People run away from the name subsidy. It is a subsidy. I am not afraid to call it so. It is paid for the purpose of giving a merchant marine to the whole country so that the trade of the whole country will be benefitted thereby, and the men running the ships will of course make a reasonable profit.... Unless we have a merchant marine, our navy if called upon for offensive or defensive work is going to be most defective.
William Howard Taft (1857–1930), U.S. president. Inaugural address, March 4, 1909. Presidential Addresses and State Papers of William Howard Taft, March 4, 1909, to March 4, 1910, 1: 299, Doubleday, Page & Company (1910).