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The mobilization of America for war was both an arduous and dispute ridden process With many in the United States still opposed to intervention at the start of the war financing it and managing it on a material level as well as gaining public support for an overseas campaign were at the very least an impossibility In the end the task fell at the hands of the President Woodrow Wilson First on task for Wilson was to arrange for a financial base to support the war This process was slowed by progressive powerhouses within the American political system Among those who opposed federally imposed taxing were politicians such as Robert M La Follette and Hiram Johnson Men like these opposed government measures that would benefit large business interests whom they largely blamed for Americas entrance into the war They were afraid that the war would return power to big business interests whom they had been fighting to wrest power from for years They mainly feared that with the return of big business power the progressive reforms they had managed to make would be blotted out Furthermore they held moral objections to war and were reluctant to support it Finally and perhaps most importantly they saw themselves as protectors of the poor which led them to oppose many taxes proposed by Wilson and his wartime government Such taxes opposed were excises and nuisance taxes which added to the prices of chewing gum soft drinks cars and theater and movie tickets The progressives led by La Follette supported taxes on those who stood to profit from the war This meant increased income taxes for those of high income excess profit taxes and taxes on tobacco and alcohol In the end the powers that be were forced to submit to the progressives firm stance on these issues and congress passed a compromised piece of tax legislature Along with several excises the new bill served to tax small incomes
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