While going through several history pages on Wikipedia I ended up at the Spanish-American War of 1898. I don’t really know why I ended up there.
What I found out was how the United States managed to fund this four month war: by passing an excise tax on long-distance phone services. It worked, because only the wealthy could afford a phone and the ability to call long-distance. While the tax was originally 1 cent per call, it grew to 3% of people’s communication bills… in 1914, already sixteen years after the short war ended. Maybe it seemed like a way to finance the impending doom of WW1?
The tax was finally repealed in 2006, 108 years after the Spanish-American War. Just a year before in January of 2005, a bill was sent through the House of Representative to extend the tax through all new digital communications services. What the hell.