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L 85, NO. 1


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1436 Marquette Building, Chicago


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Saturday, January 5, 1907


The Problem of
Enormous Fortunes

A discussion of the
remedy involved in the
proposed enactment by
Congress of a progress-

ive tax on inheritances

By Philip S. Post, Jr.

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The Outlook


Congress and the Brownsville Incident

The suggestion is made by certain newspaper correspondents that Congress may attempt by law to reinstate in the army the members of the Brownsville battalion discharged from the service by the President, and a correspondent in the New York Times even suggests that the President has intimated that he would refuse to obey such a law if it should be passed, that the only remedy for the refusal would be impeachment, and that it is not likely that the House would go so far as to impeach him. All this is probably newspaper gossip; there is too much good sense in Congress to allow the passage of the law suggested by the fertile mind of the newspaper writer; and if such a law were passed, it would clearly be the duty of the President to disregard it. It is just as much a violation of the Constitution for Congress to usurp the functions of the President as it is for the President to usurp the functions of Congress. The President is made by the Constitution the Commander-in-Chief of the army, and if Congress were to attempt to execute the functions of Commander-in-Chief it would clearly be the duty of the President to resist the usurpation. Congress can by law determine the terms and conditions of enlistment; it can probably deprive the President in the future of the power to discharge enlisted men without trial, which he now possesses. But it cannot exercise the power of discipline over the army. It can no more discharge an officer or soldier, or reinstate an officer or soldier who has been discharged, than it could assume to direct military operations in the field in time of war, or promote or degrade officers, or direct the President whom to promote and whom to degrade. We do not deny the right

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of the Senate to investigate the Brownsville incident, or any other incident it wishes to know about, but we think it is a palpable waste of time for it to do so; for it can take no action as to what has been done, whatever may be the result of its investigation, and its opinion based on that investigation will have no legal authority, and no more moral authority than that of any other number of equally estimable gentlemen of National reputation. The President, and the President alone, is charged with the duty of maintaining discipline in the army, and the President is responsible to the Nation, not to Congress, for maintaining that discipline in a manner at once just and efficient.

Insurance Officers Indicted

While it was perfectly for the Grand proper Jury of New York City, in presenting indictments against Mr. George W. Perkins and Mr. Charles S. Fairchild on charges growing out of the Armstrong investigation, to point out that the policy-holders of the New York Life Insurance Company actually benefited by the transaction in question, and the men indicted did not personally profit by their act, nevertheless the conclusion should not be drawn hastily that for these reasons the illegal transaction was not morally reprehensible and contrary to public interest. If the facts are as stated in the indictments, there would be a fair parallel between this case and that of the executor of an estate who should by false affidavits save the estate from paying tax under a State inheritance law-that is to say, the executor could truly assert that those whose trust he held were financially benefited, and that he made no wrongful gain personally—yet the moral as well as the legal turpitude

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