A Rising Tide . . . In More Ways than One

National Review Online Thomas E. Nugent July 28, 2006

The wisdom of the JFK-Reagan-Bush tax-cut model.

Pete du Pont, former governor of the State of Delaware, recently documented the success of the Bush 2003 tax cuts in an editorial for the Wall Street Journal. Republicans running for office in 2006 should wear lapel pins that refer to du Pont’s statistics, to let the electorate know that the current economic expansion is not only of historical magnitude, but a Republican invention — an expansion that is being fought tooth and nail by virtually every Democrat in Congress.

What is strange about this story is that Democrats used to be for tax cuts. As du Pont pointed out, John F. Kennedy espoused revenue-producing tax cuts when he said that “an economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance our budget, just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.”

The rising tide of economic progress is being widely documented in the financial media: 5.3 million new jobs have been added in the last three years, hourly wages are up 3.9 percent in the past year, the economy hit a 4.6 percent annual growth rate in the second quarter of 2006, and the percentage of Americans earning more than $50,000 rose from 40.8 to 44.2 percent in just the two years ended in 2004.

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