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[944] responsible for all the circulation, we ought to supply the currency to the people and receive the profit of doing it.

But it is said that the banks really cost the United States nothing. One of the ablest bankers of them all, Mr. Jay Cooke, has undertaken to tell us that the banks pay in taxes a large amount, and therefore in equity we ought not to disturb them. Sir, if Mr. Jay Cooke or any one else will tell me of any business in this country that is not taxed and does not pay a large amount of taxes, then I will agree that the banks are not favored. Take, for example, a manufacturer. Take a single case, only two years ago, in the State of Massachusetts, of a manufacturing corporation of $750,000 capital and of $1,500,000 annual product of manufactured goods. It exactly divided profits with the United States. Its stockholders received two dividends of five per cent. each on $750,000, and it paid five per cent. tax on the entire amount of production, $1,500,000; so that they in fact took the United States into partnership, only the United States got all the profits, but the stockholders bore all the loss. Now, if there is any greater or more onerous burden of taxes on the banks than that, I have yet to learn where it is.

Again, it is said that this banking system is a better one than we ever had. For some purposes so it is. And it is said, further, that if we do not encourage it we shall go back to the old State bank system. No, Mr. Chairman, never, never! The day of State banks has gone by. They were always, in my poor judgment, unconstitutional; but they got themselves fastened on to the country, and there was never power enough, until the necessities of the country required a new system of finance, to break off their hold. We have rid the country of them, and the Congress of the United States, ay, and the good judgment of the people, will never permit that system again to be imposed upon the country.

What is the next proposition? Why, it is said we must not interfere with the national banks because they patriotically helped us during the war. Upon that I take issue with each and every advocate of the banks. On the contrary, they helped themselves, not us. It is said they loaned money to the government. How did they do it? Let me state the way a national bank got itself into existence in New England during the war, when gold was 200, and five-twenties were at par, in currency, or nearly that. A company of men got together $300,000 in national bank bills, and went to the Register of the Treasury with gold at 200 and bought United States five-twenty bonds at par. They stepped into the office of the Comptroller of the Currency and asked to be established as a national bank, and received from him $270,000 in currency, with interest, upon pledging these bonds of the United States they had just bought with their $300,000

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