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A decidedly disrespectful history of taxes and the folks what hate ‘em

Today is tax day! April 15! My wife and I received our refunds months ago, but people all over the country are celebrating tax day with Fox News-sponsored Tea Parties. Teabaggers from Beverly Hills to Greenwich Village are protesting tax hikes that have not in fact occurred, making Tea Parties the first protest in history opposing something no government has done or plans to do! So, I say let’s get into the festive Teabagger mood and step into the WABAC machine for a happy stroll through the history of taxes and all the fiendishly clever ways humanity has invented to render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar.

3000 BC: Taxes as we know and love them are invented in Egypt, which has given world civilization so many things, such as writing, medicine, geometry, and that island on Lost. Once the Egyptians figured out this whole tax thing, they went at it with everything they had and started taxing whatever they could lay their mitts on. Food, walking, slaves, foreigners — anything that appeared on this side of the underworld had “tax me” written all over it. Except income tax because no-one had invented income, yet.

1500 BC: A magic date for tax-and-spenders and teabaggers the world around: the first tax genius, Joseph, of chosen people fame, comes up with a 20% tax rate to render unto Pharoah what belongs to everyone else. And the first teabagger tax revolt? They ended up in slavery for several hundred years.

357 BC: Rome, the civilization that fully mastered the art of taxing everything that moves, breathes, rots, smells, or otherwise exists, outdoes itself with a slave emancipation tax, the Vicesima. In ancient Rome, slaves eagerly saved their denarii to eventually buy their freedom, if their owner was in a selling mood. Now really, folks, it sucks to be a slave. It sucks today, it sucked 150 years ago, it sucked in ancient Rome. Slavery is the Platonic form of suckitude. But nothing says “this really sucks” like having to pay 5% of your purchase price when you’re freed from slavery.

60 AD: Boadicea, the great Celtic warrior-woman of England — and the first person in history who was genuinely “bodacious” — leads the first major tax revolt tea party in history, claiming it’s better to be dead than to pay taxes to the Romans. She gets her wish.

69: In a place where everything and anything was taxed, you’ve got to hand it to Roman Emperor Vespasian, who, facing a serious fiscal crisis, found a whole bunch of previously untaxed stuff to tax. Like being Jewish. Or urinating. Talk about pissing off teabaggers, who, by the way, have a pretty tough time of it. In ancient Rome, folks who didn’t like taxes got to have a little heart-to-heart chat with Mr. Centurion and his laugh-a-minute buddy, Mr. Short Sword.

621 AD: Mohammed — or Allah, depending on which side of the table your faith falls on — comes up with the brilliant idea of putting tax law right in sacred scripture itself. You got a teabag problem with the jizya? Take it up with God.

758: The Chinese come up with the staggeringly bad idea of taxing salt, which you must eat or die. So you could say the salt tax is the first tax on survival. Needless to say, Chinese tea drinkers have major problems with this tax. Despite the suckiness of the idea, the French will give it a try 800 years later, thus giving Teabaggers plenty to be peeved about in 1791. And then the British, whose history teaches us that the British never learn from history, decide to try this suckiest of sucky taxes in India, which eventually leads the Indians to kick their sorry asses out of the pool. Listen, guys. Tax anything. Tax urine. Tax Canadian beer. But leave my salt alone!

991: The Vikings, before they started playing football in Minnesota, were the most serious butt-kickers in Europe. And nobody wore a sign on their backs that said “kick my butt” like the English, who would eventually have their booties seriously booted into next Tuesday by a bunch of pansified Vikings, the Normans. Eventually, the English (Anglo-Saxons, really) got fed up with having their butts kicked so they . . . paid the Vikings to go home leave their butts alone. Ethelred, who was called “The Unready” because he was reading “My Pet Goat” to a bunch of first graders when the Danes kicked English butt at Maldon, decided to pay over a ton and a half of silver as a tax, called the Danegeld, to convince the Vikings to take their butt-kicking game to Green Bay. The Vikings thought pretty highly of this Danegeld idea and returned a couple more times to hold Ethelred upside-down and shake a ton or so of silver out of his pockets — silver he had collected, of course, as a Danegeld tax. Thus, the Vikings created the first bank bailout in history, but without the banks.

1404: English Parliament institutes history’s first income tax. Rupert Murdoch, who runs the Fox Town Crier Service, and Teabaggers jump on this baby before the ink is even dry. History’s first income tax proves so unpopular that Parliament revokes the tax and orders all records, including the original law, to be burned at the stake. Well, not at the stake, but burned, at least.

1655: Oliver Cromwell, George W. Bush’s favorite King of England, comes up with the great idea of taxing his political rivals. After taking over England and sending King Charles’ head to an incorruptible crown, Cromwell decides that the followers of the cephalically-challenged king deserve a chance to pay lots and lots more taxes than everyone else . . . in order to finance the costs of kicking their Royalist asses for the next twenty years, of course. Cromwell really takes to this tax idea and starts taxing anything and everything, including chimneys. That’s right. If you had a hearth in your home, you got a hole in your pocket.

