Hundreds of Corporations Never Sing This

Chuck Sheketoff

In 1942, Irving Berlin learned that the federal government was going to undertake "unprecedented income tax collections" to support the war effort, so he volunteered to write a popular song to aid in the effort.

He wrote "I Paid My Income Tax Today" (MP3- version sung by Danny Kaye).

While some of the lyrics (PDF) are a bit dated, taxes today are as important as ever. They pay for public services such as health care, schools and infrastructure.

Yet, many corporations pay no income taxes to Oregon or to the federal government (PDF).

While the issue addressed by the song — paying taxes is patriotic — is timeless, today Irving Berlin might make the message "taxes fund the public services that make for a good business climate."

The hundreds of Oregon corporations that never sing the song should take note.

Oregon Center for Public PolicyChuck Sheketoff is the executive director of the [Oregon Center for Public Policy]( You can sign up to receive email notification of OCPP materials at [](

connect with blueoregon