will bo because it is still prohibitive.
A tariff of 10 per cent on leather goods might
bring ten times as much as was collected last
year from the duty on the leather goods im
ported. Free hides, free leather, freo boots and free
shoes would prevent the collection of any rev
enue at all upon hides and the products of hides,
but it would be easy to make up the deficit by
a decrease in the tariff on such schedules where
the tariff is not prohibitive.
The Post rushes to the defense of the tariff
on iron ore. As this can not be explained by
any Texas deposit of iron ore for Texas' con
tribution to the production of iron ore is inr
significant it is due to its readers that it ex
plains why it thus dares to array itself against
Senator- Culberson on this subject. How 'flare
it dissent from Senator Culberson on this im
portant proposition? Does the Post not know
that the iron ore tax is indefensible from the
standpoint of revenue? Does It not know that
the steel trust asked for the tariff and that its
representatives were at Washington endeavoring
to secure it? What explanation can it give of
its attitude on this subject? Is it that it pre
fers to side with one of its senators rather than
with the other, or is it because it wants a tariff
on some other raw materials, and to be con
sistent must demand a tariff on all raw ma
terials? If it is consistency it seeks does it
demand a tariff on oil also? It ought to de
vote a good deal of its time to the tariff on
ore it will take a good deal to answer the
arguments that must arise in the minds of the
readers of the Post.
, It says: "The United States steel corpora
tion does not sell iron ore to the independents,
but does import ore for some of its Atlantic
coast ; plants." Is it not strange that the Post
should know better than the trusts what is
good for the trusts? It attempts to convince
Its readers that the tariff on iron ore does not
help the steel trust then why did tho Eteel
trust ask for the tariff?
The Post says: "If the corporation does not
sell ore, then the tax could not inure to its
benefit, since the protection on its finished pro
duct is so high that the trivial duty on iron
ore, the repeal of which was sought, could not
possibly have affected tho Belling price "
Again the question arises, how is it' that the
Post knows more about tho steel trust interests
than the steel trust themselves know?
How chagrined the directors of the steel trust
will be when they learn from the Post that they
have been hurting themselves in their fight for
a tariff on iron ore.
The Post further says: "On the other hand,
the lower duty on its (the steel trust's) ore im
ported from Cuba and elsewhere Is a distinct
advantage to the corporation, in addition to Its
high protection on iron and steel products."
Here again the Post would force upon the steel
trust an advantage which it tries to avoid and
tho value of which it does not seem to under
stand. The editor of the PoBt does not credit his
readers with a large amount of Intelligence
when it asks, them to believe that a tax on iron
ore is a blow at the trust, and that free Iron
ore would be a' boon to it. Surely the argument
bag Is empty if the Post 1b compelled to resort
to such tommyrot to support a tariff on iron ore.
But the desperation of tho Post is still further
manifested when it says: "Whether he (Mr.
Bryan) intends it or not, his argument is for
further benefits to the already highly favored
manufacturer, further tax burdens upon tho
masses and further discrimination against pro
ducers. And the manufacturers are -welcoming
Mr. Bryan's assistance in the effort to obtain
these further favors, just as every rockribbed
republican newspaper is doing."
Now let tho colonel be half fair at least. He
may bo blind himself, from prejudice, but some
of his subordinates in his office ought to caution
him against such inexcusable and eggregious
perversion of the truth. Who is copying repub
lican arguments? Who is echoing republican
arguments? Not Mr. Bryan but the P6st and
thoso who believe with the Post.
Who is standing for a tariff on wool that is
a part of the Aldrich law, was a part of the
Dingley law and the McKinley law?
It was the Wilson bill that provided for free
wool, and that was supported by the demo
cratic party in the house and senate. Who
takes the democratic position on this subject,
and who the republican position?
Mr. Bryan Is for free lumber the Post is
against it. Tho Post is defending the Aldrich
bill schedule on this subject, and repudiating
the last democratic national platform, and the
position taken by every Texas congressman but
one, and by'the democratic congressmen who re
ceived six-sevenths of the Votes cast for the
democratic congressmen of the present con
gress. Which is the democratic position?
Mr. Bryan standa in his arguing for .free
hides, free leather, free harness, free boots and
free shoes. If the Post is against it, it Is opposing
a position taken by all tho democrats in both
the senate and the house.
In its position on iron ore, the Post has the
support of eighteen out of twenty-eight United
States senators, but the Post can not get the
written endorsement of the majority of the
Texas congressmen for a duty on Iron ore.
And as to the abstract question of a tariff on
raw material: If the editor of the Post will
read the Congressional Eecord, he will find that
one of the republican senators put the question
to a number of republican senators, and. ob
tained from them all the declaration that the
republican party did not stand for 'the doctrine
of free raw material, and no recent republican
platform has advocated free raw material. The
democratic platform of 1902 specifically en
dorsed the doctrine of free raw material, and
no democratic platform since has repudiated the
So far as platforms go, the Post stands for
the republican -platform and the republican
position, while Mr. Bryan defends the demo
cratic platform and the democratic position.
