Taxes to Beat the Axis

 

The 1942 Revenue Act transformed the majority of Americans into taxpayers almost over night.  To “sell” the new income tax to the nation, the Roosevelt administration launched a massive public relations campaign to encourage all Americans to pay their “taxes to beat the Axis.”  (Jones 1996).  The White House and Treasury Department enlisted such popular entertainment figures as Danny Kaye, Irving Berlin, Roy Rogers and even Walt Disney’s Donald Duck to remind American voters that their income tax money would “keep democracy on the march.”  Blaming rising taxes on “Hitler and Hirohito” and insisting that the “real authors of our tax burden” could be found in Berlin and Tokyo, the Roosevelt administration successfully capitalized on broad public support for the American war effort. (Michelmore 2012, 12)

Taxes to Beat the Axis