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Dems Twist JFK's Credo: 'What Can Your Country Do for You?'

Dems Twist JFK's Credo: 'What Can Your Country Do for You?'
 Chris Dorney | Dreamstime.com

By Friday, 15 November 2019 03:03 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Democrat John Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th U.S. president on Jan. 20, 1961.

Ask not what your country can do for youask what you can do for your country,” he said on that day and motivated an entire generation.

However, Democrats of today have reversed it. They ask: “What can your country do for you?”


Today’ Dems say:

Kennedy’s meaning was clear. This country allows you to pursue your dreams and achieve your goals. But as you travel that road, don’t forget to give back to your country. The emphasis was on individual freedom and individual responsibility.

These were, in fact, some of the principles that allowed this country to grow from the birth of the nation to the largest, most prosperous and most powerful country on earth is about 150 years. The U.S. surpassed countries that were hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years older.

Kennedy also knew that the country’s rapid growth was not just a result of pursuing policies that encouraged individual freedom and individual responsibility, but also a result of low rates of taxation. That meant an Americans could always keep nearly everything that was earned. Kennedy pushed through the Kennedy/Johnson tax cut which reduced tax rates for all Americans.

That tax cut reduced the maximum tax rate from 91% to 65%. Annual economic growth accelerated to more than 6%. As the growth reduced the unemployment rate, Americans found new opportunity. The new opportunities did not just improve the individual’s welfare but contributed to the improvement of the overall welfare of the country.

In 1913, Congress ratified the 16th Amendment to the constitution which permanently established the Federal Income tax. Once this was established, government began to shift away from individual freedom and individual responsibility and toward less freedom and more social responsibility. Over time, the tax rates increased until the maximum rate was raised to 91%.

Then more taxes were passed, increasing the rate of taxation. And more social programs were enacted which shifted away from individual responsibility and toward social responsibility. In the mid-1930s the Social Security Act was passed. While initial tax rate was initially low, it was eventually was raised to the level today of 12.4% on the first $132,900 of wages earned.

Then in the mid-1960s Medicare was passed. This act provided guaranteed healthcare for all Americans starting on the 65th birthday. This again shifted from individual responsibility to social responsibility. The Medicare tax is now 2.9% on all wages. There is an additional 0.9% Medicare tax on wages in excess of $200,000.

This means that for about 80% of Americans, 15.3% of their wages are taken to pay for Social Security and Medicare taxes.

Compassionate Americans generally approve of both Social Security and Medicare so that the elderly will always have at least a minimum income and will have health care. Still the 15.3% in taxes must be added to the taxes paid for federal income tax, state income tax, sales tax on almost everything purchased, and property taxes on homes, estate taxes and special taxes on products like gasoline, cigarettes and alcohol.

We now have high rates of taxation and a greater role for government. This tends to slow economic growth which helps explain why the economy had only 2% annual growth from 2006 to 2016. The growth rate didn’t increase until the current administration reduced government involvement in the economy and lowered tax rates.

Now the Democrats want Americans to ask: “What more can your country do for you?”

The proposed Dems’ policies will further reduce individual freedom, shift even further from individual responsibility to social responsibility, raise the rates of taxation even higher and vastly increase the role of government. That’s is why so many economists warn of the economic stagnation, like in socialist countries, that will result from these policies.

If Kennedy were alive today, he wouldn’t support these policies. He would recognize that the world’s most prosperous nation does have and can afford some social responsibility. Caring for the elderly and the disadvantaged makes sense. But having the country do more for able bodied Americans does run counter to what made America great.

The Dems should ask the original question Kennedy asked. They should ask how each American can contribute to the welfare of the country rather than asking how the country can take care of every American.

Kennedy would want to keep America great.

Dr. Michael Busler, Ph.D., is a public policy analyst and a professor of finance at Stockton University in Galloway, New Jersey, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in finance and economics. He has written op-ed columns in major newspapers for more than 35 years.

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The Dems should ask the original question Kennedy asked. They should ask how each American can contribute to the welfare of the country rather than asking how the country can take care of every American.
dems, kennedy, country, jfk
Friday, 15 November 2019 03:03 PM
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