The Healer and the Pirate

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Friday, August 5, 2011

1920s taxes; Mermaid at Deauville

Yes, politicians have been arguing over government expenses and taxes since...well, probably way before 1921, honestly. This is from a Louisiana paper.

Congressmen Predict Deletion Transportation Taxes.--Luxury Duties May Remain Same.--Slight Relief Expected.
Washington.--Republicans of the house ways and means committee have conferred for a development of views on tax revision. Many divergent opinions were developed, but no conclusions were reached.

Emphasizing that he was speaking solely for himself, Chairman Fordney said afterwards that the goal toward which he would strive would be a cut of half a billion dollars in the tax bill next year. His opinion was that by the exercise of rigid economy the government could be operated for three and a half billion dollars in 1922 instead of the four billions estimated by the treasury.

Practically all members of the committee are in sympathy with the repeol (sp?) of the transportation taxes, both passenger and freight, but they have not yet fixed upon a new source of revenue to offset the loss of $330,000,000 to the treasury that this would involve......

--The Concordia Sentinel, August 6, 1921

Before anyone goes all Tea Party on me, please note that 4 billion dollars in 1921 was 50.44 billion dollars today, at least per the Historical Currency Conversions page. And there were about 1/3 as many people in the US. The US life expectancy for a child born from 1919-1921 was perhaps only 56.34 years. While many people exceeded that age, there wasn't nearly as much worry about paying for people's old age expenses. I think the general attitude was that you worked until you died.

Oh, and that supposed 50.44 billion dollar budget is more or less what we spent for Homeland Security alone in 2009. Department of Defense spending was more than 10 times that.

But on the conservatives' side, we paid $189 billion in INTEREST on our debt in 2009! Note that even in 1921, politicians weren't sure how they were going to pay for government programs and lower taxes...

ANYWAY! Let's get something fun. This could make a really neat short story or even novel, if you imagined it from a speculative POV.

Mermaid at Deauville.

Deauville, France.--Everyone watches for the daily appearance on the beach of the "Norman mermaid." It is a golden-haired, sylphlike girl who has earned this flattering name that just fits by her appearance in an old-gold bathing costume made of some shimmering scaly texture.

--The Concordia Sentinel, August 6, 1921

If you Google Deauville Mermaid there are actually a few different prints of Deauville Mermaids (note: artistically topless!) from 1918, 1921, and 1947.

Click on the picture below to see a silent film of the beach at Deauville. From the street clothes I'm guessing 1920s.


And let's end with a couple jokes. Politician comic:

--The Concordia Sentinel, August 6, 1921

And OK, this one's an old joke but it made me chuckle.

Terrible Blow.
"The banker's daughter turned me down."
"Did it break your heart?"
"Worse than that. It ruined my credit."
--The Concordia Sentinel, August 6, 1921

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