Will Rogers pinch hits, on taxes
COLUMBUS: Baseball season is starting as Tax season is closing. Since I’m still tangled up with my income tax return, I’m calling on a Pinch Hitter to take a turn at bat for Weekly Comments.
Now, if you’re in the half of the country that is paying no income taxes this year, and likely coming out ahead, then these comments will be more hilarious than if you’re in the half that makes the first half possible. Here’s Will Rogers with some major league quips on taxes.
This is income tax paying day. No two can agree on what is deductible. When it’s made out you don’t know if you are crook or martyr… By the way, did you charge off money given to the Democratic campaign? You could, it’s a legitimate charity, not organized but a charity nevertheless. (1929)
Everybody knows that one of our great ills today is the unequal distribution of wealth. You are either at a banquet in this country, or you are at a hot dog stand. There is no doubt that the ones with the money are about the only ones that could pay anything, but after all, these durn rich ones are the ones the rest of us got to live off of. If the Government takes all their money in taxes it don’t leave any for the folks that work for them. (1932)
There’s no income tax in Russia, but there’s no income. (1935)
You can’t legitimately kick on income tax, for it’s on what you have made. But, look at land, farms, homes, stores, vacant lots. You pay year after year on them whether you make it or not. Every land or property owner in America would be tickled to death to pay 45 per cent of his profits, if he didn’t have to pay anything if he didn’t make it. (1932)
There is a tremendous movement on to get lower taxes on earned incomes. Then will come the real problem, “Who among us on salary are earning our income?” (1929)
You let a Politician return home from Washington and announce, “Boys we lowered your taxes. We had to borrow the money to do it, but we did it.” Say, they would elect him for life. (1926)
At the present income tax rate the government takes 55 cents of every dollar from any of the high-priced stars. You see that hires many a politician, and gives some of us a little license to holler how the government is run, even if it’s only a holler. (1933)
Presidents have been promising lower taxes since Washington crossed the Delaware by hand in a row boat. But our taxes have gotten bigger and their boats have gotten larger until now the President crosses the Delaware in his private yacht. (1924)
The only way they will ever stop bootlegging is to make them pay an income tax. At present it is a tax-exempt industry. Income tax has stopped every other industry, so there is no reason why it won’t stop bootlegging. (1923)
I see by the papers that they are going to do away with all the nuisance taxes. That means that a man can get a marriage license for nothing. (1924)
Now that brings us down to taxes… This money the government is throwing away, well, where’s it coming from? Everybody says, “Where’s the money coming from we’re spending?” I don’t know, but just offhand, I’d say it’s coming from those that got it. (1935)