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Full text of "War-time financial problems"

218              POST-WAR FINANCE

of the Economist, against borrowing for war purposes
to the large extent to which our timid rulers have
adopted the policy. " To be really just," the writer
continued, " the process of taxation . . . must be
appUed with greatest force to those who have
accumulated their money since the outbreak of war,
and only to a less degree to those whose fortunes
have not been built upon their country's necessity.
The difficulty of separating these two classes of
wealth is great, and must, in the writer's opinion, be
effected by separate legislation—legislation which
might justly be based upon the increase in post-igi3
incomes, a record of which should now be in prepara-
tion at Somerset House/' Everyone will agree that
everything possible should be done to take the burden
of the war debt off the shoulders of those who have
fought for us ; but it is equally clear that now that
the mischief of this huge debt has been done, it will
be exceedingly difficult to repair it by any ingenuities
of this kind. For instance, if the kind of taxation—
in the shape of a Compulsory Loan—proposed by
" Ex-M.P/' were enforced, how can we be sure that
it would not take a large slice off capital, the next
heir to which is a soldier or a sailor ? Bad finance
is so much easier to perpetrate than to remedy that
one is almost certain to come across such objections
as this to any scheme for making the war profiteers
" cough up " some of their gains.

Moreover, we have to remember that by no
means the whole of the war debt represents the gains
of those who " have turned a national emergency to
personal profit/' Some people whose incomes have