This section of the book is from the "Introduction To Public Finance" book, by Carl Copping Plehn.
Such, stated in condensed form, are the general principles which should guide the fiscus in time of war. No better illustration of the application of these principles can be found in history than is afforded by the operation of the United States Treasury during the recent war with Spain ; and by following in some details the story of that war, we can obtain a clearer view of the principles themselves.
(The situation, as it confronted Secretary Gage when the news of the destruction of the Maine reached Washington, may be summarized somewhat as follows : The Treasury had a balance on hand of about $225,000,000. But, as we shall see below, only about $25,000,000 of this was really available for immediate use in the prosecution of the war. The ordinary expenditures of the government, outside of those for the postal system, which is nearly self-supporting, amounted in round numbers to $350,000,000 per annum. For the first time in many months these expenses were being nearly met by the revenues. Indeed, it was estimated that at the ordinary rate of expenditures there might be a slight surplus at the end of the year. The tariff was expected to yield about $200,000,000, the internal revenue taxes about $165,000,000, and there were about $25,000,000 to be expected from miscellaneous sources.