The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, February 14, 1913, Page 4, Image 4

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The Commoner,
The Commoner.
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WlM.lM J. llllYAN
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THE COMMONER, Lincoln. Neb.
"The heart has its reasons which reason can
not understand because the heart is of an in
llnitely higher order. "Pascal.
Last week tho house of representatives passed
the Webb bill prohibiting tho shipments of
liquor into dry states. The standpatters of
both parties fought tho measure. The experience
in the sontito was similar. There tho Sheppard
Kcnyon bill had been pushed. Senator Kenyon,
I of Iowa, closed tho debate in tlio senate by ask
, ing that tho houso bill- (the Webb bill) bo sub-
, uiuuiuu iur 1110 onepparu-Kenyon measure. The
Associated pross report of tho senalo proceed-
, Jnga says: Tho Webb bill would prohibit ship-
, inentH of intoxicating liquors from one stato to
another when intendod to be received or sold
in violation of tho law of tho state to which tho
shipment is made. Friends of tho legislation
now will seek to havo tho houso concur in tho
senate bill, which differs from tho bill passed by
ho house only in number. Should that bo done
ho b lis would not bo considered in conference,
but tho bill passed by tho senato will go to tho
president for his signature.
Tho voting was first on the perfection of tho
Konyon-Sheppard bill. By a vote of 61 to 23
tho senate agreed to tho committee amendment
adding a section to tho bill which provided in
i7bZttnn.t0X1Cat,nB liqUOrs sh0Illd bec
daries S Upon crossillS state boun-
Senator Hitchcock's amendment to accent
liquor intendod for personal use was defeated
. without a roll call and ono by SenatorO'Gor
man, to except liquor intended for phonal n
Bacramental use likewise was clefea tod by ?
to SO. Senator Kenyon succeeded- in having his
?niTr t? ni0n(l0(1 2 becomo oPorntivo July 31
1913. Thereupon Senator Gallinger asl p,i fnn
tho substitution of tho Webb bill fop tho sen Z
measure. Ho likewise succeeded in having the
onrn:lG( ,S0 as t0 br,n the houso in acUrS
except as to tho number of tho bills
When Senator Ashurst asked that tWft i
tions signed by citizens of hi 1 State vorL' t
passage of tho Kenyon bill be nrlnrp?i ? L
Record, Senator Gallinger objected th
I can not vdto for this bill r u ia
ly unconstitutional," said Senator ?ni,B Clcar"
Ohio in the first speech on it ?r Pmoree of
bill would illegallyTttempt o give stateTeL
tures the right to regulate intoiHfn 1 legl8la'
a power held solely by congress Commor'
oral as that which existed agXtlotC JT
confess could absolutely SSS
A Great Victory for the Income Tax
Delaware, in a close race with Wyoming and
New Mexico, won the honor of being the state
to complete the number necessary for the ratifi
cation of the income tax. The resolution upon
which tho state voted was adopted by congress
in July, 1909. Tho story of the completion of
tho ratification process is told by the- Washing
ton correspondent for the Chicago Record
Herald in this way:
It was a race at the last for the honor of
clinching the matter, with Delaware leading tho
intermountain state of Wyoming to the post by
an hour and fifty minutes. But had it not been
for tho fact that the sun rises two hours earlier
on tho Atlantic seaboard than it does in the
Rockies, the sheep raisers might have beat the
peach growers to it by ten minutes. Wyom
ing ratified at 3 0:45, mountain time, while
Delaware ratified at 10:55, eastern time.
Later in the day New Mexico came romping
along for place. New Jersey, home of the president-elect,
and the state where the future demo
cratic executive of the nation now presides as
governor, missed the chance of paying a fine in
auguration tribute to its favorite son. No later
than Saturday Governor Wilson, having seen the
amendment adopted by one branch of the
legislature, expressed the wish that his state
might be the one to "cap the climax." The Utah
senate ratified the amendment, the house has not
yet acted.
West Virginia, by ratifying on Friday, had
been the thirty-fifth state to give approval to the
federal income tax idea, and immediately, with
only tho vote of one legislature lacking to make
the amendment part of the organic law, tremen
dous interest was aroused throughout the land.
There was sudden inspiration of rivalry among
the states that had been holding back to get on
the bandwagon.
The race was supposed to bo between New
Jersey and New Mexico, but the dark horses
jumped into the stretch.
