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Statement of the Vice President of the United States on Democratic Tax Program, Brooklyn, NY

November 02, 1960

Fiscal experts tell us my opponent's platform would cost upward of $15 billion more a year than we are now spending. If he were to try to raise this tremendous amount in new taxes, who would pay the bill!

If anyone thinks the bill could be paid by a "soak the rich" policy, he is wrong. The Kennedy program is one of the cruelest and most vicious "soak the poor" programs ever advocated by any presidential candidate. And here, on the basis of figures available in the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is the proof.

If all personal taxable income in excess of $100,000 a year were taxed 100 percent, the additional Federal revenue would be only about $300 million, or about 2 percent of what my opponent's platform would cost.

If all personal taxable income in excess of $50,000 a year were taxed 100 percent, the additional Federal revenue would be only about $600 million, or about 4 percent of what my opponent's platform would cost.

If all personal taxable income in excess of $25,000 a year were taxed 100 percent, the additional Federal revenue would be only $1.5 billion or about 10 percent of what my opponent's platform would cost.

If all personal taxable income in excess of $15,000 a year were taxed 100 percent, the additional Federal revenue would be only about $3.1 billion or about 20 percent of what my opponent's platform would cost.

If all personal taxable income in excess of $10,000 a year were taxed 100 percent, the additional revenue would be only about $5.6 billion or about 37 percent of what my opponent's platform would cost.

These figures are as clear as their meaning is shocking.

It is the millions of peoples in the lower income brackets - not the wealthy who would really pay the bill for my opponent's platform if he tried to finance it by new taxes.

Even if he confiscated all taxable income above $10,000 a year, some $10 billion annually would have to come from those who can least afford new taxes - the millions upon millions of Americans who earn less than $10,000 a year.

Senator Kennedy hopes by sheer repetition to convince Americans that they are in trouble in almost every department - world position, military strength, economic progress, scientific and educational advances.

He, of course, represents himself as the modern Pied Piper who will pipe the troubles out of the land.

We have listened to his piping in this campaign and it is clear what would happen.

If he pursued the programs he had advocated domestically - programs which could only produce cruel inflation and Government interference with every aspect of our economic life - he could only pipe us into recession, or worse.

If he pursued the policies abroad which he has suggested - apology to Khrushchev, retreat in the Pacific, open interference in Cuba - could only pipe us into grave international crises, or worse.

Take a specific field: Senator Kennedy's campaign to talk us into a recession has now reached phase 2.

If elected, he says, he will counsel with President Eisenhower about how to deal with it.

It is quite a political gimmick. First he conjures up a recession - which we're not having - then he says if elected he will be glad to meet with President Eisenhower to see how to deal with it.

The solution of Senator Kennedy's recession will come from the voters on November 8. If they do what I am fully confident they will do, he won't need to worry about holding such a conference because he will not be the new President and there will be no recession.

The American people have an instinct that is seldom wrong. They know that the way to avoid a recession is to defeat Senator Kennedy and his grandiose schemes for tampering with an economic system that has given America in the past 8 years the greatest prosperity in history.

The American people know what works and what won't work, and the people know that the strong probability is that the Senator's election to the Presidency would produce the very recession he constantly talks about. That's why they are not going to elect him.

That's why his self-serving proposal for a conference with President Eisenhower is just plain silly.

Senator Kennedy's latest proposal is like the story of the neighborhood boy who offered to talk with the fire chief about how to put out the fire he just started.

Richard Nixon, Statement of the Vice President of the United States on Democratic Tax Program, Brooklyn, NY Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273658

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