A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 18, 2011
“There are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin”

Mae West (1893-1980) was known for her risqué behavior. “There are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin,” West told a television interviewer in 1959. West used the line again in her 1975 book: “When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.”

“For the wages of sin is death” is from Romans 6:23 of the New Testament. Jokes about “the wages of sin” and taxes have been made since at least the 1930s. “Gangsters have learned that even the wages of sin are subject to an income tax” was cited in print in 1932, after Chicago gangster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion.


Wikipedia: Mae West
Mae West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980) was an American actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol.

Known for her bawdy double entendres, West made a name for herself in Vaudeville and on the stage in New York before moving to Hollywood to become a comedienne, actress and writer in the motion picture industry. One of the more controversial movie stars of her day, West encountered many problems including censorship.

Romans 6:23
New International Version (©1984)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Google Books
Literary Digest
Volume 114
1932
Pg. 10:
GANGSTERS have learned that even the wages of sin are subject to an income tax. — Ohio State Journal.

Google Books
The great days of piracy in the West Indies
By George Woodbury
New York, NY: Norton
1951
Pg. 123:
It is often pointed out that only the wages of sin are exempt from Income Tax.

17 February 1952, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, pg. J16:
[George] Woodbury tells his story well and it is sound history enlightened by humor. Only the wages of sin, he indicates, are free from the withholding tax.

16 October 1959, Marietta (GA) Journal, “Too Sexy?: CBS Cancels Mae West’s TV Interview,” pg. 3, col. 3: 
Before the interview ended Miss West also informed Collingwood that:

“There are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.”

Google Books
The Wit and Wisdom of Mae West
By Mae West
Edited by Joseph Weintraub
New York, NY: G.P. Putnam
1967
Pg. 63:
There are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin.

Google Books
The Great Movie Stars;
The golden years

By David Shipman
New York, NY: Crown
1970
Pg. 557:
... ‘I always say, keep a diary and one day it will keep you’, ‘I used to be Snow White but I drifted’, ‘There are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin’, ‘It’s not the men in my life that count, it’s the life in my men’, ...
(Mae West lines—ed.)

Google Books
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Great Quotes for All Occasions
By Elaine Bernstein Partnow
Indianapolis, IN: Alpha Books
2008
Pg. 58:
When it comes to finances, remember that there are no withholding taxes on the wages of sin. — Mae West, Mae West on Sex, Health and ESP, 1975

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Tuesday, January 18, 2011 • Permalink