Two weeks before election day in 1924, Washington Star cartoonist Clifford Berryman took aim at the partisan competition over tax cuts.
In an era of buoyant revenues and restrained spending, lawmakers felt free to promise additional tax relief. Partisan divisions centered not on the desirability of tax cuts in general, but on their distribution in particular.
For the most part, Democrats were eager to raise income tax exemptions, thereby freeing more Americans from a tax widely considered a rich man’s burden. Republicans, by contrast, were more interested in cutting marginal rates for the income tax, while also arguing for elimination of the federal estate tax.