What’s old is still news

July 18, 2011

Yesterday, Ray was looking through some old Life magazines that were part of my Mom’s estate. A history buff, he happily thumbed through one old magazine after another when he found the edition of Life magazine dated April 4, 1969. On Page 36, he saw this editorial page headline: “The burden of taxes, the need of reform.”

Here are a few excerpts:

“Just a few days before leaving office, L.B.J’s Treasury Secretary Joseph Barr touched a highly responsive chord with the public. He disclosed that more than 150 wealthy citizens in the $200,000-plus income bracket were quite legally not paying a cent in income tax–and predicted a ‘taxpayer revolt’ if something isn’t done about the widespread tax inequities that such extreme examples represent.”

What was the response from the newly minted Nixon administration? This is what the article reported:

“…Treasury officials of the Nixon administration are complaining that Barr’s mention of wealthy tax-avoiders was ‘unprofessional’ and ‘inflammatory,’ and are quietly spreading word that though tax reform is still desirable, it is a highly complicated subject needing further study–say until 1971.”

Or maybe until 2011–when those who raise the issue of “widespread tax inequities” today are accused of waging “class warfare.”



  1. I have to hope that sanity will reign at some point. Of course, some call me an optimist.

  2. I share your hope, Sharon.

  3. Yes! And the interesting part to me is that in whatever other recessions we’ve had, I didn’t notice. But now when I look back I think huh, no wonder it was so hard to find a job;-)

  4. We must notice more in the moment and remember history. And now, we are confronting the fact that things we thought we’d settled such as a woman’s right to choose are in fact in serious jeopardy. And then take a moment to notice the move by Republicans to suppress voting in the next national election. They could take Obama out just by keeping his voters impotent and unable to cast their vote.

  5. Agreed. And I love these old magazines too. We have saved quite a stack of them, and sometimes I can get lost in them for hours.

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