Irony – Bush 41 Gets JFK Profile In Courage Award For RAISING Taxes

Fmr. President George H.W. Bush (a.k.a. “41”) was honored with the John F. Kennedy Profile In Courage award yesterday for raising taxes as part of the 1990 budget deal. Why they decided to honor him nearly 24 years after the fact is a mystery to me.

What is truly ironic, however, is that one of JFK’s greatest successes in his short presidency was his tax cuts for businesses (1962) and for individuals (1964 shortly after his assassination.) Kennedy’s tax cuts resulted in federal tax receipts increasing by 55% in real terms in the seven years after he came to office in 1961.

A real profile in courage would have been had President Bush stood his ground and forced Congress to get spending under control in order to lower the deficit, not raising their credit card spending limit.


One thought on “Irony – Bush 41 Gets JFK Profile In Courage Award For RAISING Taxes

  1. That isn’t the first time they’ve given the award to a politico specifically on the subject of raising taxes. They awarded it to Lowell Weicker, who was Governor of Connecticut for establishing a state income tax. Sad thing is that he was a Republican turned Independent (although he would be on the moderate to liberal side of the party even at that time).

    Here are some of the other recipients and the rationale for the award (provided on the profile in courage website):

    James Florio: On May 30, 1990, under Governor Florio’s leadership, New Jersey passed the strictest gun control law in the nation, banning the sale and severely restricting the possession of assault weapons in the state.

    Michael Synar: In his sixteen years as a U.S. Congressman from Oklahoma, Michael L. Synar distinguished himself for his unwavering commitment to serve the public interest, no matter how powerful the foe or great the political risk. As a leader of the anti-smoking forces in Congress, Synar introduced legislation to restrict advertising of tobacco products and to include tobacco in the list of products regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and passed a bill requiring a warning label on smokeless tobacco.

    Charles Price: Judge Charles Price, a circuit court judge in Montgomery, Alabama, was honored in 1997 for his devotion to the principles of the American Constitution that compelled him to rule that a fellow circuit court judge’s courtroom display of the Ten Commandments for religious purposes was a violation of the First Amendment.

    John McCain and Russ Feingold: Two U.S. Senators who reached across the aisle to join forces in a bi-partisan effort to reform the way political campaigns are financed were the recipients of the 1999 Profile in Courage Award.

    Now, to be fair, there are some awardees and rationales that I agree with, such as Gerald Ford, John Lewis, Viktor Yushchenko, the Public Servants of September 11, and others. Even so, considering that JFKs move to cut taxes was a highlight of his administration, the iron of Bush 41 receiving the Award for his tax hike — rather than something like his leadership in the Persian Gulf War — is not lost on me.

    Watch for Obama to receive this award at some time in the coming years.

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