1963 Economic Report of the President

Some of you may have read Art Laffer’s excellent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today and wondered, did President Kennedy say what Mr. Laffer quoted?

Tax reduction thus sets off a process that can bring gains for everyone, gains won by marshalling resources that would otherwise stand idle—workers without jobs and farm and factory capacity without markets. Yet many taxpayers seemed prepared to deny the nation the fruits of tax reduction because they question the financial soundness of reducing taxes when the federal budget is already in deficit. Let me make clear why, in today’s economy, fiscal prudence and responsibility call for tax reduction even if it temporarily enlarged the federal deficit—why reducing taxes is the best way open to us to increase revenues.

—President John F. Kennedy,
Economic Report of the President,

January 1963

Well, I wanted the original Economic Report of the President (ERP) to read it for myself. I’m in no position to doubt Mr. Laffer, but I figured that people might doubt me if I use this great quote from former President Kennedy, so I needed proof.

I searched long and hard to find the ERP this morning from 1963 on the internet, and had a difficult time. I called the Kennedy Library, but eventually found it myself. My local librarian got me a copy of the Joint Economic Committee’s meetings on the matter, but not the ERP itself.

In case any of you have use for it, here (pdf) is the original 1963 ERP from Kennedy. He did say what Art Laffer quoted. Case closed.

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