A Penny for Ruby Laffoon
 
Hippity hop to the toy shop

To buy a red balloon,

A penny for you and a penny for me

And a penny for Ruby Laffoon.

 

Ruby Laffoon (1869-1941) served as governor of Kentucky (1931-1935) during one of the commonwealth’s worst economic periods. The Great Depression had dealt a heavy blow to the state’s already shaky finances. Governor Laffoon wanted to raise revenues by passing a sales tax. The politically predominate Democratic Party split over the tax issue and the measure was defeated. However, Laffoon did not give up his idea of adding another tax to increase revenues, and a 3% sales tax eventually passed the Kentucky Senate.

Laffoon’s sales tax did not gain popularity and Albert B. "Happy" Chandler became an outspoken critic of Laffoon. Chandler used the sales tax as a springboard for his successful bid for governor in 1935.

 
 
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