All Commentary
Thursday, March 1, 1962

Painless Tax Requirements


Economist, Fayetteville, Arkansas

When window lights were blinking out
In every shop and store,
Old Kaspar stacked the supper plates
And barred the kitchen door,
While Peterkin and Wilhelmine

Looked at the allegoric screen.
They saw a room where lines of men
With blindfolds on their eyes
Were filing past a row of desks
And whispering replies

To clerks who juggled endless swarms
 Of numbers on the printed forms.
“Is that some kind of numbers game?”
The little children cried.
“It is the Federal Income Tax,”

Old Kaspar soon replied.
“A man just tells how much he earns
And signs the finished tax returns.”
“But why are all the blindfolds worn?’
Demanded Peterkin.

“They act as tranquilizers, Pete,”
Said Kaspar with a grin.
“We don’t want folks to be disturbed
By things they’d see with sight uncurbed.’
“An income tax,” said Kaspar then,

“With steep progressive rates
Is what the communists prescribe
For these United States.
It wouldn’t do for folks to see
A tax that fills the Reds with glee.”

“Does no one ever dare to peek?”
Asked little Wilhelmine.
“A few have peeked,” Old Kaspar sighed,
“And broadcast what they’ve seen.
But such Extremists of the Right


  • H. P. B. JENKINS, 1902-1963. Following active service in the European Theater during World War II, Dr. Harry Jenkins taught Economics in the College of Business Ad­ministration at the University of Arkansas. Many will best remember him as author of the "Old Kasper" communiques, carried continuously in THE FREEMAN since February 1959.


    Dr. Jenkins was stricken and died while walking home from graduation ceremonies on the campus, January 26, 1963.