The agreement of the House and Senate committees on the war tax bill practically assures the passage of that measure, which will bring into government coffers $2,700,000,000 when its various provisions come into effect. Just as the undergraduate has subscribed to the Liberty Loan and contributed to the Red Cross Fund, so now will be perform his share of raising this enormous sum with which at least a good start is going to be made against Germany. But whereas in the two former cases he contributed willingly and openly, this time he is to do his part from necessity, his choice or liberality having nothing to do with the matter.
And what are some of the ramifications of this tax measure which will make an allowance that was a fortune a short time ago, a pittance now? In the first place there is the three cent postage. This may be a most opportune excuse for fewer letters home, provided a tendency toward economy makes fond parents swell with pride. On the other hand, it may cause great embarrassment to a Lethario with sailor-like qualities, when he finds his few coppers will not keep the various maids in various ports informed about his successes at college, social and otherwise.
Then comes the stamp tax on bank checks. This is tyranny indeed, and we can well understand what Patrick Henry was so huffy about back in colonial days. For this gruelling measure intends to charge us for every check we write. How many times have we sought to impress our creditors around Harvard Square with what affluence we were possessed! We thought nothing of presenting a check for an account of thirty-nine cents ten months overdue. Our signatures did look well on those pieces of evidence. But this mus all a thing of the good old past, if we are to conserve our personal resources, and we shall have to draw one big sum the first of the month and carry it around in our socks.
But the injustice does not stop here. Moving picture theatres whose price of admission is in the neighborhood of twenty-five cents are not exempt, and the undergraduate consumer of their amusement must bear the brunt. Reserved seats at theatres are on a special balck-list, and we know too well now the predilections of a certain friend in Boston who provides us with front row seats with an air of a charitable man. The galleries will probably come into their Elizabethan popularity again, and we shall learn to despise that vulgar place, the pit. Sleeping car reservations need hardly be mentioned. They follow along with all the other luxuries.
The attitude of the undergraduate will have to change from a mild prodigal son type to that of a careful planner. Otherwise he will miss much of the pleasure which his monthly dividends from home are able to give him. In its performances he may look upon this as a most disagreeable task. A great many fathers, however, are going to rejoice secretly that a government measure can do good in some respect, even though they first viewed it as confiscation.