Labor Day Quiz

Q: Which president mandated the eight hour work day for federal employees … but also ended the income tax?



7 thoughts on “Labor Day Quiz

  1. Noma September 1, 2014 / 2:06 pm

    Proclamation 182 – Eight Hour Work Day for Employees of the Government of the United States
    May 19, 1869

    By the President of the United States of America
    A Proclamation

    Whereas the act of Congress approved June 25, 1868, constituted, on and after that date, eight hours a day’s work for all laborers, workmen, and mechanics employed by or on behalf of the Government of the United States, and repealed all acts and parts of acts inconsistent therewith:

    Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, do hereby direct that from and after this date no reduction shall be made in the wages paid by the Government by the day to such laborers, workmen, and mechanics on account of such reduction of the hours of labor.

    In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

    Done at the city of Washington, this 19th day of May, A. D. 1869, and of the Independence of the United States the ninety-third.

    U. S. GRANT.

    By the President:

    HAMILTON FISH, Secretary of State.

  2. Noma September 1, 2014 / 2:11 pm

    Also, that one of the best photos of this statue I have ever seen. Who took it?

    Second question, if Grant ended income tax — then what was the main source of revenue for the government? And where is the best place to read about how government was financed after income tax was ended? Your forthcoming book?

    • Brooks D. Simpson September 1, 2014 / 4:25 pm

      I took the picture. Tariffs and various revenue taxes (recall the “Whiskey Ring?”). I’d look at Frank Scaturro’s book for economic policy.

      • Christopher Shelley September 1, 2014 / 7:27 pm

        Very nice picture. But the statue itself needs some polishing. (I know he was a rumbled man and unostentatious, but still…)

  3. Rosemary September 1, 2014 / 5:22 pm

    Ulysses S. Grant created 8-hour work day because, man, just look at him! He needed less overtime. He needed to get out of the elements – he was turning green! As for tax repeal, it was Julia’s idea and, being a smart man, Grant ran with it.

  4. Charles Lovejoy September 1, 2014 / 8:28 pm

    There are several reasons I have always respected Grant.

  5. Stefan Jovanovich September 3, 2014 / 5:11 pm

    Julia Grant deserves our admiration, but tax policy, then as now, originated in Ways and Means. The progressive rates were removed from the 1864 Act in 1867 as the Wells Commission had recommended. The rate became a flat 5%. In 1870 the inheritance tax was abolished and a fixed date for repeal of the income tax was adopted – January 1, 1872 . In Springer the Suprme Court did what it usually does and upheld Congress’ violation of the Constitutional limit on its powers (neither the income nor the estate tax is a direct tax). I have no doubt that Grant thought these taxes, like the issuance of greenbacks as legal tender rather than debt, had been beyond Congress’ power; but he was never one to scold so he simply had his Congress correct the errors of Lincoln and Chase’s desperate attempts to raise cash and cover the bills. Christopher Shepard’s recent book on the subject covers many of the details.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s