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United States Department of State / The executive documents of the House of Representatives for the first session of the fiftieth Congress. 1887-'88

Cleveland, Grover
Message,   pp. iii-XIV PDF (5.5 MB)

Page iii

                       M ESSAGE.
 To the Congress of the United States.
   You are confronted'at the threshold of your legislative duties,
 with a condition of the national finances which imperatively demands,
 immediate and careful consideration..
   The amount of money annually exacted, through the operation of
 present laws, from the industries and necessities of the people,
 largely exceeds the sum necessary to meet the expenses of the
   When we consider that the theory of our institutions guarantees
to every citizen the full enjoyment of all the fruits of his industry
and enterprise, with only such deduction as maybe his share to-'
wards the careful and economical maintenance of the Government
which protects him, it is plain that the exaction of more than this
is indefensible extortion, anda culpable betrayal of American fair-
ness and justice. This wrong inflicted upon those who bear the
burden of national taxation, like other wrongs, multiplies a brood
.of evil consequences. The public treasury, which should.only exist
as a conduit conveying the people's tribute to its legitimate objects
of expenditure, becomes a hoarding-place for money needlessly with-
-drawn from trade and the" people's use, thus crippling our nationdl
energies, suspending our country's development, preventing invest-
ment in productive enterprise, threatening financial disturbance, and
inviting schemes of public plunder.
  This.condition of our treasury is not altogether new; and it-has,
more than once of late been submitted to the people's representatives
in the Congress, who alone can apply a remedy. And yet the situa-
tion still continues, with aggravated incidents, more than ever pre-
saging financial convulsion and-wide-spread disaster.
  It will not do to neglect this situation because its dangers are.not
now palpably imminent and apparent. They exist none the less
certainly, and await the unforeseen and unexpected occasion when
suddenly they will be precipitated upon us.
  On the 3oth day Of June, 1885, the excess of revenues over pub-
lie expenditures after complying with the annual requiremefit of the,
sinking-fund act, was $I7,859,735.84; during the year ended June

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