“Every American Should Pay His or Her Income Tax, Gladly and Proudly…”

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See this government propaganda piece from 1943 using Donald Duck & family to sell Amercians on the notion of passively allowing government theft through taxation while LIKING it. The spot criticizes high time preferences and promotes low time preferences, not for the purpose of saving and capital formation, but for the purpose of being able to pay your taxes when they come due. Taxes are “higher than ever before,” the spot says, “thanks to Hitler and Hirohito.” So US foreign policy emperors are relieved of the responsibility for war, bombing, mass killing, and having to take peoples’ money to pay for it all. It’s the emperor on the other side of the ocean that is at fault. The “fear factor” rears its ugly head when the ad promotes taxes as means to “freedom from want and freedom from fear.” In perhaps the most remarkable line of the ad, the high time preference duck wants to spend “his dough.” The central planner duck steps in and says, “It’s your dough, but it’s your war, too. You must save for victory.” The visual images, symbols (Nazi symbols, of course), and one-liners consistently invoke the same message: every dollar you spend on you goes to help the enemy.

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6:31 am on July 1, 2007