LAFOLLETTE OPPOSED A "ROBBER" TARIFF

LaFollette Opposed a "Robber" Tariff "The tariff, considered as a whole, affects the cost of living. The Underwood tariff reduced most of the robber schedule of the Payne-Aldrich law. It reduced...

...I have given more study to the tariff than to any other single subject in my public experience...
...It reduced some of the protection that the farmers had under the Payne-Aldrich law, but on the whole it was my judgment then, and it is now, that the Underwood tariff bill was much more favorable to the farmers and to all classes of people, except the manufacturers themselves, than was the Payne-Aldrich law...
...These tariffs Upon the things that the people wear and eat and use in their daily life are a tax directly upon the people...
...I thus chose the better bill of the two and voted for the Underwi od bill and against the Payne-Aldrich law...
...Thus the farmer was persuaded to support the protective system...
...I did it with full knowledge of the charges that would be made against me for so doing...
...in 1910, the percentage of farms mortgaged had increased to 33.6 per cent...
...Under the Payne-Aldrich bill I found that on these hundred samples, which are illustrative of the whole plan upon which the bill was constructed, the duties on all but twenty-five of the samples were equal to the entire manufacturing cost, to say nothing of the difference...
...You canĄ not measure the effect of the tariff by one schedule or half a dozen schedules...
...The voters should not be misted and vote to increase the cost of living by high tariffs without any benefits in return...
...Believes In Protection "I believe in protection to American industries and American labor...
...The Underwood tariff reduced most of the robber schedules of the Payne-Aldrich law...
...Fourteen of the samples show duties of 126 per cent, of the manufacturing cost...
...It was not directly for their advantage that the tariff walls were raised higher and higher...
...nine of them, nearly one-tenth of the whole, bear a duty of 165 per cent...
...I have favored, together with the Progressive Republicans, a tariff commission whose duty it will be to ascertain the cost of production in this country and other countries of the world...
...As to the products the cost of producing which is not known, we must make the best estimates possible with the material at hand...
...Reliable data for determining the cost of production has been worked out with accuracy on several of the most important schedules covered by the tariff...
...It was of no avail...
...To vote against the Underwood tariff bill required me to vote against the income tax...
...Four of the samples showed a duty of 250 per cent of the manufacturing cost...
...I have taken a hundred samples of cotton cloth and figured the tariffs...
...What was his reward...
...They took the profit of his toil...
...What Was Farmer's Reward...
...But in the belief that they were ultimately to come into their own through the upbuilding of a great home market, for many years they consented to the maintenance of these high duties...
...vote against it It repudiated it again in 1912 and Mr...
...Three samples show duties of 200 per cent, higher than the actual manufacturing cost...
...In short, these interests owned and controlled the home market...
...I have no apology to make for my vote...
...Farm Mortgages Increase "The result of these conditions may he said to be somewhat reflected in the recent census report, which shows a steady increase in the proportion of farms mortgaged over those which are free from incumbrance...
...I offered amendments to the Underwood bill to give the farmers the protection I thought they ought to have, but my amendments did not carry...
...With patience and good cheer he gave long years of toll to the hardship of opening up new lands and creating new agricultural empires to afford a wider and firmer foundation for the nation's prosperity...
...They believed that by fostering our manufacturing industries the general prosperity of the nation would be enhanced, that a great and well paid manufacturing population was the best guarantee of a great and well patronized farming population...
...With a tariff commission to gather accurate data it will not be difficult to pass a tariff bill that will protect the American manufacturers who are dealing fairly with the American people...
...With the market in which he must buy all his manufactured products controlled largely, if not wholly, by combinations, which has steadily increased the price of everything he buys, and with the market in which he must sell everything he produces controlled by combinations which arbitrarily fix the price that he receives, the farmer's support of the protective systepi will be a constantly diminishing factor as long as these conditions exist...
...Instead of revising the tariff downward, it revised it upward and laid new burdens upon the backs of a people already overburdened...
...Cotton Schedule Wrong "The most that anyone contending for the principles of protection claimed was that the tariff shall measure the difference in the cost of production In this country and abroad...
