Let me again repeat the words of the oath administered by the Chief Justice which, in their respective spheres, so far as applicable, I would have all my countrymen observe: “I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.” This is the obligation I have reverently taken before the Lord Most High. To keep it will be my single purpose, my constant prayer; and I shall confidently rely upon the forbearance and assistance of all the people in the discharge of my solemn responsibilities.
Executive Mansion, March 15, 1897.
To the Congress of the United States:
Regretting the necessity which has required me to call you together, I feel that your assembling in extraordinary session is indispensable because of the condition in which we find the revenues of the Government. It is conceded that its current expenditures are greater than its receipts, and that such a condition has existed for now more than three years. With unlimited means at our command, we are presenting the remarkable spectacle of increasing our public debt by borrowing money to meet the ordinary outlays incident upon even an economical and prudent administration of the Government. An examination of the subject discloses this fact in every detail and leads inevitably to the conclusion that the condition of the revenue which allows it is unjustifiable and should be corrected.
We find by the reports of the Secretary of the Treasury that the revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1892, from all sources were $425,868,260.22, and the expenditures for all purposes were $415,953,806.56, leaving an excess of receipts over expenditures of $9,914,453.66. During that fiscal year $40,570,467.98 were paid upon the public debt, which had been reduced since March 1, 1889, $259,076,890, and the annual interest charge decreased $11,684,576.60. The receipts of the Government from all sources during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1893, amounted to $461,716,561.94, audits expenditures to $459,374,887.65, showing an excess of receipts over expenditures of $2,341,674.29.
Since that time the receipts of no fiscal year, and with but few exceptions of no month of any fiscal year, have exceeded the expenditures. The receipts of the Government, from all sources, during the fiscal year ending June 30, 1894, were $372,802,498.29, and its expenditures $442,605,758.87, leaving a deficit, the first since the resumption of specie payments, of $69,803,260.58. Notwithstanding there was a decrease of $16,769,128.78 in the ordinary expenses of the Government, as compared with the previous fiscal year, its income was still not sufficient to provide for its daily necessities, and the gold reserve in the Treasury for the redemption of greenbacks was drawn upon to meet them. But this did not suffice, and the Government then resorted to loans to replenish the reserve.