Monday, August 13, 1962
August 13, 1962
JFK was in the White House and made a nationally televised speech to discuss tax cuts and economic issues. His presentation was overshadowed by the world news of a significant accomplishment by the Soviet space industry, which was trumpeted in large banner headlines in the New York Times.
Kennedy began his speech by acknowledging the Soviet feat of placing two space craft in a synchronized orbit and admitting that the US was trailing in its own space efforts.
He then somewhat clumsily segued to his intended subject – the state of the American economy and the need for tax cuts. Displaying a series of graphs charting economic data, JFK declared his intention to cut tax rates starting in January, 1963, arguing. “During the last 15 months, for example, of the current expansion of our economy, Federal purchases have added $7 billion to the economy, but Federal taxes have siphoned out $12 billion…”
After he was off the air, Kennedy knew he had been less than persuasive, telling Walter Heller, “It was a C-minus.” Musing out loud about how to stimulate the economy he then said to Heller, “I don’t care if you paper over one or two or even three billion dollars of debt.”
[Reeves, p. 335]