Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Saturday, February 29, 2020
ISSUE #1006
Will Rogers on Leap Day & Share the Wealth

Columbus:  It’s February 29. During the years Will Rogers was writing his syndicated newspaper columns, referred to as Daily Telegrams, he wrote on Leap Day twice, in 1928 and 1932. Here they are, complete.

“Right here in Memphis today over twenty-five policemen went to a hospital and volunteered to give blood transfusions to a kid that was near death. I know that I am out of order in speaking of the good things that cops do, but I am one of the old-fashioned people who believe if somebody pounced on me, I could holler for one and he would come and help me out without me having to pay him anything. The poor fellows can’t catch many criminals as our towns have them too busy marking cars that have been parked too long.” DT #497, Feb. 29, 1928

“Every time Congress starts to tax some particular industry, it rushes down with its main men and they scare ’em out of it. About the only way I see for ’em to do, so it would be fair to everybody, would be for Congress to go into secret session, allow no telephones, no telegrams,, no visitors, so no outside lobbyists can get at ’em, then tax everything they want to, and should tax, then announce, ‘Boys, it’s all over; there is no use shooting at us now.’ As it is now, we are taxing everybody without a lobby.” DT #1747, Feb. 29, 1932

On a current topic… Before there was Senator Bernie Sanders, before Sen. Elizabeth Warren, we had Senator Huey Long of Louisiana with his ‘share the wealth’ plan. Here’s Will, on the CBS Radio network in 1935.

“Now, Huey’s plan to ‘share the wealth,’ it’s a marvelous idea. Huey’s a smart guy, don’t overlook that.   And in our own downright conscience tells us that there’s no reason why, well, anybody should have more than you.  There ain’t nothing wrong with the plan, only this one little defect: Nobody ain’t going to share it with you, that’s all.

I know a lot of tremendously rich people that should share their wealth with me, but they just don’t see it that way.  And I know folks that ain’t got as much as I have that think I ought to share it with them.  Well, I just can’t hardly see it their way either. That is, even if I can see it that way, I’m not doing it.

Well, we take the case of Huey. Suppose Huey was asked to divide his publicity with the other ninety-five senators.  Now what a fine thing.  Say, Huey, we just want you to split this publicity with them, see?  Well, that would be just like getting J. P. Morgan to split what he had with a Navajo. Morgan would say, ‘Well, why should I split with the Navajo?  I got nothing in common with the Navajo.’

Well, that’s what Huey would say, ‘Why should I split with the other ninety-five senators.  I’ve got nothing in common with them.’” Radio, April 21, 1935

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