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This Week In History, 2-14-08


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The following reports are taken from The Calhoun Chronicle archives:


1932, 75 years ago


With so much complaining about the burden of taxes, it is refreshing to find someone who sees the other side of the picture.


Abraham Epstein, writing under the title “I Cannot Complain About Taxes” in The New Republic said: “I am a taxpayer. I have just gone over last year’s accounts, and totaled up my Federal income tax and state tax. I am expected to protest to my favorite newspaper and sign my letter, ‘An overburdened taxpayer.’


“I look at the stub of my checkbook. I sent the government of the U.S. a little over $24 last year as my family’s share of the income tax. I calculate. My wife and I paid, in income taxes, less than 50 cents a week, less than seven cents a day, toward the maintenance of the Federal Government.


“My wife has just received an excellent booklet from the Children’s Bureau about the care of our baby. I constantly get valuable reports from the Dept. of Labor and Commerce and the Census Bureau. A monthly review summarizing social and economic data comes regularly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Were I forced to obtain this information from private organizations, the cost would prove prohibitive.


“My state taxes have doubled from last year. I try to become indignant, and I look at my checkbook again--$18! That was the direct contribution of my family toward the maintenance of the State government. I calculate. About five cents a day: one fourth of what I spend daily on cigarettes; one-half of my daily tips for lunch; one bus fare or cost of my newspaper.


“For this petty sum I can drive through fields, forests, parks, and mountains, over thousands of miles of beautifully kept highways. My family’s health is protected from epidemics. The State helps to supply me, and my children, with free schools. Should I go insane, the state would place me in a well-kept institution and do everything possible to cure my illness. Should I sin and go to jail, it would house and feed me as long as I stayed. 


“Am I overpaying? Am I overburdened? No other investment brings so much return for so little cost.”


How many of us think of our taxes as does Mr. Epstein? After all, isn’t he about right? In what other way do we get so much for so little? Aren’t the services we receive worth far more to us than we pay for them?  




  1957, 50 years ago

One of our predictions--a political one--at the beginning of 1958, concerns the candidates for president, who will make their races two years hence-in the 1960 presidential election.


It seems pretty obvious that something drastic will have to happen to knock the Republican admin-istration’s two-term vice president out of a chance to be the head man of the executive department. In saying that we are fairly certain Richard Nixon will be the G.O.P. nominee in 1960 we are making no revolu-tionary statement or forecast.


The Democrat picture is a little more interesting and complicated. There may be several candidates by the time the Democratic convention rolls around. Prominently mentioned have been Adlai Stevenson, Lyndon Johnson and Jack Kennedy.


The choice, as of now, is Nixon and Kennedy. Of course, we could be wrong, in case you didn’t think so.





  1982, 25 years ago


A massive snowstorm dumped at least 12 inches of heavy, wet snow in Calhoun County. In its aftermath, thou-sands of homes lost electric, schools were canceled, and it took highway crews many hours to clear the main roads.


The main problem was heavy snow on utility lines, and snow-laden trees falling across lines. Temperatures stayed close to 30 degrees and there was no wind, a combination that kept snow on the trees and the power lines.

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