Still waiting

April 24, 2006

This year marks the 100th anniversary not only of the San Francisco quake but also of a political jolt that looked to be even more earth-shaking. President Theodore Roosevelt - whom the current occupant of the White House considers to be a hero and role model - sent an angry message to Congress calling for a graduated income tax, a graduated inheritance tax (Republicans didn't call it the "death tax" in those days), the removal of interstate corporations from weak control by the states by placing them under federal charters, and a ban on campaign contributions by any corporation.

The hero of San Juan Hill wanted to usher in a new and unprecedented federal era when Washington would stand up to the monied interests. An editorial in The Sun noted that such sweeping reforms would have seemed radical a few years earlier, but by 1906 it was clear they were inevitable.

Inevitable? The only ones that President Bush hasn't tried to roll back are those that were never enacted in the first place. But it's only been 100 years; there's still time.

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