Young Jack Kennedy learned well the lesson taught at his daddy’s dinner table that lower tax rates yield higher tax revenues and he attended closely to that lesson throughout his Presidency. Governor Romney and Young Ryan, kindly attend to that lesson closely again today.
When one reads the follow quotes of President Kennedy respecting taxation policy with specificity to how lower tax rates=higher net returns to the Treasury, and not the other way about, the only legitimate conclusion one can reach from reading these words is that the modern Democratic Party has simply lost their way. Poor dears. A side-bar question suggests itself: has the Republican Party likewise misplaced themselves?
Jack Kennedy was the best and most misunderstood President of our lifetimes and, to specifics, was the most conservative; most brilliant, most intelligent, most ambitious, for both himself and the nation and most intellectually curious.
Jack Kennedy was a Democrat, but were he to walk through this odd little city of Washington today, he would not understand his Party at all–and would flee from it in horror.
The follow quotes, gathered together today and sent to me by Mr. Daniel Cecchini in his very worthwhile compendium, gives one a most insightful peek into just how well-formed was Jack Kennedy’s mind respecting the indisputable fact that lower tax rates increase, rather than reduce, the net income to the federal treasury. How many of his Party today would endorse his well-made words?
“A bill will be presented to the Congress for action next year. It will include an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in both corporate and personal income taxes. It will include long-needed tax reform that logic and equity demand … The billions of dollars this bill will place in the hands of the consumer and our businessmen will have both immediate and permanent benefits to our economy. Every dollar released from taxation that is spent or invested will help create a new job and a new salary. And these new jobs and new salaries can create other jobs and other salaries and more customers and more growth for an expanding American economy.”
– Aug. 13, 1962, radio and television report on the state of the national economy
“This administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes … Next year’s tax bill should reduce personal as well as corporate income taxes, for those in the lower brackets, who are certain to spend their additional take-home pay, and for those in the middle and upper brackets, who can thereby be encouraged to undertake additional efforts and enabled to invest more capital … I am confident that the enactment of the right bill next year will in due course increase our gross national product by several times the amount of taxes actually cut.”
– Nov. 20, 1962, news conference
“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.”
– Nov. 20, 1962, president’s news conference (same conference as above)
“Our present tax system … exerts too heavy a drag on growth … It reduces the financial incentives for personal effort, investment, and risk-taking … The present tax load … distorts economic judgments and channels an undue amount of energy into efforts to avoid tax liabilities.”
– Nov. 20, 1962, press conference (again, same conference as above)
“Lower rates of taxation will stimulate economic activity and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased – not a reduced – flow of revenues to the federal government.”
– Jan. 17, 1963, annual budget message to the Congress, fiscal year 1964
“In today’s economy, fiscal prudence and responsibility call for tax reduction even if it temporarily enlarges the federal deficit – why reducing taxes is the best way open to us to increase revenues.”
– Jan. 21, 1963, annual message to the Congress: “The Economic Report Of The President”
“It is no contradiction – the most important single thing we can do to stimulate investment in today’s economy is to raise consumption by major reduction of individual income tax rates.”
– Jan. 21, 1963, annual message to the Congress: “The Economic Report Of The President” (same as above)
“The present tax codes … inhibit the mobility and formation of capital, add complexities and inequities which undermine the morale of the taxpayer, and make tax avoidance rather than market factors a prime consideration in too many economic decisions.”
– Jan. 23, 1963, special message to Congress on tax reduction and reform
“Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort – thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.”
– Jan. 24, 1963, message to Congress on tax reduction and reform, House Doc. 43, 88th Congress, 1st Session.
“The largest single barrier to full employment of our manpower and resources and to a higher rate of economic growth is the unrealistically heavy drag of federal income taxes on private purchasing power, initiative and incentive.”
–Jan. 24, 1963, special message to Congress on tax reduction and reform (same as above)
“A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.”
– Sept. 18, 1963, radio and television address to the nation on tax-reduction bill
We are all much indebted to young Mr. Cecchini for providing me this overview of Jack Kennedy’s views on taxation policy and we very much thank him for them. Governor Romney and Young Ryan, kindly attend.
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