Government Spending

JFK vs. BHO on Tax Cuts During Recessions


Fun video from the Winston Group pitting JFK vs. Barack Obama on tax cuts. While the idea of not raising taxes during a lumbering economy makes sense, it's not clear exactly how tight the parallels between the two periods are (Kennedy, for instance, slashed top marginal rates from 91 percent; what we're talking about here is keeping the tax burden the same).

Back in 2004, economist Bruce Bartlett defended JFK's tax cuts from charges of profligacy and, even worse, Keynesianism. Read it!

NEXT: Stimulus Used to Stimulate Erroneous Zones

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  1. So, JFK wanted full employment to reduce the deficit? I don’t understand, like, a lot of bullet trains or something?

  2. How DARE you bring up OUR president, John F. Kennedy!

  3. Another stone cold racist post from Reason. Nice.

  4. It’s amazing what getting your head blown off can do for your legacy.

  5. Can you even imagine a 91% marginal rate? I mean, that is confiscatory.

    And with all the screaming now about “raising” tax rates (i.e., letting the “Bush tax cuts” expire), it’s kind of ironic to note that the “raised” rates would basically be returned to about what they were when Reagan was in office. They’ve been quite “low” (relatively speaking) for years now.

    When you look at a 91% top rate, suddenly 39.5% doesn’t look quite so bad.

    Not that I would be looking forward to paying it. Other than the fact that if I were subject to the highest rate, it would mean I was making more money than I am now, and that can’t be all bad.

  6. I didn’t know John F. Kennedy, but Barack Obama? You sir, are no John F. Kennedy.

    “Can you even imagine a 91% marginal rate? I mean, that is confiscatory.”

    Revolver is the only Beatles album anybody ever needs to buy…

    It’s got “Tomorrow Never Knows”, which pretty much let loose the dogs of psychedelic music, and it has “Taxman”.

    “Well it’s 1 for you,
    19 for me (Mr. Wilson)

    ’cause I’m the Taxman

    And you’re working for no one,
    but me.”


    To no one in particular and just for the record, Reagan cut the top rate from 70% to 28%…

    And yet “federal Income Tax receipts almost doubled from 1980 to 1989, rising from $308.7Bn to $549.0Bn.”……80.931985

    We’re much better off now than we were during Reagan’s first term–what with free trade between Asia, Europe, etc., much bigger now. We don’t have to worry about the communists firing missiles at us–Central and Eastern Europe are part of the world economy now, and that’s just all good…

    We don’t have to deal with double-digit inflation right now like Reagan did back then. …You’d think it would be harder running a deficit when the government’s paying 15% interest than when it’s paying 3% interest–and it is…

    Things are better now, but surely the lessons we learned back then are the same as they are now–cutting taxes deeply generates growth.

    No really.

    I mean, talking about JFK is only relevant because so many stupid Americans are so antagonized by the name “Ronald Reagan” that they can’t even conceptualize how anything associated with him could possibly be instructive.

    …which, considering our present predicament, is just plain silly.

  7. So, JFK was a racist? Liberals is jfkrazy. Lower taxes substantially, people invest, jobs are created, people make money and prosper, the government gets more revenue to piss away. Sounds like a fucking liberal wet dream, except the part about them not controlling people’s incomes.

    JFK is clearly no President Obama. He didn’t know jack shit about Hope and Change.

    1. But he did fuck Hope behind Jackie’s back.

  8. News flash to cons: taxes went UP in the 60s, not down.…..?Docid=205


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