Tag Archives: Ronald Reagan

John Coyne Book Review for Washington Times

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative who Changed America’

Excerpt:

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.”

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Senator Mike Lee Plays Role of Jack Kemp

An interesting profile of US Senator Mike Lee of Utah appeared in The Weekly Standard. Mike Lee is called the most important Republican NOT running for President, and the Senator’s role in the Republican Party is compared to that of Jack Kemp.

Lee’s touchstone is Ronald Reagan, but not in the rote way you might think. “It’s important for us to remember that by the time 2016 rolls around, we will be about as far away from Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 as Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980 was from D-Day, and it’s important for us to update our agenda to make sure that it fits the times,” says Lee. “We need to stop simply talking about Reagan and start acting like him.” That doesn’t mean slashing the marginal tax rate or getting rid of the Department of Education. Lee says acting like Reagan means applying principles of limited government, constitutionalism, and a healthy civil society to the issues of the day—namely, the rising cost of living and economic insecurity of the American middle class.

If the Republican party needs another Reagan, Lee wants to fill the role of Jack Kemp, who as a junior congressman took the lead in formulating the tax cuts that were central to Reagan’s agenda once he took office. Like Kemp, Lee has made tax reform his signature issue, despite not having a seat on the tax-writing Finance Committee. The target of Lee’s tax proposal is what he calls the “parent tax penalty.” Parents, like everyone else, pay some combination of income and payroll taxes. The “penalty,” Lee says, is that parents also bear the costs of raising children who will grow up to become taxpayers themselves. The current child tax credit isn’t enough to offset these additional costs. Lee’s plan looks a lot like other Republican tax reform ideas—simplifying the brackets, lowering rates, removing costly deductions—while adding an extra $2,500-per-child tax credit that can apply to any parent’s combined tax liability. It’s money that could pay for child-care costs or cover expensive dental work or even help one parent stay home to raise the kids.

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New Arizona Governor Echoes Jack Kemp In Inaugural Speech

Can Doug Ducey tout cuts and compassion

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High Praise From Congressman Ryan

Congressman Paul Ryan is quoted here in the Fiscal Times:

I’m trying to be a unifier of the party. I’m trying to make sure we stay a bold conservative party unified in its approach, inclusive and aspirational – because I’m a Jack Kemp Republican. I’m a Ronald Reagan Republican. We shouldn’t focus on dividing ourselves but on unifying. We can do it without watering down our principles. We can do it even better if we show how we apply our principles to people’s common problems and offer better solutions. We have to speak to every American.

Amen to that!

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Feulner: A tale of two tax problems

Heritage Foundation founder Ed Feulner writes in the Washington Times today:

Critics insisted it wouldn’t work. How, they wondered, could lowering taxes help? Jack Kemp, one of the most courageous champions of the 1981 cuts, explained the rationale: “Every time in this century we’ve lowered the tax rates across the board, on employment, on saving, investment and risk-taking in this economy, revenues went up, not down.”

The strong economic recovery that followed the cuts proved Reagan and Kemp right — and helped propel the former to a landslide re-election victory in 1984.

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Welcome to JackKempRenaissance.com

Ronald Reagan Jack Kemp

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May 12, 2014 · 12:51 pm

Larry Kudlow’s Kemp Obituary

On a personal level, been waiting to see what the great Larry Kudlow would say about Jack Kemp’s passing. This does not disappoint.

By Larry Kudlow

May 5, 2009 for Townhall.com

When I first visited with Jack Kemp in his congressional office in Washington, D.C., in the late 1970s, I couldn’t help but notice the row of books on his desk. There was Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Benjamin Anderson, and Milton Friedman. And of course there was Jude Wanniski’s The Way the World Works.

Jack extracted big ideas from these big books, and he applied them to an American nation that was in big trouble. His detractors called him a jock, just as they called Ronald Reagan a dunce. Yet both men proved their critics wrong.

Working with Wanniski, Arthur Laffer, Robert Mundell, Alan Reynolds, Steve Entin, Norman Ture, and many others, Jack developed an agnostic economic formula that solved the vexing problem of economic stagflation and malaise.

Lower tax rates for everyone, he argued. Make it pay after-tax to work, produce, invest, and take risks, and the country will get more of all of it. Along with lower marginal tax rates to reignite economic growth, stabilize the free-falling dollar to curb inflation. And add free trade to that mix, since tariffs are nothing more than taxes on the purchase and sale of international goods.

Foster policies that will unleash our God-given creativity and imagination, Jack Kemp argued. And let individuals take it from there.

Jack was always talking about a rising tide to lift all boats, borrowing from the JFK phrase of the early 1960s. In fact, in meetings in the mid-1970s, Laffer and Wanniski helped persuade Kemp to follow in JFK’s footsteps and propose reduced tax rates across-the-board to get the economy growing again.

Jack, an unbelievably energetic activist, then helped persuade Reagan of the merits of this new policy approach. The economic dons of Cambridge and New Haven scoffed. They wanted to raise taxes, allegedly to curb inflation, and pump up the money supply to expand the economy. Kemp and his group told the dons they had it exactly backwards. He was right. The Ivy League was wrong.

Kemp actually thought of himself as a bleeding-heart conservative. First and foremost, this son of a truck driver wanted to improve the plight of the non-rich in the inner-city housing projects and those trapped in the dead-end welfarism of the barrios. He worked to expand the economic fortunes and political rights of all minority groups, including all those blue-collar workers who were getting killed by high tax rates and virulent inflation.

A perpetual optimist, Jack told the Republican convention in 1996, “You see, democratic capitalism is not just the hope of wealth, but it’s the hope of justice. When we look into the face of poverty, we see the pain, the despair, and need of human beings. But above all, in every face of every child, we must see the image of God.” He then added, “I believe the ultimate imperative for growth and opportunity is to advance human dignity.”

Nobody talks like that anymore. Politicians should. It’s inspirational stuff.

Another of Jack’s pet projects was the bringing together of capital and labor, workers and investors, and businesses and jobs. His ultimate goal was to make the non-rich rich. And to achieve that, he knew Wall Street had to work with Main Street; investors had to work with unions; and high finance had to work with the hard-hit folks in the inner cities. He had a true post-partisan vision long before that phrase became fashionable.

Over the years Jack often called me to affirm and encourage my simple paradigm: You can’t have a good job without a healthy business to create it, and you can’t have a good healthy business without the investment capital to fund it. It’s a unifying message.

This week President Obama unleashed yet another attack on international businesses, essentially calling them unpatriotic tax cheats even though they abide by existing laws. Last week, Obama used his clout to undermine investor contract laws in the Chrysler bailout. The president has also blasted banks and Wall Street, and has launched a war against capital.

Jack Kemp knew all this to be wrong. He said we need to stop taxing saving, investment, and business two, three, and four times. Simplify the tax code, he said. Lower tax rates across-the-board for everyone. Understand that Hispanics in the barrio need the very capital that is supplied by investors. Without it there will be no new jobs. And jobs along with economic growth are the best anti-poverty weapons we have.

Jack Kemp never tore people down; he tried to build everyone up. He argued passionately to persuade, not to destroy. He believed in one grand economic coalition that in fact would constitute a rising tide.

So Jack has passed away and we mourn. But his big ideas and dreams will live forever.

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