The 1964 Tax Cuts and Economic Growth – Paul Ryan Edition

by Mike Kimel

The 1964 Tax Cuts and  Economic Growth – Paul Ryan Edition
During last week’s Vice Presidential debates, Paul Ryan stated: “Jack Kennedy lowered tax rates, increased growth.”
There was some commentary about Biden’s response (“Oh, now you’re Jack Kennedy.”) but just about everyone seems to miss what I think is the important point. Take a look at the graph below:


The so-called Kennedy tax cuts occurred in 1964, the year following JFK’s assassination, and were pushed through by Lyndon Johnson. Now take a look at 1964, and consider the likely outcomes when people who
think events in 1964 “increased growth” determine tax policy.  Data on real GDP from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the government agency responsible for computing the series.