Advertisement

English VI.

DEBATE OF FEBRUARY 15, 1888.Resolved, that the tax on tobacco should be abolished.

Brief for the Affirmative.M. H. Clyde and J. M. Hallowell.

Best single reference: "The Abolition of Internal Revenue Taxes," by William Whitman, in "Bulletin of Wool Manufactures," Vol. XIII.

I. Internal revenue taxes should be reserved for emergencies.- See first pages in Whitman's article.

II. The tobacco tax does not fall equally on the whole country.- Whitman; "Internal Commerce of the United States, 1886," pp. 568, 652.

III. Unless the tobacco tax is repealed the revenue will not be sufficiently reduced.- Congressional Record, 43d Cong., 2d Sess., March 3d, 1875; 45a Congress, 3d Congress, March 1st, 1879; 47th Congress, 2d session, Dec. 5, 1882.

Brief for the Negative.C. H. Burdett, W. Coulsen.

References: Report of Secretary of Treasury, 1887; Reports of Com. Internal Revenue, 1863-1886; President Cleveland's Annual Message, 1887; Speech by J. S. Covert, Cong. Rec., 1879, Vol. XIII, Part III, Ap. p. 199; Speech by Jos. Wheeler, Cong. Rec., Vol. XIV, Part IV, Ap. p. 339.

I. Tobacco as a luxury is considered a proper commodity for taxation by all the leading governments of Europe. (a) The repeal of the entire tax means cheaper tobacco and increased consumption: i. e., the increase of a great evil. (b) The repeal of this tax will involve the retention of taxes on the necessaries of life.

II. This tax ought not to be repealed. (a) It is the most equitable tax that we have; (b) it falls directly on the consumer and therefore is not local; (c) it is easy to collect; (d) produces no hardship; and (c) its repeal is not demanded by the consumer.

III. The agitation for the repeal of the tax is a political expedient adopted by protectionists to divert public attention from the real issue presented by the large surplus. Their chief arguments are: (a) Appeals to the popular prejudices supposed to exist in the U. S. against excise duties, and (b) the fact that this is a "war tax" -considerations that do not call for the repeal of the tax.

Advertisement