Looking Back reviews opinions published in The Spokesman-Review during this week in history.
Will Rogers, RIP, Aug. 17, 1935
An S-R editorial mourned the passing of political humorist Will Rogers, who died with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.
“A genial humorist and a keen philosopher, who had a jest and captivating grin for our national foibles and an underlying appreciation of our good traits, lies dead in far Arctic wastes. He and his gallant comrade of the skies challenged fate too far. They put to action the maxim, ‘It is better to wear out than to rust out.’
“Yet there is compensation for that tragic arctic flight. For them, life did not drag on, after its vigor and zest were gone, into a fading anticlimax. Rogers and Post were gallant riders to the last, and met death in a majestic rendezvous, in the vast, lonely solitudes under the Arctic Circle.”
Peace at last, Aug. 15, 1945
An editorial reacted to Japan’s surrender, marking the end of World War II.
“It’s peace at last. Thank God. It is a peace won at a frightful cost in human lives and human suffering. A peace so dearly won must be preserved.
“The nations that plunged the world into war have been smashed down by the outraged peoples whose right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness they so ruthlessly and arrogantly challenged. The victors have taken and will take measures to see that those aggressors shall not be able to repent their crime against mankind.
“The unity they have built to win the war they must strengthen to preserve the peace. The power they have places that great responsibility upon them. They must prove worthy of it.
“Peace can be preserved by force for a time, but lasting peace can be assured only by just and righteous dealing among nations. We can no longer afford the luxury of selfish nationalism or jealousies and suspicions. The world must learn to live together in mutual goodwill and respect and tolerance.
“Peace is won at last, thank God. And pray God we may learn how to keep it.”
Taxes, taxes, taxes, Aug. 18, 1975
An editorial weighed in on the expansion of federal taxes.
“The original tax rate was 1 percent. Learned men discoursed in public to declare that it was sheer foolishness to think that the rate would ever increase to any more than 4 percent.
“Now the first level of taxation, after reaching the point at which income is taxable, is 20 percent and it goes up to more than three times that much.
“Now we have another fast-growing little tax that may outdo the income tax in its rate of growth. That is the Social Security tax, which is withheld from paychecks and a like amount levied upon the man who signs the paychecks – the employer.
“The significant thing about Social Security now is that the system is facing a bleak and forbidding future. Not only are more people drawing more money than ever before, but young people are not producing new little taxpayers at the rate of a few years ago. The young and middle-aged have always paid the bills, but not there are more old people and fewer young people.”
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