Ellis Parker Butler

(5 December 1869 - 13 September 1937 / Muscatine / Iowa / United States)

The Final Tax - Poem by Ellis Parker Butler

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Said Statesman A to Statesman Z:
'What can we tax that is not paying?
We’re taxing every blessed thing—
Here’s what our people are defraying:

'Tariff tax, income tax,
Tax on retail sales,
Club tax, school tax,
Tax on beers and ales,

'City tax, county tax,
Tax on obligations,
War tax. wine tax,
Tax on corporations,

'Brewer tax, sewer tax,
Tax on motor cars,
Bond tax, stock tax,
Tax on liquor bars,

'Bridge tax, check tax,
Tax on drugs and pills,
Gas tax, ticket tax,
Tax on gifts in wills,

'Poll tax, dog tax,
Tax on money loaned,
State tax, road tax,
Tax on all things owned,

'Stamp tax, land tax,
Tax on wedding ring,
High tax, low tax,
Tax on everything!'

Said Statesman A to Statesman Z:
'That is the list, a pretty bevy;
No thing or act that is untaxed;
There’s nothing more on which to levy.'

Said Statesman Z to Statesman A:
'The deficit each moment waxes;
This is no time for us to fail—
We will decree a tax on taxes.'


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010



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