The Kennedy Administration Fiscal Policy Essay

1416 words - 6 pages

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK) ran for office against Richard Nixon during the recession of 1960. JFK took office January 20, 1961, becoming the 35th President of the United States; he was assassinated November 22, 1963. JFK, during his brief time in office he was known for his foreign policy actions to stern communist expansion in Cuba, Berlin and with nuclear weapons. These national crises eclipse his impact on the U.S. Economy, which he was not as we'll known. Contractionary Monetary Policy caused the recession of 1960, as the federal Reserve raised interest rates to curb a growth rate from 1959; with a shrinking economy and unemployment at its highest by the time of the election of 1960—President Kennedy and his administration adopted fiscal and monetary policies to close the recession of 1960.
Economist John Maynard Keynes, who believed in Monetarism (to stabilize the economy the government must lower or raise interest rates accordingly), Kennedy embraced the idea also the concept of aggregate demand which show; full employment could be maintained only with government spending. JFK fueled the economy by investing in domestic, military, and space programs; also known as Kennedy’s New Frontier. “Anyone who is honestly seeking a job and can’t find it, deserve the attention of the United States government, and the people.” (John F. Kennedy, 1961)
President Kennedy proposed to give aid to education, medical care for the elderly, mast transit, as well as a regional development in Appalachian, helping the impoverished community for decades. Kennedy signed the Housing Act of June 30th 1960 to aid middle income families and mass transportation users while also increasing urban renewal. Unfortunately, congressional support was limited; many of JFK’s proposals were shot down by a conservative congress ran by Republicans and conservative Democrats.
President Kennedy signed legislation to raise minimum wage and increase social security benefits—made possible by Vice President L.B. Johnson’s extensive relationship with congress. June 30th 1961 Kennedy signed a bill that would extend social security to over five million people. “The largest single barrier to full employment of our manpower and resources and to a higher rate of economic growth is the unrealistically heavy drag of federal income taxes on private purchasing power, initiative and incentive.” (John F. Kennedy, Jan. 24, 1963, special message to Congress on tax reduction and reform)
Between the years 1961-1963, President Kennedy added $23 billion to the national debt; a moderate 8% increase to the $2898 billion debt level at the end of President Eisenhower’s budget. JFK’s deficit spending ended the recession, contributing to an expansion that lasted until 1970. Kennedy advocated tax cuts, in addition to spending—address to the Economic Club of New York, December 1962, the president discussed spending more on education, expanding R&D, and cutting taxes, the income tax rate was 91%, JFK...

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