Tag Archives: book review
The authors credit Kemp with persuading Ronald Reagan in 1980 to make his tax-cut bill, “Kemp Roth,” a centerpiece of economic policy and the basis of Reaganomics, with its main features incorporated into the Economic Recovery and Tax Act of 1981. As a result, in that year the top tax rate dropped to 50 percent from 70 percent, and in 1986 to 28 percent, with middle-income taxpayers enjoying similar reductions.
These Reagan-Kemp tax cuts, write the authors, “set off an economic boom that lasted into the 2000s” — a boom that blew away the remnants of President Carter’s “malaise,” boosted morale at home and restored our standing abroad, laying the economic groundwork for the ultimate defeat of the Soviet Union and a renewed belief in democratic capitalism.
“The achievements of the 1980s were mainly Reagan’s,” the authors write, “but their economic underpinning was Kemp‘s.”
David Smick is out with the first major book review of the new book about Jack Kemp. Take a look at his review in tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal, it’s online tonight.
Kemp detested Nixon’s ‘Southern Strategy,’ which he defined as ‘not even asking blacks to vote for you for fear of losing white voters.’
Excerpt of review:
There is a renewed interest in Kemp today. Having alienated minority voters, the GOP is flirting with a presidential lockout if it can’t appeal to the working class. Yet during the two recent GOP primary debates, there was almost no mention that economic mobility has collapsed, that a majority of the country is living little more than paycheck to paycheck, or that the stock-market gains from the Federal Reserve’s zero-interest rate policy have gone largely to the top 1%. Kemp would have pounced on these issues, and he would have tried to develop a capital ownership plan to let everyone ride the financial wave.
Kemp believed in a working man’s capitalism of robust entrepreneurship that cut across ethnic lines. He thought Republicans had a responsibility to address inner-city despair, and in the early 1980s he championed urban-enterprise-zone legislation (tax incentives to encourage inner-city business startups). “Like the Good Shepherd, America must reach out to the weak and to those who have been left behind,” Kemp said when announcing his 1988 presidential run.
Read the entire review here.