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Sunday, September 03, 2006 ISSUE #423

Taxing thoughts for Labor Day weekend

#423, September 3, 2006

COLUMBUS: All I know is what I read in the newspaper. The 3 percent tax on long distance telephone calls was ruled unconstitutional. The IRS started collecting it in 1898, but the Supreme Court says they only have to pay back what they got from you in the last three years. The government gets to keep whatever they gypped from you in the previous 105 years.

If you remember your history, Congress passed the tax to pay for the Spanish-American War. They were so shocked when Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders knocked out Spain before the 1900 election, they plum forgot to end the tax. Nobody complained at the time because nobody used the telephone, except to eavesdrop on the neighbors' conversations. If you wanted to get a message in a hurry to a distant city or state, you sent a telegram.

Now you just watch..., some wily Senator will slip through a 3 percent tax to pay for the war on terrorists. He'll put it on some obscure luxury, like hybrid automobiles, figuring it will take another hundred years before the Constitution gets wise to it.

You know, if we could wipe out these Islamic fascists in less than 2 years, like we did the Spanish Armada, we might not object to paying the tax for another hundred.

England apprehended 16 more Muslim terrorists yesterday. See, England taps into their telephone calls to Al-Qaida, then arrests them. Here, lawyers say the FBI can't do that. In fact we have to send them a rebate check to cover the long distance tax.

Gasoline is down another 20 cents. Are you sure they're still making it from oil?

Historic quotes from Will Rogers: (on Labor Day)

"Tomorrow is Labor Day, I suppose set by act of Congress. Everything we do nowadays is either by or against acts of Congress. How Congress knew anything about labor is beyond us, but anyhow tomorrow is Labor Day. It's a day in the big cities when men march all day [in parades] and work harder than they have in any other of the 365. Even the ones that ain't working labor on Labor Day." DT #967, Sept. 1, 1929

"Every holiday ought to be named "Labor Day." If we could ever get vacations down to where you wasn't any more tired on the day one was over than on our regular work day it would be wonderful." DT #2211, Sept. 4, 1933

"(President Franklin) Roosevelt thinks there should be a law saying how long you can work a man and the lowest sum that you can pay him. And the Supreme Court says you can't do that. Well, that's a pretty big question, but if there's no way of the underdog getting any assistance by law, why, things won't look any too rosy for the underdog." Radio broadcast, June 9, 1935

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