The Spirit of '43 is an American animated World War II propaganda film created by Walt Disney Studios in 1943 and starring Donald Duck. It is a sequel to The New Spirit. The purpose of the film is to encourage patriotic Americans to file and pay their income taxes faithfully every 3 months in order to help the war effort. The repeated theme in the film is "Taxes...To Defeat the Axis."
70-year IRS tax scam swindling millions of Americans started with a Donald Duck movie in 1942!
Yet by the end of the Second World War in 1946, 89.1 percent of Americans were filing and paying federal income taxes (Saez & Piketty, 2004). That is a 75 percent increase seven years later. It also represents a complete reciprocal flip in the ratio of filers versus non-filers in just seven years! (From one-in-ten filing to one-in-ten not filing.) Why the complete reversal?
Was there a serious increase in legal threats by the general government (i.e., IRS) because of changes in the income tax laws? Hardly. No major changes occurred in the Internal Revenue Code as it was first published in 1939. (Hendrickson, 2008) It is still the same to this day, as a matter of fact.
So why was there this drastic jump in “voluntary compliance?” The answer is found in the incipient patriotic spirit of the American people as the result of the real and worldwide threat of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito—the Axis Powers, and the persuasive talents of at leasttwo very influential characters in American history who apparently (among many others, we’re sure) had powerful influence on the majority of American citizens during World War Two: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and
Donald Duck A New Spirit 1942
Donald Duck. While Roosevelt seems obvious, what’s with Donald Duck? Really? Donald Duck? Yep. Donald Duck. As we previously said, this chicanery is rather “Mickey Mouse” when you think about it.
But let’s start with FDR, shall we? On December 7, 1941, the Japanese drew the United States into the War with the surprise, early Sunday morning attack on Pearl Harbor.
War was declared by Congress the next day. Two days after the bombing, President Roosevelt held a special radio “fireside chat,” and encouraged his fellow Americans to do their part to support the newly incubating War effort. Here’s what FDR had to say so shortly after Congress declared War on the Axis powers:
“It is not a sacrifice for the industrialist or the wage earner, the farmer or the shopkeeper, the train man or for the doctor to pay more taxes, to buy more bonds, to forego extra profits, to work longer or harder at the task for which he is best fitted; rather, it is a privilege.” – FDR on December 9, 1941, two days after Pearl Harbor and about 24 hours after Congress declared war on the Axis Powers of Germany, Italy, and Japan.