Sunday, August 16, 2009

Donald Duck Tax Propoganda Cartoons from WWII

In this 1941 propaganda cartoon produced by the Treasury Department, Donald Duck is told that it's not just his duty to pay his income taxes, it's a "privilege." This was right before mandatory income tax withholding was legislated, so I guess the government had to use propaganda to help convince Americans that they needed to save money to pay their income taxes.

Although it might have been slightly exaggerated in the cartoon, notice that Donald Duck fills out a simple one-page income tax form that could easily be completed in several minutes. Also, notice that because it was in the pre-withholding era, he actually writes out a personal check for $13, payable to the Internal Revenue Service. Ahhhhhhhh.....the good old days.

Here's a longer Donald Duck tax propaganda cartoon from the same era, encouraging Americans to be sure to save enough money to pay their taxes "gladly and proudly" in quarterly tax payments due on March 15, June 15, September 15 and December 15. Earlier this week, Charles Murray made the case for ending income tax withholding.

Originally posted at Carpe Diem.


At 8/16/2009 9:05 PM, Anonymous Jim Egnor said...

I'm curious as this blog's collective take on the "flat tax" concept. I technically see much too wrong with the basic construct. I assume the devil is in the details here.

At 8/16/2009 9:07 PM, Anonymous Jim Egnor said...

Really off on the grammar on first posting. I meant to say "I technically don't see too much wrong...."

At 8/16/2009 9:14 PM, Anonymous Jim Egnor said...

Or am I really rattling the cage when eliciting perspectives on the "fair tax" concept?

At 8/17/2009 2:20 PM, Anonymous mag jay said...

Well, what else is new...

At 8/17/2009 2:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, u asking for opinions on "flat tax" as a concept?

I would absolutely love if payroll taxes and income taxes were melded into one tax rate paid at single rate with an income exemption up to a certain amount.

Ignoring any supply-side argument(s), I'd like it just for the sake of simplicity and reducing the burden of both keeping updated on changes in the tax code and the burden of filing.

The tax code is a graveyard of bad ideas...Politicians may come and go, but the worst of their ideas seem to live on in the tax code.


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