In tho same connection the Record-Herald's
correspondent says: And now it's all settled
except for the little matter of putting the act
through congressan act that will be proof
against attack in tho supreme court of the
United States and the majority in the next con
gress is committed to the idea of making men
contribute to the support of the government pro
portionally to the incomes they earn or enjoy
through their investments. Tentative plans that
were under consideration before became actual
p ans when the word arrived that West Vir
ginias action left only one more stato to give
approval. b
The constitution requires that three-fourths of
ho states in the union must adopt an amend
ment thereto in order to make it effective There
now are forty-eight states, making thirty-six
necessary to ratify an" amendment. West vK
Binia was the thirty-fifth in this instance
According to the plans of the lawmakers in
control of the situation in Washington annual
revenue to the amount of $100 00C 000 u l
added to the federal treasury ? as a TesSl of til
5elW' omyinrutTandfN
The amendment which becomes article Xvt
several states, shall ba valid to i t . tt0
to laVa SJSrrS,.1 SS P7f
over source derived witw A r0.m Wnat
among the several I states Tand x,HhnPP0rtIonnient
any census or enumeration .? bUt regard to
This is the first amendment to the constitu-
tion since the ratification of the one declarin
that the right of citizens to vote shall not fc
any stato on account of race, color or prevloni
condition of servitude the last of the amend
inents proposed as aftermath of the great civil
war. The fifteenth amendment was proposed
to the legislatures of the several states Feb 27
IS 6 9, and was declared ratified in a proclama
tion of the secretary of state dated March
30, 1870. a
It has been about forty-three years between
ratifications, but still another proposed amend
ment the seventeenth providing for the direct
election of senators, now is before the states
and it already has been ratified by ten of them
There is the possibility of another limiting the
incumbency of the presidential office to a single
term soon being turned loose. When they do
come they come in bunches.
The story of the fight for an income tax forms
an interesting chapter in American political
history. In 1894 congress provided for an fa.
come tax in connection with the Wilson-Gorman
tariff act, but the supreme court by a margin
of one vote and through the overnight change
of mind of one of the justices declared it un
constitutional. The present successfully ended
fight began with the special session called to re
vise the tariff by President Taft in 1909.
Lawyers had recovered from the shock of the
previous supreme court knockout and were be
ginning to argue much to the discomfiture of the
old guard standpatters that an. income tax pro
vision could be framed that would "stand tho
New blood had been pouring into the United
States senate, that bulwark of tho let-well-enough-alone
theory The progressives were
working their way from state to national arena.
Cummins of Iowa had just retired from a gov
ernorship to help lead lawmaking thought in
the senate. He began to get disagreeably busy
with the income tax proposition. He found help
in unexpected places. A titanic effort was be
ing made to revise the tariff downward, and
the question of revenue was the subject of con
sideration and the foil of subterfuge. The bill
was in the senate. Things were working as
nicely as the most standpat reactionary could
But one morning the mighty Aldrich, then
at the zenith .of his power, awoke to find there
were votes enough in the .senate to adopt an
income tax amendment as a feature of the tariff
revision scheme. The battle seemed won for
the income-taxers, and it was that day and
until Aldrich found a means of sidetracking
it. It was impossible to defeat it on a fair
and square vote; the whip no longer could gain
response. Something must be done at once, and,
paradoxically, the strategy that the wily Aldrich
employed with success to defeat the enactment
of an income tax measure in 1909 was the direct
means of bringing the whole matter to where
it is today.
President Taft's help was needed to defeat
the income tax and he was .appealed to. The
president believed the congress should have the
power to levy such a tax, but he had his doubts
about it being constitutional if levied. Aldrich
and his lieutenants were desperate. Finally they
agreed to support the president's scheme for a
tax on the earnings of corporations.
To cut a long story short, the president ob
i?ei? the aid of A1lrich In pushing his scheme,
which offered a loophole of escape for senators
who at heart were opposed to (he income tax,
but did not dare vote against it standing by
As a "sop" to the ardent supporters of the
income tax idea it was agreed to pass tho Brown
resolution, submitting the proposition in the
rorra of a constitutional amendment, so that
there could be "no doubt as to tho constitutional
gmf of the conSress to impose a tax." .
ino resolution submitting the amendment
was adopted by both houses, and the Income
tax enthusiasts took new heart. But the Aid
richites chuckled.
"We'll beat It In tho Btates" they declared
confidently. And doubtless they thought they
would. Th hope of tho progressives soon
turned to fear. Thoy saw the lines going out
an(J the pipes being laid to defeat ratification
Jn the great conservative states of the east ana
m states of the south and west where the old
time machines retained their manipulates
Power. Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode