The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, December 01, 1921, Image 1

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The Commoner
. i
' ,
VOL 21, NO. 12
Lincoln, Nebraska, December, 1921
Democrats Share
the Glory ).
In another editorial reference is made to, the
fact that the progress now being made toward
disarmament was impossible two years ago.
Democrats can make this explanation when Re
publicans claim entire credit for what is being
done at the Arms Conference. So far as record
shows the Democrats have favored every peace
movement more than the Republicans. It was
the Republican leaders who two years ago at
tempted to fasten universal compulsory training
upon the country. They were defeated by the
Democrats in Senate and House, who, as in the
case of the 'Revenue bill, secured enough Re
publicans to save the. country from an annual
expense estimated at seven hundred million dol
lars. It was less than two years ago that Sena
tor Wadsworth of New York reported such a
bill and the friends of the measure did not conj
fess final, defeat; they simply postponed the
question until after. ,thQ election. . ,
It. wasthe practically solid Democratic opposi-.,
tion that, secured enough Republicans In Senate
and House to reduce the army and navy ap
propriations last year both were reduced be
low what the war. and navy departments asked.
A practically solid Democratic support of the
Borah resolution in both Senate and House
made it possible to secure its passage enough
Republicans joined the Democrats to sdef eat the
army and navy influence that tried to block its
passage. The vote for the resolution stood 74-0
in the Senate and 303-4 in the House but that
was only after the opposition recognized- its
The Democrats ought not to attempt to deny
the administration the credit for what it has
done but the Democrats have a right to insist
upon an equal share in' whatever glory the con
ference may bring to the nation. The Paris con
ference did all-that could be done at that time;
it was impossible to do then as much as can be
done now in the direction of disarmament. The
Democrats liave been in advance of Republicans
in the effort to reduce the burdens o war. It
will be popular now to applaud every step to
ward progressive disarmament but if the Repub
licans attempt to claim, an unfair share of the
honor it will be easy to confuse them by recall
ing their clamorous demands for bigger ships
and biggor armies. Let's call it even and for
getting the past, join together in urging the
largest possible progress toward disarmament
n land and sea. When armies are reduced to
Police force size and the burdens of navalism
and militarism disappear , there will be joy
enough to satisfy all" and credit enough to ,go
all the way around. W. J. JBRYAN.
Whol4 Number 752
The Commoner
wishes a
Merry Christmas
ancl a
to Everyone, Every
where, and For
' .
is just beginning .to his sentence. Some
tile men , in N; Y.j 'were .found-, guilty of con
spiracy under he 'anti-trust IaW and received a
prison sentence instead of a fine. It has been
customary to FINE violators of the anti-trust
law a penalty entirely Inadequate because a
fine never approaches the amount that the cor
poration had made by violating the law. IJ;
marks a long step in advance when the penalty
is fastened on the individual in the form of a
prison sentence instead of being spread oyer the
earnings of a corporation. i "
The world moves. It used, to be regarded as
quite demagogic for anyone to advocate " the
sending .of such respectable criminals to the
penitentiary or to jail. It will add to the respect
for law to abandon the discrimination that has
so long been made between small crimes and
great 'crimes. Petty larceny is always punished,
grand larceny often punished; but glorious lar
ceny has usually escaped. The country is to be
congratulated if these prison sentences indicate
a new era in the administration of justice.
The opponents of the trust have reason to re
joice. The Anti-Trust Law has been upon the
statute books for more than thirty years and the
rst violator of. the law to be sent to prison
If, as now seems probable, the British govern
ment has reached an agreement with the people
of Ireland by which there is to be an Irish re
public it will be a cause of rejoicing all over the
world. Ulster is left out necessarily so. Ulster
is not willing to go in, and Ulster included
against her will would give to thejrish republic
a problem even more difficult than' that which
has disturbed Britain while if included an'
unwilling Ireland. The doctrine of self-determination
is the basis of Ireland's triumph and It
will be the basis of other triumphs because it is
right. Self determination is also the basis of
Ulster's exclusion and the lesson taught by he
seeming settlement of that centuries long dispute
will be' an encouragement to people everywhere
who are held as subjects against their will.
The world may yet become safe for democracy.
; The Democrats
in Control
(A very-remarkable thing" took place Jn .the
House on November 17th It is doubtful whoth
er a precedent can be found in recent years in
the Republ'can party. The Democrats secured
the votes of 93 progressive Republicans In the
House and actually defeated the Republican '
leaders on the Revenue bill, in spite of the
fact that the loaders were roinforcod by a let
ter from President Harding. That the readers
may understand the situation, it may be well to
trace the progress of the Revenue bill.
First, as reported to the House by the Ways
arid Means Committee it contained a provision .,,
(among- other bad provisions that need not bo
mentioned hero) which reduced the maximum
income tax from 65 per cent to 32 per cent,
and making the provision RETROACTIVE, so
that it Would apply to this year in spite of the r
fact that the year is nearly gone. The number
. .of 'persons benefited was something less; than
FIVE THOUSAND ttfey ware Ihe rawTwgli"'
Incomes, ranging from about $70,000 up. This
small group would have been relieved of a
tax estimated at NINETY MILLIONS. This was
so objectionable that a Republican caucus
struck- out the retroactive clause and thus saved
the treasury the ninety millions for this year.
Wljen the. bill went over to the Senate the
Democrats, although numbering but a little
more than one-third, secured enough' progres
sive Republicans to force the rates up to a maxi
mum of 60 per cent. .The Republican leaders
in the Senate had to agree to this because the
agricultural bloc could furnish the Democrats
enough votes to defeat the bill unless "the
change was made. It is needless to say that
the progressive Republicans of the Senate were ,
considerably outnumbered in their own party
and could hav done nothing without the
Democratic vote.
When the bill came back from the Senate -the
conference , committee agrded upon a maximum
of 40 per cent nearly midway between the 50
per cent of the Senate and the 32 per cent of
j the House. The President wrote a letter urg-
ing the acceptance of the compromise of 40 per
cent, saying at the same time that he person
ally favored the 32 per cefit fixed by the House,
and giving his 'reasons therefore. In spite, of
the President's letter and the, influence of the
leaders, 93 Republicans, more than one-third
of the party, joined with 10G Democrats and de
feated the proposition. They fixed the rate at
50 per cent as asked by theSenate. It Is a very
extraordinary situation when a party revenue
measure is so bad that a Republican caucus re
fuses to accept it and when enough Republican's
join with the Democrats In both Houses to re
store rates on big Incomes in spite of the ef
forts of the Republicans to reduce these rates.
' There must be a reason for this revolt, what
is .it? The reason is that , there was no excuse,
for the position taken by the Republican leail-
i twifaj-.. . ?