THE United States Government in 1904 was content with an income of five hundred and forty million six hundred and thirty-one thousand seven hundred and forty-nine dollars, but it spent five hundred and eighty-two million four hundred and two thousand three hundred and twenty-one dollars. That year the railroads took in two billion one hundred and eighty-eight million one hundred and eight thousand and eighty-one dollars, or four times as much as the Federal government, and paid out for operating expenses and fixed charges one billion nine hundred and nine million three hundred and twenty-two thousand one hundred and fifty-five dollars.
In the army and navy of the United States were ninety-seven thousand and three men, whose support and equipment cost the nation two hundred and seventeen million nine hundred and ninety-one thousand five hundred and thirteen dollars. The railroads employed one million two hundred and ninety-six thousand one hundred and twenty-one men, and paid them eight hundred and seventeen million five hundred and ninety-eight thousand eight hundred and ten dollars for their services.
The railroads have not yet acquired as big a pension bill as the Civil War left the government - one hundred and forty-one million seven hundred and seventy thousand nine hundred and fifty-five dollars in 1904 - but they are making considerable progress in that direction. In the six years of its existence the pension department of the Pennsylvania Railroad has retired as pensioners two thousand seven hundred employees and has paid to them two million four thousand and eighty-seven dollars. The "Big Four," it is announced, will hereafter lay aside three hundred thousand dollars a year to be used for the same purpose.
Nearly one-sixth of the wealth of the country is owned by the railroads, for the total value of the property represented by the two hundred and twenty thousand miles of main track in the United States is sixteen million dollars, more than the wealth of the entire country at the outbreak of the war.
The army of one million two hundred and ninety-six thousand one hundred and twenty-one railroad men is greater than the total number of men who voted in eighteen States at the last Presidential election and is about one-sixteenth of the voting population of the United States. One in every sixty-two persons in the country is employed by the railroads in some capacity.