For a change of pace, I found some good news at Paleo Lithics blog regarding national embarrassment, John Murtha, being in trouble and appealing for more cash from his donors to save his seat. Then he mentions the famous Johnstown flood tax of 1936, another classic example of “temporary” taxes that outlive their original emergency purpose:
Oops. Welcome to the wonderful world of Pennsylvania politics, where earmarked “temporary taxes” never go away and instead are diverted to “discretionary use.” Where a candidate for office calls his constituents (aka voters) “racist” and “redneck” and the same candidate takes credit for the revitalization of an area that the taxpayers pay toward with the purchase of every bottle of wine or liquor in the overpriced and tiny state monopolized “Wine and Spirit” shops. Where, if you have a few dollars left in your wallet after paying federal, state, and local taxes, you might be able to afford a cheap bottle of wine – if you can afford the sales tax calculated on top of a decades old temporary tax. It’s long past time for change in Pennsylvania, starting with John Murtha.
Federal Income Tax itself was promised to be only one percent for the duration of WWI. Right. It is this reality that makes me so nervous about the “temporary” bailout of our major banks. Any bets on how soon the government no longer has any “ownership position” in them?