Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act

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Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act,

1909, passed by the U.S. Congress. It was the first change in tariff laws since the Dingley Act of 1897; the issue had been ignored by President Theodore Roosevelt. The Republican platform of 1908 pledged revision of the tariff downward, and to this end President Taft called (1909) Congress into special session. The House promptly passed a tariff bill, sponsored by Sereno E. PaynePayne, Sereno Elisha
, 1843–1914, American legislator, b. Hamilton, N.Y. He was admitted to the bar (1866), practiced at Auburn, N.Y., and was active in Republican politics.
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, which called for some reduced rates. The Senate substituted a bill, fathered by Nelson W. AldrichAldrich, Nelson Wilmarth,
1841–1915, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, b. Foster, R.I. He rose in local politics as state assemblyman (1875–76) and U.S. Representative (1879–81) before he served as Senator (1881–1911). Aldrich, after the death of Henry B.
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, which made fewer downward revisions and increased numerous rates. After a sustained attack on the Aldrich Bill by a group of insurgent Republicans in the Senate, a compromise bill was adopted, which somewhat moderated the high rates of the Aldrich bill; the measure was immediately signed by Taft. It lowered 650 tariff schedules, raised 220, and left 1,150 unchanged. Although the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act was less aggressively protectionist than the McKinley Tariff Act (1890) and the later Dingley Act, it was, nevertheless, protectionist.
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The Underwood-Simmons Tariff Act came four years after Congress, under the guise of a constitutional excise or "indirect" tax, passed the Corporate Income Tax Act of 1909, the country's first corporate income tax law and the origin of today's corporate income tax.

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