The first questions in this presidential news conference asked to President Kennedy, was about Cuba. With someone actually asking President Kennedy did his administration have any plans to invade Cuba. As if President Kennedy would ever reveal to his plans or no plans to invade another country in public. Imagine if JFK said, “sure, we’re going to invade Cuba. And we’re going to do it Thursday afternoon at around 12PM coming from Miami. And we’re going to send in a dozen fighter jets and a big Naval ship headed to Havana to take out the Castro Regime and anyone who tries to get in our way. So President Castro and your military, get ready for us because we’re coming to get you.” No responsible President in his right mind would ever make his military plans public before they were executed.
Tax cuts and economic policy generally, was a major part of the Kennedy Administration’s agenda in 1963. Tax reform and lowering taxes across the board in exchange for eliminating tax loopholes to avoid deficits ( unlike a recent tax cut plan passed and signed into law ) since the American economy was till growing slowly in the early 1960s after getting out of the recession from the late 1950s. The top tax rate in 1963 was 90%. The lowest rate being 20-25% and if you’re making what would be in today’s dollars 40,000 dollars a year and you’re paying 20-25% in Federal income taxes, plus 3-4% in Federal payroll taxes, plus state and local taxes, even with the tax loopholes back then you’re still paying a lot in taxes on a very modest income. The tax reform plan that President Kennedy wanted, was finally passed out of Congress in 1964 under President Lyndon Johnson.
So-called Conservatives today ( borrow and spend supply siders, to me more accurate ) like to point to Jack Kennedy when they promote their tax cut and tax reform ideas. The difference being that JFK wasn’t a supply sider. He didn’t think a trillion-dollar tax cut would pay for itself because of the economic growth that it would generate. Especially on top of huge increases in Federal spending. He believed tax cuts if they were targeted right and encouraged spending in the economy could generate economic growth, but that those tax cuts should be paid for. JFK was a Liberal Democrat in the real sense and believed in fiscal responsibility as well as using government to encourage more independence, not discourage it. Which separates him from the Bernie Sanders Democratic Socialists today. And that tax cuts and Federal spending, needed to be paid for to avoid high budget deficits.
In case you don’t own a calendar or have one on your cell phone and perhaps even don’t have the time on your phone and have been using the same cell phone since 1997 or something, or have been vacationing in Mongolia, it’s President’s Day. Which is why I’m posting this piece about Jack Kennedy because he is my political hero. And when it comes to his politics and how he governed he’s also my favorite President. I don’t believe he’s the best President of the United States, but he’s my favorite in the sense of what he stood for and believed in. Which was liberal democracy and individual freedom for all. Not just for people who were born to wealth or have European ancestry, especially English ancestry who also happen to be male and Protestant.