By now, you’re surely aware that tomorrow is Tax Day. If not: uh-oh. What you may not be as aware of is that in 1943, none other than Donald Duck was enlisted by the U.S. Department of Treasury to encourage Americans to pay their income taxes. [N.B. Tax Day was moved from March 15 to April 15 in 1955.]
In the propaganda film after the jump — which President Roosevelt himself reportedly had a hand in bringing to fruition — Donald Duck punches a Hitler lookalike, tax dollars are transmogrified into awesome spectacles of American military strength, and we’re treated to the immortal line, “Just remember: every dollar you spend for something you don’t need is a dollar spent to help the Axis.”
The cartoon would be notable enough for this swastika-eyed Donald Duck, who is being tempted by an evil idler to spend his tax money on his own personal pleasure:
But the real prize comes at the end, when Donald listens to an improbably Scottish, kilt-wearing Scrooge McDuck predecessor, and we’re treated to a montage of tax dollars being converted into awe-inspiring, Nazi-smashing tanks, aircraft carriers, and assorted war machines. So: Pay your taxes.
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