In all of the many film documentaries, news stories and other media programs about the life and death of President John F. Kennedy, few if any mention one of his major legacies: cutting taxes to, in his words, "get America moving again."
Democrats and President Obama, for whom "tax cuts" is an "expletive deleted", despise the idea and never talk about JFK's across-the-board, income tax rate reductions which led to a decade- long burst of economic growth.
What Kennedy proposed and got through a Democratic Congress deserves our attention now more than ever.
With the Obama economy still "stuck in perpetual slow motion," according to the Washington Post, and millions of long term unemployed and underemployed Americans unable to find full-time work, it is hard to argue against a pro-growth, pro-job policy that works.
And Kennedy's tax cuts were enormously successful, boosting economic growth, creating a wave of new jobs, and -- despite forecasts of massive deficits -- led to a sharp increase in tax revenues and a budget surplus.
"By 1966 -- the year that might have been the fifth of his presidency had he lived -- Kennedy would have been presiding over an economy growing at a rate of 6.6 percent and an unemployment rate falling to just 3.8 percent," writes Marilyn Geewax, National Public Radio's senior business editor, in "JFK's Lasting Economic Legacy."
Compare that to Obama's feeble economic record as he nears the sixth year of his presidency, with the economy growing by just over 2 percent, and unemployment at 7.3 percent.
Instead of ignoring the Kennedy tax cuts, Obama would do well to go back and read JFK's arguments in behalf of his tax reforms -- which are as relevant today as they were in the 1960s. Here's what he said:
"Our true choice is not between tax reduction, on the one hand, and the avoidance of large federal deficits on the other. It is increasingly clear that no matter what party is in power, so long as our national security needs keep rising, an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenues to balance our budget -- just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.
"Surely the lesson of the last decade is that budget deficits are not caused by wild-eyed spenders but by slow economic growth and periodic recessions, and any new recession would break all deficit records," he said.
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