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Remarks to Representatives of the Citizens Committee for Tax Reduction and Revision in 1963.

May 09, 1963

IN MY State of the Union Message last January, I said that enactment of a program of tax rate reduction and reform was the most urgent task confronting the Congress in 1963.

The substantial area of commonly held views of your group on this subject is most significant. It illustrates strikingly the wide consensus of leaders in all sectors of our society that 1963 is the year for a modification of our Federal tax structure to one more capable of fostering full employment and faster economic growth. Your action broadly extends the consensus that tax revision, with net reduction of about $10 billion, is an appropriate target for legislative action this year. By enlarging public understanding of the need for action--this year-your committee can increase the likelihood of timely and meaningful legislation.

You are to be commended for the time and effort you have devoted and have pledged to the task before us. It is encouraging that such a nonpartisan group of citizens-including representatives of agriculture, education, housing, labor, small business, aging, and welfare--recognizes the need for tax legislation that will step up the growth and vigor of our economy. It will be heartening to all who are concerned with achieving our Nation's economic goals to learn that a Citizens Committee for Tax Reduction and Revision in 1963 is now in active existence.

It is quite likely that not all of you agree with all features of the tax program I have proposed. There is, inevitably, some difference of opinion among Congressmen, among businessmen, and among private citizens on just how taxes can be instrumental in helping to attain our economic goals. Out of these very differences, it is my hope that a tax program will be enacted along lines I believe to be in the overall national interest--a balanced program that will benefit both consumers and producers, both workers and investors, with a consequently cumulative benefit for incomes and jobs, profits and incentives, consumption and productivity. More important than any difference, however, is the increasing recognition throughout our country of the need for action this year. Your volunteer effort will be of great assistance in bringing it about.

Note: The President spoke at 4:45 p.m. in the East Room at the White House. The Citizens Committee for Tax Reduction and Revision in 1963 was organized in Washington, D.C., early in May 1963, following the adoption of a Statement of Principles pledging support of a "meaningful revision in Federal income tax laws, including a substantial net tax reduction of individual and corporate taxes totalling about $10 billion . . . to take effect as early as possible in 1963." Dr. Howard R. Bowen, president of Grinnell College, served as chairman, with the following cochairmen: Alexander Allen, D. W. Brooks, Phil David Fine, George Meany, Geritt Vander Ende.

John F. Kennedy, Remarks to Representatives of the Citizens Committee for Tax Reduction and Revision in 1963. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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