Skip to comments.'Kennedy' once meant 'tax-cutter' (Would JFK still be a Democrat today ?)
Posted on 08/30/2009 12:13:46 PM PDT by RobinMasters
HIS NAME WAS KENNEDY. He was the preeminent figure in the Democratic Party. And he was a resolute supply-side tax-cutter.
"It is a paradoxical truth," he once told the Economic Club of New York, "that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now." What he had in mind, he said, was not "a 'quickie' or a temporary tax cut." He wanted nothing less than "an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes."
Those were not the words of Senator Edward Kennedy. The speaker in December 1962 -- was President John F. Kennedy, and his ringing call for tax cuts was no anomaly.
In a televised address from the Oval Office four months earlier, JFK had called high tax rates a danger to "the very essence of the progress of a free society: the incentive of additional return for additional effort." In his 1963 State of the Union message, he said his first priority was "the enactment this year of a substantial reduction and revision in federal income taxes." In the speech he was scheduled to deliver to the Texas Democratic State Committee on Nov. 22, 1963, Kennedy planned to report proudly: "We have proposed a massive tax reduction, with particular benefits for small business."
In recent days, Ted Kennedy has been justly acclaimed as a lion of the Democratic Party. But how different the party mourning Kennedy today is from the one that first nominated him in 1962!
(Excerpt) Read more at jeffjacoby.com ...
Kennedy would have been chased out just like the rest of us were. Worst thing that ever happened to the Democratic Party was when they removed the 2/3s rule. That’s what allowed the liberals to gain power. Kennedy most certainly would not be a Democrat today.
I thought the Dems wanted to give “the little guy” a break. Since they are now the party of “tax & spend”, that hardly gives “the little guy” a break. Somewhere along the line, the parties have done a flip flop. The Dems are now the Pubs of old, and the Pubs are now the Dems of old. How and when did that happen?
Had he lived, he may have staunched the takeover of his party by the leftists through his leadership. It's all speculation, of course, but there's no doubt that JFK belonged to the old guard, patriotic Democrats.
I've surprised liberals on more than one occasion by reminding them of JFK's broad tax cuts, and that Ronald Reagan did the very same thing to boom the economy.
If I had to pigeonhole JFK into today’s political spectrum, he would probably be a “moderate” Republican.
“I’ve surprised liberals on more than one occasion by reminding them of JFK’s broad tax cuts”
JFK was “open” to tax cuts - it was his Sec Tres. C. Douglas Dillon - a Republican - who designed, sold them to Kennedy and the financial community and implemented them.
“The next time Heller saw Kennedy was in December, in the Georgetown living room. Kennedy nodded toward the dining room where C. Douglas Dillon, Eisenhower’s Undersecretary of State, was on the telephone. “I’ve asked him to be Secretary of the Treasury,” Kennedy told Heller. Dillon was calling to get Ike’s permission to join the enemy. Eisenhower tried to discourage him, telling him he was being used by liberals who would inevitably undermine sound money principles.
“I think Dillon will accept and I need you as a counterweight,” the President-elect told Heller. “He has conservative leanings, and I know your leanings are liberal.” Kennedy had that 5 percent growth he had promised on his mind, his promise to “Get the country moving again!” Heller’s mission was to figure out how to make it happen. Dillon’s mission would be to make sure Heller did not go too far and take Kennedy with him.
As he was leaving, Heller asked: “What about a tax cut?” Kennedy said he was not against it, but that he could not do it just after calling on Americans to sacrifice.
What he told Dillon a moment later was that he needed the confidence of the financial community, and Dillon as former chairman of Dillon, Read Company was a member of the highest standing. “I’ll put up Walter Heller because I have to for political reasons,” Kennedy told him. “But I will do nothing without your recommendation. I will always refer to you as my chief financial adviser.”
“How can you do this?” asked Kennedy’s next visitor, Democratic Senator Albert Gore, Sr., of Tennessee. Not only was Dillon a Republican, he had given $30,000 to Richard Nixon’s campaign. “If you want someone rich from Wall Street, pick Averell Harriman.”
“Too old,” said Kennedy.
Besides, he was trying to put together a bipartisan government, with Republicans as his shields on defense and economics. “Sound” was the image he wanted to project.
“Don’t worry about this,” he told Gore. Kennedy said he was going to appoint a liberal Harvard professor, Stanley Surrey, to be the assistant secretary in charge of tax policy.
“That’s not going to work,” said Gore, who had sat next to Kennedy in the Senate. “You’re going to be busy with a million things. Don’t you know that? Dillon will make the policy. Nobody’s going to listen to some assistant secretary.”
“Albert,” Kennedy said, “I got less than 50 percent of the vote. The first requirement of the Treasury job is acceptability to the financial community.””
If he would, he’d be a blue dog.
I’m thinking a “Lieberman democrat.” Probably the last Kennedy (Democrat) to actually understand economics....
Also hit them with the fact that real tax cuts bring in more money to the fed every time they’ve been done. They should love that part but don’t.
I still don't think that JFK would have become as radical as his brother Ted, or the rest of the Socialist Democrats. He was a WWII vet, and knew firsthand that America has enemies that want to destroy us.
I also think that Khrushchev and Castro took a good ten years off his life with the Bay of Pigs episode.
Despite any liberal leanings he had, the danger of Communism was real and in his face. I don't think he would have ever fallen for commie-lite, the way his successors have.
That’s why when I want to really tweak the liberals, I use the term “Kennedonomics” instead of “Reaganomics.”
That is the puzzling part. Congress loves to spend our money - guess they love control over us more.
Wise guy. I can't even say that .. LOL
I think there can be no doubt that JFK would have jumped ship during the 70's or 80's like *SO* many RATS of his generation did during those years.My parents having been just two of them.
Not at all. He'd fit right in. Kennedy actually didn't want to take Walter Heller's advice to cut taxes, regarding it as a selfish. Heller (an old-time Keynesian) convinced him, however, pointing out (accurately) that it would actually INCREASE tax revenue thus making it possible for Kennedy to carry out the welfare-statist agenda of his hero, Michael Harrington.
JFK and Dillon were both WWII Naval Officers. Dillon was his closest advisor during the Cuban Missile Crisis as well.
Kennedy would not have jumped ship. He only cut taxes to increase revenue for his proposed welfare state increases, which were later implemented by LBJ who ALSO cut taxes. Cutting taxes does not necessarily translate into oppostion to expanded government. In fact, he can be used a certain times for the opposite goal.
I think we would be a much more conservative country, JFK would still be a democrat but the marxist would be on the outside, looking in.
War, and the threat of annihilation tends to trump politics.
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