Imágenes de páginas

year yet to run. If the present rate of excess of expenditures over receipts continues, there will be at the full end of the fiscal year, July 1st, a deficit for the year of $133,000,000. The receipts from the income tax in June are expected to substantially reduce this deficit. No one imagines that they will wipe it out. In other words, in spite of all extraordinary sources of income, including those somewhat hypocritically called "war taxes," a deficit has been created where a surplus existed before the present administration.

The much-reviled Taft administration, whose extravagance the Democratic platform denounced so unsparingly, left a Treasury balance of $166,000,000, with revenues in excess of expenditures in spite of its heavy Panama Canal outlay. The Treasury balance March 2nd was but $45,000,000, with an increasing excess of expenditures over receipts.

At the same time it is an open secret that the public service has deteriorated at almost every point. The naval development plans have been seriously interrupted, and their continuity so broken that the broad and sane purposes of their projectors are badly weakened. Important harbor improvements have been neglected, while huge sums have gone to worthless dredgings of unheard of rivers. The administration is embarrassed and cramped for funds. Most of the department heads are obviously disappointed.

It was not difficult to pardon the extravagance of the first year of the Wilsonian regime. New fiscal laws had been passed, and it was not known what their results might be, in the way of revenue production. Their framers were sanguine. According to their theories, there should have been an actual increase instead of decrease of

revenue. The new Secretaries were inexperienced and enthusiastic. They relieved that they were going to work great reforms, each with his pet nostrum.

They asked for much,-and got it. We are a great country. We are rich. We can afford to be good natured. We allowed it to pass. Here and there a warning voice was raised, but on the whole little was said. The extravagances of the last session of Congress arise from another source, and have been perpetrated in the face of a very clear understanding of the decreased and decreasing revenues. They call for a very different treatment.

Well, the upshot of it all is that we are tired of having the business of the country incompetently managed. We long for a trained business man in the presidential chair. We are beginning to see that the actual work of administration of this great country and its huge business concerns needs trained business brains. We are beginning to realize that such careful administration is quite as important as the fancy politics and petty axe grindings and wordy utterances over vague and supposedly great questions of policy which seem to take up so much of the time and thought of our chief executives. We are the more annoyed that the Wilson administration has made a wreck of the business of government because it has been so ardent about telling private business how to conduct its affairs, and we call it no less strictly to account for this reason, than because it so definitely promised decided reform where it has outcaesared Caesar-promised radical betterment of the government expenditures where. it has actually brought about such a regime of extravagance as the nation never knew in all its previous history.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][graphic][graphic][merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[graphic][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »