Here’s some encouraging news: While the American left seems to be willing to
give Obama a pass on the whole Guantanamo, assassinations, Iraq megabases,
undeclared drone wars all over, ever-expanding military budgets, Afghanistan
escalation thing, the American right may be starting to grow skeptical.
A couple of data points:
Grover Norquist (he who so successfully holds legislators’ feet to the
fire about their anti-tax-raising pledges)
invokes the spirit of Ronald Reagan
(specifically, his hasty retreat from Lebanon) in encouraging
conservatives to start questioning America’s wars.
said conservatives recognize the weakness of the arguments for the war,
which is why they don’t often make them.
He scoffed at the notion
that fighting two wars was making American stronger. “Being tied up there
does not advance American power,” he said. “If you’ve got a fist in the
tar baby Iraq and you’ve got a fist in the tar baby Afghanistan, then
who’s afraid of you?”
A new poll finds
support for the Afghanistan War is weak on the right.
Two-thirds of self-identified conservatives polled think the
reduce troop levels in Afghanistan or withdraw completely, and fewer than
half say they think the war was worth fighting.
Resolved, That the thanks of woman suffrage are due to the Misses
[Julia & Abby] Smith, of Glastonbury, Connecticut, for their patriotic
resistance to the tyranny of taxation without representation, and that all
women tax payers through the country should follow their example.
Resolved, That the best means of agitating at the present hour is
for all women to insist on their right of representation by actually
presenting their votes at every eleciton, and for all property-holding
women to refuse to pay another dollar of tax until their right of
representation is recognized.
Resolved, That as the duties of citizens are the outgrowth of their
rights, a class denied the common rights of citizenship should be exempt
from all duties to the State. Hence the Misses Smith, of Glastonbury,
Conn. and Abby Kelly
Foster, of Worcester,
Mass., who refused to
pay taxes because not allowed to vote, suffered gross injustice and
oppression at the hands of State officials, who seized and sold their
property for taxes.
Citizens Refuse to Pay Taxes; 140 Million Not Collected During Past Four Years
Editor’s Note — Chicago is not alone in its financial muddle. A score of
major American cities are drifting toward the same bog. The Chicago crisis
may be duplicated over all the country.
This concluding installment of a series of stories about Chicago’s plight
tells how and why taxpayers went on “strike,” precipitating the city into its
struggle against bankruptcy.
By Ray Black United Press Staff Correspondent
(UP). — A
taxpayers’ revolt brought Chicago to the brink of bankruptcy.
“Taxes are too high; assessments are unfair,” home owners, shop keepers and
business men protested. “We won’t pay.”
They did not pay. More than $140,000,000 in taxes for
remains unpaid. While
88 per cent of the taxes was sent in, only
65 per cent of the assessments was met and
tax statements lie on the city treasurer’s desk unsent.
The muddle dates from a reassessment a few years ago. Middle class folk
complained that $15,000,000,000 in personal property, trust estates, bank
deposits and other holdings of the rich had been left off the tax rolls.
Irate home owners organized, retained attorneys.
A test case was brought in behalf of Mrs. Lillian Cisar, an Oak Park widow.
She refused to pay taxes on her home because the assessment was unfair.
County Judge Edmund K. Jarecki heard the case.
Tax Rolls Void
“Scandalous and a crying shame,” he said of the tax apportionment. “What can
be fair about an assessment that deliberately omits $15,000,000,000 of
Judge Jarecki declared the and
tax rolls void. Since the
roll was based on that of
, it also presumably is illegal.
The decision was appealed to the Illinois supreme court
. Unless the high court
reverses Judge Jarecki, the whole taxing scheme of the city and county will
have to be revamped before taxpayers can be compelled to pay.
Last Tuesday, Superior Judge Charles A. Williams issued a writ of mandamus
compelling the board of review to place the $15,000,000,000 of personal
property in the tax lists. If the supreme court upholds that order, enough
valuation would be added to cut the tax rate in half.
But how soon the complicated tangle suits, appeals and writs can be cleared
up so money will actually start pouring into municipal coffers again is
problematical. The state legislature, meeting in special session to pass laws
to remake the tax machinery, is at logger heads. One relief bill was killed
in a test vote. It will be reconsidered next week.
As the matter stands, citizens howled about their taxes, refused to pay them
and a court upheld them. They are in revolt with legal sanction.
Thieves Stole Money
Appeals of officials and civic leaders that home owners pay now and trust to
later court rulings for reapportionment have gone unheeded. Not a cent in
taxes has been paid since Judge Jarecki’s ruling.
The Chicago Tribune, in an editorial headed “A Stout Thief on a Starved
Jackass,” placed the blame in these words:
“The voters elected officials to steal the public funds. The officials stole
the funds. To replenish them, they raised taxation and stole more funds.
“Theft and taxation climbed together. Corruption and collapse were twins from
“This impossible structure of graft was about to fall of its own weight when
bad times came to take the taxpayers on the other flank. That settled it. In
Chicago the very machinery for levying taxes had to break down under its
sins. Other cities went to ruin without that added cause.
“American democracy has given its demagogic and dishonest political system
enough rope, but the system has hung not itself, but the democracy.
Charlatans of reform, brainless windbags, greedy almoners, sour bigots and
fat scoundrels have crossed the country as a plague of locusts and the fields
Whatever the cause, the crisis grows hourly more acute. There is a tenseness
even where want, cold and hunger have not yet laid clutch.