FACT CHECK – Vol. 4: Tax Cuts

Governor Shumlin vs. President John F. Kennedy

Governor Shumlin says State Government Can’t Afford Tax Cuts for Vermonters

“He (Shumlin) suggested tax giveaways are an economic development policy that pits one state against another and has long-term financial consequences for the taxpayers of the states offering the tax breaks. ‘Let’s not envy things we can’t afford,’ Shumlin told the crowd.”
(Source: Nancy Remsen, “Shumlin pitches vague plans to business community at Lake Champlain chamber”, Burlington Free Press, January 13, 2014)


A Prominent Democrat Had A Different Opinion 50-Years Ago


“It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus.” – John F. Kennedy, Nov. 20, 1962, president’s news conference


“Our tax system still siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power and reduces the incentive for risk, investment and effort – thereby aborting our recoveries and stifling our national growth rate.” – John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963, message to Congress on tax reduction and reform, House Doc. 43, 88th Congress, 1st Session


“A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every taxpayer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.” – John F. Kennedy, Sept. 18, 1963, radio and television address to the nation on tax-reduction bill


…and the results?

“The Kennedy tax cut was enacted in 1964 (after JFK’s assassination), lowering the highest tax rate to 70% from 91%. His prediction that the economy would surge was validated by rapid growth every year from 1965 through 1968. Tax collections grew by 8.6% per year and unemployment fell to 3.4%. ‘The unusual budget spectacle of sharply rising revenues following the biggest tax cut in history,’ announced a 1966 U.S. News and World Report article, ‘is beginning to astonish even those who pushed hardest for tax cuts in the first place.’ (Source: Stephen Moore, “Stephen Moore: Why Lower Tax Rates Are Good for Everyone”, The Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2012)


So who do YOU believe when it comes to tax cuts and their ability to create jobs, boost our economy, and address Vermont’s crisis of affordability?

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