1671: Peter the Great, who loved the French and really, really, really tall soldiers — you could say that Peter founded the first NBA, but without any of that distracting basketball stuff — thought Russians should be more like, well, Frenchmen, but without all the boring movies. And nothing said backward, barbaric medieval Russian like a beard down to your naughty parts, so Peter and his really, really, really tall soldiers slapped a confiscatory tax on all beards. And just to show how much of a patriot you were for paying your beard tax, Peter awarded you a medal with the inscription: “Beards are really stupid.”

1766: The Stamp Tax. Tea party. American revolution. The rest is history. Actually, all of it is history, but the rest is history, too.

1781: The Articles of Confederation forming the United States explicitly forbid federal taxation. The federal government is to be financed from “donations” (it was all the snickering at John Adams’ table that should have given this one away). Tax-and-spend Federalists soon see the error of their ways and, after only eight short years, come up with that unpardonable act of America-hating treason: the Constitution, which allows Congress, in the odious phrase of the scoundrels who wrote it, to “lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” It’s going to be a dark day — nay, a dark couple of centuries — for Teabaggers.

1789: The French have a tea party that gets a bit out of control, and the 18th-century French equivalent of right-wing radio talk show hosts take over the country. They helpfully remove the heads from every tax collector in the country.

1817: The U.S. Congress revokes all taxes. Property tax, excise taxes, the whole ball of beans. Of course, every time you buy something that was made somewhere else, you pay a whopping premium because of the tariffs, but what’s that between friends? Then, of course, there’s all the money to be had by selling all that real estate bought for pennies on the dollar from the right-wing radio talk show hosts running France.

1835: Americans pass the first pro-business tax, the Morrill Act, which slaps a hefty 47% tarriff on all imported manufactured goods. All the hard-working folk in the southern states pay the tax, because they don’t have factories, and all the money is spent in the northern states to build bridges and stuff. Kind of like today. All the states south of Canada pay the taxes and Alaska gets all the money for bridges and stuff.

1861: The first income tax in the United States. Well, what used to be the United States, since there was that little matter of the Confederacy. You know, the brave men of the South who killed hundreds of thousands of their fellow countrymen for the noble cause of keeping millions of people in slavery just because they were African? Both the Union and Confederate income taxes help to finance the astronomical costs of killing all those hundreds of thousands of people.

1885: Canadians — who have given us Parliament Today, undrinkable beer, and Dan Akroyd — have the oh-what-the-hell notion of taxing people for being Chinese. Simply show up Chinese and you get slapped with a tax. Being the progressive people they are, Canadians nix the tax in 1923, but only because they have the equally progressive notion not to let Chinese into the country in the first place. Since Canadians don’t have a rich history of tea party tax revolts, Teabaggers in Canada start throwing 2% Beer Parties, where they pour six-packs of Molson’s down the toilet. After drinking it, of course.

1894: The United States institutes the first peace-time income tax — a whopping 2% tax on all annual income over $4,000. Since only about 2% of Americans in 1894 took home paychecks that large — there were, of course, no DVDs or Hannah Montana or plasma TVs or Guitar Heroes to buy, so Americans really didn’t have much use for “income” — the whole tea party thing comes to a big crunching halt somewhere in Washington Square. Not that there was much need: the Supreme Court poops that party in 1895 when they declare the flat-rate income tax to be unconstitutional.

1913: A dark day for Teabaggers. The Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution makes income tax as American as apple pie and downloadable porn. Congress shows uncharacteristic cleverness on this one — the original amendment ratified by the states would tax only “lawful income.” Tax-and-spenders wisely remove the word “lawful,” much to Al Capone’s chagrin fifteen years later. The immediate result: in one year (1917), the federal government collects more revenues than all the previous years combined. All. The. Previous. Years. Combined. Back to 1791. Rupert Murdoch, the publisher of The Fox Herald-Tribune, goes apoplectic and permanently loses his American accent in protest.

1935: Social Security is instituted and is historically noteworthy for being the first and only government name that accurately names what it names.

1941-1945: American liberals start a war in Europe and Russia and Africa and Asia all at the same time in a traitorous conspiracy to raise income taxes to insane levels — with a bottom of 24% and a top tax rate of 94% — and government spending to insaner levels. Massive government spending during World War II effectively and permanently ends America’s Great Depression, proving beyond a doubt to generations of Teabaggers that government spending only made the Depression worse.

1978: Howard Jarvis, after a long stint as the butler in Avengers Mansion, spearheads the second great Teabagger revolt in U.S. history with Proposition Friday the 13th in California. For decades afterwards, Californians will enjoy crumbling schools, disintegrating freeways, and, due to the perverse genius of politicians of every stripe, the most expensive government in the solar system.

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2 Responses to “A decidedly disrespectful history of taxes and the folks what hate ‘em”

  1. Kat says:

    What gets me about these people ist that they obviously see NO connexion between taxes and society actually running semi-smoothly. People, you’re not giving your money to some isolated, unrelated thing called The Government — you’re giving your money back to yourself and your neighbours so we can do things individuals can’t do alone.

    Naturally, there are plenty of specific taxes that I would disagree with, myself, but I gladly pay them so I can have fire fighters and cops and public parks and good schools for other people’s children and roads and bridges and, and, and…

    Oh, and BTW, this is all the more amusing once you learn what teabagging is (hey, I didn’t know until Marcy posted something on her LJ): http://www.videosift.com/video/Sex-and-the-City-Explain-Conservative-Teabagging.

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