A last open letter predicted policies would fail; Lincoln, arson attack on rich.
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So it is worth remembering that when Democrats and their ideas of a static economy ruled supreme in the late 1970s, Jack Kemp never shrank from the seemingly hopeless task of taking on their ideas in a head to head fashion. For as long as it took, dismissing the naysayers. Keeping his eyes focused on his goal of cutting taxes and spurring economic growth no matter the lost votes, the scorn from the media, or the tittering of his fellow Republicans.
Hence, it’s fair to ask on the eve of the 2011 Republican ascendancy:
• When will legislation be introduced to abolish the estate tax — period?
• Who will step forward to push zeroing out capital gains taxes in urban areas — and beyond?
• Who will propose getting rid of the corporate tax?
• What about abolishing the income tax and moving to a flat tax?
• If the current tax structure is the call of the day — why stick with the Bush 35% rate and not move forward once again to a Reaganesque-Kempite 28%?
And so on.
ObamaCare needs to be repealed, and the Republican leadership says it will do just that and let the President send back the inevitable veto, launching a major fight. The victory of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in federal court yesterday is, contrary to White House spin, a major victory in the fight to stop ObamaCare in its tracks. But aside from health care, then what? Which Members are going to pick up Kemp’s economic growth football and run with it, get tackled with it, get up and get in the game again… and again… and again… until the political goal line of a restored and vigorous American economy is a reality? It is no accident that the House member who appears most determined to do this is incoming Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin — a former Kemp staffer. But Ryan can’t do this alone.
Barack Obama is no supply-sider. He genuinely believes in the leftist dogma of wealth redistribution, its obvious massive failures be damned. But in fact in his ideological resistance to Kemp’s well-proven opposing idea of wealth creation Obama has been, at least for now, stymied. Liberals today, as they were when Kemp was very much alive and on the political field of play, are both furious and flummoxed at being pictured — accurately — as supporting policies that ultimately always prove to be uncaring and out of touch. Obama’s angrily defensive “hostage” imagery of liberalism is a sure sign that the President and his allies have been tackled politically by the GOP as Kemp’s message scores yet again.
The policies that Jack Kemp fought for so fiercely and successfully in the late 1970s and early 1980s restored economic growth as the Lincolnian touchstone of Republican Party doctrine. As Kemp predicted in his 1979 book, An American Renaissance, growth policies launched America into a golden era of prosperity with almost fifty million jobs created between 1983, when the Reagan-Kemp tax cuts took effect, and September of 2008, when the government-induced financial crisis struck. Marginal tax rates never returned to their pre-Reagan level of 70%, although the pressure to raise them incrementally — as evidenced in the current struggle — has been consistent from the left.
Democrats like to claim credit for Bill Clinton’s presidency in the job creation department — and no less than Arthur Laffer agrees. With a smile he pointed out in the late 1990s that the “Reagan-Clinton” presidency had essentially followed the rules of supply-side economics, and the job creation of the 1990s was due to the fact that Jack Kemp’s argument had in fact carried the day.
But the pressure of the Reagan-Kemp success has created a problem for Obama.
The counter pressure, that appeal to the decidedly un-Kempian concept of class warfare, is what is now driving a wedge right through the heart of the Obama-led Democrats. In a disturbing twist, after two years of high-octane class warfare rhetoric from the White House ceaselessly attacking “the rich,” police and fire officials on Massachusetts’ Cape Cod now suspect a serial arsonist of burning houses and leaving behind the liberal message in more graphic form, with “F… the rich” scrawled at the scene.
Kemp would surely be appalled at the violent turn this anti-capitalist crusade appears to be taking. The first home targeted (reported here in the Cape Cod Times) still under construction with only its exterior completed, was said to be worth $500,000 with three bedrooms and a three-car garage. He would understand something liberals never seem to grasp — the construction of this home meant good private sector construction jobs at good wages. Jobs that have now been destroyed along with the house.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?