April 17, 1995 – even this day, twenty-three years ago, it was all about money.
It was Tax Day – the one day of the year that threw most everyone in America into a panic, the one day of the year the income disparity between the rich and poor was getting wider and wider by the minute. The one day of the year, everyone seems to have one thing on their minds; “how did it get this way”?
In 1995 it was about filing on time and that those households with more than a certain amount of money, had the luxury of filing late. But it was just one of our nation’s rituals – the thing people learned to fear early on, but the one thing that reminded all of us we were only a breath away from the worst.
And while that was going on, and since it was the day the IRS field offices phones were jammed – last-minute appeals for clemency and/or extensions were spreading a wide-spread concern that America may not be doing nearly as well off as it first thought.
But the old Rich/Poor gap was growing; widening and deepening by the second, even 23 years ago. Promises of higher wages and fewer hours producing the much fabled “leisure class” didn’t materialize. Perhaps it did with the rich – but those who worked for a living, did not have trust funds, did not “work the system”, instead worked undisclosed hours for dwindling returns either in industries doomed to obsolescence or relegated to other regions, other continents, were seeing the writing slowly appear on the wall – the American dream was going to be deferred, maybe for a little while. Maybe forever. But there was still consumer credit and still gadgets and shiny objects and more than enough distractions to divert your attention to take away the uncertainty of a dimly lit and fading future, at least for a while.
And that’s just a little of what was happening on this particular Tax Day, April 17, 1995 – as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.