Until World War II, the income tax was levied only on the rich. But wartime spending meant the government needed money, and ordinary folks are now asked to pay.
“There was a lot of concern that Americans just wouldn’t do it,” Joe Thorndike, co-author of the book War and Taxes, says. “Or that they wouldn’t understand that they were supposed to … or even just how to do it.”
The government needed to get the word out. It needed a spokesperson. Someone credible, and easy to understand.
The government needed Donald Duck.
The movie at the top of this post is from 1943. In it, Donald Duck marches around his house, listening to the radio and filling out his tax form. Occupation: actor. Dependents: three (Huey, Dewey and Louie).
I’ve never seen the original. Its interesting propaganda.