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Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and Mechanical Association / Transactions of the Northern Wisconsin Agricultural and Mechanical Association, including a full report of the industrial convention held at Neenah, Wisconsin, February, 1886. Together with proceedings of the Association for 1884, to January 1, '86
Vol. XI (1886)

Bright, C. M.
Taxation,   pp. 273-306 PDF (6.8 MB)


Page 297

AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL ASSOCIATION. 297
with the chief. They have no tax, everything is simply
done by revenues collected from the products of that nation.
It was the same thing in the Oneida community, but the
American spirit, American enterprise and the Yankee does
not take any stock in any such thing. He wants his little
own and knows it is all paid for. As long as he has the
ballot and as long as he knows he can control the expense,
in one sense he is satisfied with this kind of government.
The system he refers to would create a great horde of gov-
ernment officers, revenue officers to impose upon the people
as they do upon those who visit Niagara. A person very
innocently buys something and starts home. The revenue
officer taps him upon the shoulder. The hack driver is in
the ring. If he gives a certain signal that the person has
purchased something the officer knows it.
Mr. Russell-The political economist, the prohibitionist
simply give us one side of the question as in fact all of the
statesmen, that taxation brings no return; that it is all tax,
all outgo and no incomes. Now I contend that this great
institution known as the " asylum," is a great benefit to
Winnebago county. It is a great market. Every farmer
goes there to sell something. They come to these mills
to buy flour. It is not an unmixed evil. For instance,
take Winnebago county, its tax was about $27,000 paid to
the state this year; $16,000 of that tax was school tax, one
per cent. school tax. The city of Menasha paid on that tax
$700. We got back $1,400. We have 1.400 children. The
city of Neenah paid for that tax $1,425. They get back
$1,600. The city of Oshkosh paid on that tax $5,250. They
get back $7,000. All these taxes are not paid out for noth-
ing. We get something for them. They are coming back
constantly in one way and another. These people, like the
English landlords who do not do anything, spend their
money. What becomes of the money? It better be thrown
about wastefully to them, than be hoarded up in the safe.
These questions all have two sides to them. Here is a man,
he is a spendthrift. He is worth more to the community
than a miser. The idea is, there is another side to these
questions. When we go to pay our taxes we should go


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