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A SERIES OF TREATISES

ON

THE TARIFF AND THE CURRENCY

BY

EDWARD ATKINSON, LL.D., Ph.D.

“To lay with one hand the power of the government on the property of the
citizen, and with the other to bestow it upon favored individuals to aid private
enterprises and build up private fortunes, is none the less a robbery because it is
done under the forms of law and is called taxation."

JUSTICE MILLER, in Loan Association vs. Topeka (20th Wallace, 655).

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

NEW YORK

LONDON
24 BEDFORD STREET, STRAND

27 WEST TWENTY-THIRD STREET

The Knickerbocker Press

COPYRIGHT, 1892

BY
EDWARD ATKINSON

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London

BY EDWARD ATKINSON

Electrotyped, Printed, and Bound by
Tbe knickerbocker Press, New York

G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

INTRODUCTION.

THE principal difficulty in dealing with the tariff question in recent years has been due to the fact that the evils of a bad system of collecting our national revenues are concealed. That is the fault of almost every system of indirect taxation. Those who suffer the most do not know what hurts them. There are also great numbers of people upon whom the burden falls but lightly who would even prefer to pay a larger sum by indirect taxation “unbeknownst-like,” than to be obliged to submit to a direct assessment like that by which our State and municipal taxes are collected.

The total amount of direct taxes for the support of State, county, city, and town governments is less than the total contribution of the people to the support of the national government, and yet these lesser but direct contributions are subjected to a sterner investigation than those which are contributed to the nation. We also get proportionately more for our money through the State and municipal governments than we do from what we pay for the support of the nation, bad as the expenditures in a few of our great cities may be.

The objects for which State and municipal governments are permitted to tax the citizens are very strictly limited, and in almost all the States a limit has been fixed beyond which cities and towns may not incur any obligations for

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