Tho Post need not attempt to hide behind the
1896 and the 1904 national platforms, for the
language upon which it relies is so ambiguous
that no one could, with fairness, construe it as
binding the democratic party to a tax on raw
material, or as indicating a repudiation of the
party's former position.
The Post says: "It is strange, isn't it, if Mr.
Bryan is expounding democratic principles, to
find his most consistent and potent allies will
be the republicans and his moat determined dis
senters among men' whose democracy has never
Isn't it strange that the Post should make an
assertion of this kind? Isn't it strange that
the Post would make such a statement without
any facts upon which to base it? Now that its
attention is called to the fact that it la absurdly
false, will it confess that it is in orror or will
it try to support its position by finding a high
tariff republican paper which commends the
platform proposed by Mr. Bryan?
If the Post will submit to the papers that call
themselves republican the platform proposed by
Mr. Bryan, it Will hot find one single republican
paper of prominence which will endorse the
tariff portion of that platform.
Some of the republican papers have had the
courage to oppose the duty on iron ore, because
tho steel trust has a monopoly on iron ore, and
some of the Western republican papers have de
manded free leather, free harness, free boots
and free shoes, if hides are to be free, but what
republican paper in good standing, can the
Post name which has endorsed the plank of
Mr. Bryan's proposed platform favoring "free
wool, the abolition of the compensatory duties
on woolens and a substantial reduction in the
ad valorem rate on woolens?"
There are some papers which call themselves
VOLUME S NUMBER 4f
independent, which have commended Mr
Bryan's position in general terms, but so far aa
has come to the attention of The Commoner
no republican paper and no independent paper
that supported the republican ticket, has spe
cifically commended tho platform which Mr
Bryan has presented for the consideration of
democratic candidates for congress but it has
received the endorsement of the democratic
papers and of the democratic voters in fact It
is merely a condensed expression of the views
of the democrats of -the nation.
The Post may be ashamed of its republican
company. It is on republican grounds and
must become accustomed to its republican en
vironment, for it will have no other kind of
company when the issue is properly understood.
THE TARIFF ON FARM PRODUCTS
The Dallas Times-Herald, one of the most out
spoken of the Texas advocates of protection, falls
very naturally into the protectionists' habit of
misrepresenting those who favor tariff reduc
tion. It says:
"Bread is the staff of life. Every sweatshop
slave, every mill and factory peon in tho east,
every soul that ekes out an existence in rookery
and tenement and toils for the Gadgrlnds of
society, must have bread or they must starve.
Canada s a great wheat-growing country. Ar
gentina is another. But there Is no cheap bread
for the sons and danghters of poverty who toil
from dawn until dusk. There is a duty of 25
cents a bushel on wheat, Nebraska is a wheat
growing state and the Times-Herald insists upon
Mr. Bryan placing wheat on his free list. With
wheat on the free- list Canadian wheat and Ar
gentina wheat will cpmo in free and there will
be a chance for cheap bread. Farmers are not
the. only toilers under Old Glory."
It wants its readers to believe that Mr. Bryan
favors protection on wheat, a Nebraska product,
while asking that Texas products be placed on
the free list. The fact is that Mr. Bryan favors
free wheat and free flour. He has never made
a speech or presented an argument in favor of a
tax on either. They were not included in the
brief platform which he suggested at Dallas
because we export both and It, is only in excep
tional cases that either wheat or flour is im
ported. The tariff on wheat is of no benefit to a Ne
braska farmer and he would not be entitled to
protection on wheat even if it was a benefit.
Mr. Bryan has never advocated a protective
tariff for any one. It is only In rare cases that
a tariff does or can help the average farmer.
The tariff on farm products is a "delusion and
a snare." It has made some farmers think they
were getting a "share" of the protective tariff.
-It would be better if there were no tariff on
farm products and then all farmers would bo
likely to favor a reduction of the tariff on man
ufactured products. The republicans have
favored a tariff on wool in order to induce wool
growers to favor a, high tariff in woolen goods.
They have used the tariff on farm products (for
the most part useless to the farmer) to induce
him to consent to a burdensome tariff on what
THEN AND NOW OUR NATIONAL
SLIDING SCALE '
Taxation of the many for the benefit
of the few Is robbery under the form of
law. The Commoner, August 27, 1909.
In days of old our sires were bold,
and held their heads up high. To
despots o'er the sea, we're told, they
sent a proud defi. Oh, prompt the word
that then was heard to voice their stout
Intent: 'Twas "Millions for defense,"
they said; "for tribute, not a cent."
Today our backs to tariff tax we bend
most wondrous kind, with "living" kiting
to the sky, while wages lag behind. One
dollar goes to Uncle Sam, and nine to
"Deacon John." Gadzooks! what stuff,
this tariff guff, they stuff our voters on.
Then form a band throughout the
land; give time and money too, to guard
the pocket from the hand the many
from the few. Alas, our time the long
year through is spent to earn the pence
helps pay the tribute millions due; we've
naught for self-defense.
Lemon, South Dakota'.
..-H UMk&j! auSffc-jaLSJ
Powered by Open ONI