[Reprinted from an undated pamphlet, Simple Talks
on Taxation, published by the author]
... Say, Mr. Boss, I'm asking you
for Five hundred dollars, and I'm asking you to sprinkle it
through your expense account, some way.
not plainly state what it's for?
Oh! You couldn't! As your
Exec. V P, I'm putting up my Five hundred, too.
this is all mighty mysterious.
Mighty sub-rosary, too!
Oh! Mr. Boss! Imagine that!
why else should it be so quiet?
Well, frankly, it's not
greasing, it's a contribution.
contribution that we can't list. Eh?
No. Not this one.
done business openly for a long time and I don't like this.
Any contribution that can't
be listed, smells like a bribe to me. What's it for? And why are
you for it?
it's this way. A deputy assessor has been around here appraising
our plant and inventory, and he just casually suggested that a
little sum, say a thousand dollars, be contributed to the
Assessor's campaign fund -
Campaign fund! Why,
he's just been re-elected!
His campaign fund. Maybe he believes in getting ready early for
the next election, four years from now.
George, I'm surprised at
you Why didn't you just flatly tell him "No soap!"
wanted to, but another little item he just casually dropped, was
that there was a little "discrepancy" in his figures,
as though yon were to say LIFO or something a bit vague,
involving some Thirty-five thousand dollars -
Don't make a damn
bit of difference! A bribe is a bribe. And calling it a campaign
fund contribution doesn't change it.
you know me well enough to know that that's the way I think,
too. But I got to figuring it out this way. You've always said
that the land rental should be the sole government income, huh?
that fining people for putting up buildings and providing
inventories, was wrong?
figured that it's just as wrong for the Government to take our
money from us by force, as it is for us to bribe an assessor, to
prevent our being robbed, of course in the interest of our
You'd make a splendid
I've got a good argument, haven't I?
Wel-ll, with the contempt I
have for our stupid tax bumbling, any such casuistry sounds
you'll put up the Five hundred?
Yep. But I won't sprinkle
it through my expense account.
Because I think I ought to
fine myself for bribing an official.
not bribing an official. You're just contributing to the
campaign fund of the kind of Assessor we deserve as long as we
maintain a tax system that is an invitation to felony!