WASHINGTON - Somewhere between the New Frontier and the Age of Obama, the Democrats turned fiercely anti-capitalism, anti-business, anti-wealth and anti-success.
Fifty-two years ago, with the approval of his party, John F. Kennedy called for cutting income tax rates across the board to get the U.S. economy "moving again." That, he argued, would spur stronger economic growth and jobs.
And to the egalitarians who said the tax cuts for those at the top would unfairly benefit the rich, Kennedy replied with a classic remark about growth economics that is rank heresy in the Obama White House: "A rising tide lifts all boats."
There was a time when Democrats talked of increasing economic growth and expanding the economic pie. Now, they never mention the word growth, unless their talking about government spending. Instead, they talk of dividing the pie into tinier slices and "spreading the wealth" by raising taxes on the haves to give to the have nots.
The result of this threatened redistribution is a pathetic 2 percent economic growth rate, 24 plus million jobless, the highest poverty rate in 50 years, and four years of unprecedented trillion dollar budget deficits.
Kennedy didn't live to see the benefits of his tax cuts that a Democratic Congress enacted. There were those who predicted the cuts would worsen the deficit. But the tax revenue that flowed from a growing economy ended up balancing the budget by the end of the decade.
Once, Democrats embraced political leaders of great, inherited wealth, from Franklin Roosevelt to JFK who never held a job outside of the government.
Now the party that once championed upward mobility spends its time attacking wealthy and successful business people, and thinking up devious ways to impose a new 30 percent surcharge tax on investors that would impose new barriers to capital investment, growth and job creation.
JFK would cringe at Barack Obama's class warfare assault on his presumptive presidential rival Mitt Romney, solely because he has been successful, created jobs and made a lot of money.
This week, Obama meanly characterized the former governor as someone who was raised with a silver spoon in his mouth.
The truth is, Mitt Romney gave away his inheritance to charity and made his money the old fashioned way: as a hard-working capital investor in small start-up companies he built into profitable, job- creating enterprises.
The economic lessons he learned over 25 years in the business are the ones he wants to apply to the economy and a debt-ridden government on the brink of insolvency. They're lessons one doesn't learn as a neighborhood organizer or a career in government.