The people demanded a pay-as-you-go tax. So did a majority of Congressmen. But action was tied up in a Gordian knot.
The man who tied the knot with his own ham-sized hands was North Carolina's stubborn old Congressman Robert L. ("Muley") Doughton, chairman of the Ways & Means Committee. He and his committee stalwarts, their own bill repudiated, now refused to work out a compromise plan.
All week Congressmen pushed, shoved, pulled and prodded at Muley. Nine Republican committee members got up a round-robin petition to whip him into action. Seventy House Democrats goaded him with another petition.
Then House Republican Leader Joe Martin...