...two of the samples showed duties of 300 per cent, of the whole cost of manufacturing the raw material into the finished product...
...Taft promised that if he was elected he would call a special session of congress to deal with the subject...
...I have given the tariff more study than any other man in public life today...
...But strong in the faith that they would be rewarded in the price paid for their products in the American market, they were content to go on paying more to the manufacturers who made their clothes, their machinery, manufactured their lumber, furniture and all supplies which they were required to purchase...
...The demand for downward revision of the tariff was then so insistent that Mr...
...I believe that reasonable protection is measured by the difference in cost between the manufacture of the article in this country and the cost of manufacture abroad...
...For years and years the farmers of this country, particularly in the northern states, have stood solidly for protective principles...
...On this pledge in the platform and on the pledges of the candidate standing on the platform the Republican party won an overwhelming victory...
...The revisers of the tariff had some special pets in this Industry...
...In 1908 the Republican platform promised the people a revision of the tariff on the basis of protection to American industries and American labor measured by the difference in the cost of production In this country and in foreign competing countries...
...I voted for the Underwood tariff bill...
...They fixed the farmer's prices arbitrarily...
...A special session of congress was called and passed the Payne-Aldrich tariff bill, the most iniquitous tariff that has ever been placed upon the statutes...
...They were not unmindful of the fact that they were thereby compelled to pay more for manufactured products they purchased than otherwise would be the case if these products came to them untaxed...
...Taft then candidate for president, in a speech in Wisconsin, repeated many times elsewhere, interpreted this plank of the Republican platform as a revision of the tariff downward...
...In 1890, the number was 2s.2 per cent...
...It reduced some 'of the protection that the farmers had under the Payne-Aldrich law, but on the whole it was my candid judgment then and it is now, that the Underwood tariff bill was much more favorable to the farmers and to all classes of people except the manufacturers themselves than was the Payne-Aldrich law...
...ten of them carry duties of 150 per cent...
...One sample had a duty of 400 per cent, and one GOO per cent The cotton schedule is fairly illustrative of the other manufacturing schedules...
...The Progressive Republicans in congress made every effort to carry out the pledge of the Republican platform and secure an honest revision of the tariff...
...Taft carried only the states of Utah and Vermont The Democrat 1 party came into power and it presented the Underwood bill...
...it Is a tax upon the consumption and the consumer has to pay the tax...
...Besides the Underwood tariff bill carried an income tax provision which was calculated to raise by direct tax on swollen fortunes $100,000,000 a year...
...The tariff considered as a whole affects the cost of living...
...in 1900 it was 31.1 per cent...
...The home market was then created, but it was not just the home market which had been the farmer's dream, and for which he sacrificed so much, Behind the protective tariff wall which he had helped to rear, the industries of the country sheltered from foreign competition had grown rich and powerful...
...To illustrate the iniquity of the Payne-Aldrich bill I need only take the cotton schedule...
...The Payne-Cannon Aldrich-Penrose machine had absolute control of the congress, and President Taft signed the bill, The result was the people who had been cheated, misled, and betrayed, repudiated the Republican party in 1910 and cast an overwhelming...
...Besides, the Underwood tariff bill carried an income tax provision which was calculated to raise by direct tax on swollen fortunes $100,000,000 a year...
...A tariff based on this principle can be made only upon scientific study and research...
...In hit speech at Sun Prairie Augutt, 14, 1916, Senator La Follete said: "I T HAS BEEN SAID that I am not J a Republican because I voted for the Underwood tariff bill...
...Added to this, the manufacturers protected against foreign competition, suppressed home competitors and compelled |'ie farmer and other consumers to pay higher and higher prices for manufactured products...
...A tariff bill deals with thousands of products...
...They have gone to the polls election after election and returned to power the party pledged to this doctrine...
...They had become allied with other great and powerful interests, engaged in transportation and those in turn had formed monster organizations for the control of stock yards, packing houses, and grain elevators...
...that is, the difference in the cost of manufacturing the raw material into the finished product...

Vol. 8 • August 1916 • No. 8


 
Developed by
Kanda Sofware
  Kanda Software, Inc.