Apparently, there has been a temporary tax on the books affecting telecommunications. Originally, it was to fund to help combat operations by taxing those people who had telephones.
When was it enacted? 1898.
The combat operations it was meant to fund? The Spanish-American War.
Now, I don't mind paying taxes (beyond that "ouch" factor when I actually write out the check), but this does seem to indicate that the Libertarians and old-style Republicans may have a point when it comes to what the government really means when it enacts a "temporary" tax.