Did FDR say there should be an upper limit to personal incomes?

I think I remember reading that somewhere but I can’t find the cite.

According to wikipedia he did.

“During the war he pushed for even higher income tax rates for individuals (reaching a marginal tax rate of 91%) and corporations and a cap on high salaries for executives.”


No cite, but I seem to recall that during the Great Depression, Huey Long and Father Charles Coughlin advocated absolute limits on income and wealth. I don’t recall that FDR ever explicitly endorsed those views.

Well, there is a difference between capping executive salaries and executive incomes. Bill Gates’ actual salary is minuscule compared to his income.

During WWII, everybody’s salary was frozen. That was an emergency wartime measure, part of price controls and rationing. (Anybody else on the board remember ration stamps?)

My father worked with two other men in a small room off the main factory. He worked all day Saturday (paid time and a half). Then every third Sunday morning, he would get up early and get on a trolley and go to the factory and punch the time cards for the three of them, come home and then repeat the exercise to sign them out in the afternoon. Sunday work paid double time. This was the way the company arranged to give them raises. As soon as the war ended, they got raises and this procedure ended. I believe that the wages and hours commission might come and examine the time cards.

This doesn’t answer the question posed. I was certainly unaware of any outright cap, just no raises (and that must have meant no bonuses).

There’s an oft-repeated story that FDR was visiting a wealthy friend on the coast. The friend proudly showed off his new yacht and FDR joked, “Well, [name], I see it’s time to raise the top tax rate again!”