Correction

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

I made a mistake in one of my answers to reason’s poll about the election. The question and my original answer were:

Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded?

Woodrow Wilson. Jailed political dissenters, created the Federal Trade Commission, got us into World War I. He also enacted the first federal income tax, the first modern military draft, and the first federal drug prohibition. Wilson also re-segregated the federal government. When blacks protested, he told them to consider segregation a “benefit,” not a debasement. An all-around loathesome human being.

This was incorrect.

I added the following correction:

(Correction: Woodrow Wilson signed the first federal income tax law after the passage of the 16th Amendment, but he did not enact the first federal income tax. There were two federal income taxes before that; one during the Civil War, which was later dropped, and one signed by Grover Cleveland in 1894, which was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.)

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8 Responses to “Correction”

  1. #1 |  mgordon | 

    I think Drew Carey nailed it.

  2. #2 |  hexag1 | 

    Richard M. Nixon :

    Nixon and Henry Kissinger, in a successful attempt to sabotage US democratic elections, illegally interfered in the Paris peace talks between the US and N. Vietnam, thus committing the US to four wasteful years of war against N. Vietnam. The war was ended 5 years later on the same terms, with 25,000 more US servicemen dead. In addition, he ramped up US saturation bombing of Indochina (killing ???!!??? Vietnamese), including an illegal and secret war against Cambodia. The bombing of Cambodia killed at least 500,000 and destroyed Cambodia’s agrarian societies, forcing millions to flee into the cities, which created the conditions for the Khmer Rouge to seize power.

  3. #3 |  GU | 

    “There were two federal income taxes before [the 16th Amendment] … one [was] signed by Grover Cleveland in 1894, which was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

    The halcyon days of meaningful economic liberty.

  4. #4 |  chsw | 

    Wilson would be an excellent choice. The decision to re-segregate the government and the armed forces merits the waterboard. Other bad aspects of his administration just add to the case.

  5. #5 |  markm | 

    hexag1: Please explain how the President and Secretary of State of the US could illegally interfere in negotiations involving the US?

  6. #6 |  Jeff | 

    That’s ironic, given that I’ve always thought of Cleveland as one of the more libertarian-friendly presidents… heck, he lost his first bid for reelection in part due to his refusal to intervene in a natural disaster…

  7. #7 |  Wiseburn | 

    Don’t forget that Wilson also signed the Federal Reserve Act. The recent bank bailouts can be attributed to this mistake.

  8. #8 |  Steve Verdon | 

    Don’t forget that Wilson also signed the Federal Reserve Act. The recent bank bailouts can be attributed to this mistake.

    MMMmmmm…I’m going to say, No. The recent problem has the government’s dirty paws all over it, but the Fed was only a secondary support character (if that). More problems from other branches of the government, IMO.

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