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WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE COMMUNIST CONSPIRACY? | 2003-03-15

It went public.

Back in 1913, a constitutional amendment was ratified that allowed an income tax. In 1914, the first income tax law was passed, taking one percent of all incomes above $10,000 a year, which back then was rarer than half a million a year now.

One major newspaper said this tax would soon get out of hand. It was one percent on all incomes above $10,000 a year to start with, but the editorial predicted that someday it would DOUBLE!

This prediction was called "absurd" and "alarmist". Only an alarmist would say that the one percent income tax would DOUBLE!

So what happened to that prediction that a tax of one percent of incomes above $10,000 a year would someday double? Not only was it not "alarmist". It was so obvious that no one remembers it but me.

What happened to that prediction was exactly what happened to the Communist Conspiracy and the McCarthyite "witch hunts."

Exactly the same thing that happened to the prediction that the one percent income tax would someday become two percent also happened to McCarthy's Communist Conspiracy. What was a "witchhunt" in the 1950s was, "Well, Duhh!," by the 1960s.

If McCarthy had predicted in the 1950s that hundreds of thousands of Americans would be marching on the streets with Communist banners in the 1960s he would have been hooted down by his own supporters.

By the 1960s openly pro-Communist sentiments were common. Jane Fonda really didn't do anything special when she went to Hanoi and got photographed manning a gun that was used against American planes. A congressional delegation went to Cuba during that period and cheered at films of American planes going down.

Nobody notices, but any time you see a discussion of the McCarthy "witch hunts" of the 1950s today, those denouncing them make one tiny little amendment: they say the witches were in fact witches. Now that we have gotten a glimpse into KGB files we know that a lot of people were Communists in the 1950s that not even McCarthy suspected.

Nobody remembers this but me.

So why do people scream "witchhunt" now that we know there were more real witches than even the "witchfinder" McCarthy thought? Well, the word now is that there was nothing wrong with being for Stalin.

Besides, bothering the Stalinists of the 1950s could interfere with chasing down people who were for Hitler in the 1940s.