Obama v. JFK: What a Difference 50 Years Makes
|John F. Kennedy|
Kennedy knew better. “One step, above all, is essential--the enactment this year of a substantial reduction and revision in Federal income taxes,” he said. “Our obsolete tax system exerts too heavy a drag on private purchasing power, profits, and employment.” He went on to highlight a program of genuine tax reform, lowering rates across the board “with selected structural changes, beginning in 1964, which will broaden the tax base, end unfair or unnecessary preferences, remove or lighten certain hardships.”
Kennedy knew that to spur economic growth, tax reform would cause a short-term drop in tax revenue to the government, but that “increasing the amount of our national income, will in time result in still higher Federal revenues. It is a fiscally responsible program--the surest and the soundest way of achieving in time a balanced budget in a balanced full employment economy.”
Obama, in stark contrast, uses the words “tax reform,” but what he really means is simply a massive tax hike. “To hit the rest of our deficit reduction target,” i.e., to collect more tax revenue for government, Obama advocated what we “save hundreds of billions of dollars by getting rid of tax loopholes and deductions for the well-off and well-connected.” Real tax reform uses simplification to offset some of the short-term revenue losses from lower rates. Obama’s plan is a tax hike, which will damage the economy and make genuine reform more difficult by using simplification to pay for more spending instead of lower tax rates.
There is no question that the tax system is holding us back economically, especially the 35 percent corporate income tax which is the highest in the developed world. The average state corporate tax brings the rate up to 39.2 percent, versus an average in other developed countries of just 25 percent. Obama committed to bringing more manufacturing jobs back to the U.S., but his government research centers will do far less to encourage that than making our tax system more competitive.
President Obama was absolutely right when he said “It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.” One of the top priorities, therefore, should be real tax reform – not as Obama described it, but as Kennedy did – designed to boost the long-term growth path of the economy.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment and a Fox News contributor where he first shared this article, and the author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America – and How to Stop Him. Phil Kerpen is a contributing author for the ARRA News Service.
Tags: 50 years, JFK, John F. Kennedy, State of the Union, SOTU, Barack H, Obama, tax reform, Phil Kerpen, American Commitment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!