Role Reversal

If you want to understand one of the ways Left and Right changed places over the last two generations, ponder these two quotations, and see if you can identify, without peeking at the end below, who said which:

“I believe that as a practical matter spending cuts must come before tax cuts.  If we reduce taxes before firm, principled decisions are made about expenditures, we will court deficit spending and the inflationary effects that invariably follow.”

Here’s the second one:

“There are no doubt some who would prefer to put off a tax cut in the hope that ultimately an end to the Cold War would make possible an equivalent cut in expenditures—but that end is not in view and to wait for it would be costly and self-defeating.”

As a special bonus, who said this:

“Once we start encouraging the economy with tax cuts, it would sooner or later become an uncontrollable popular measure with conservatives.”

Answers: the first quotation is from Senator Barry Goldwater, in 1963.

The second quotation is from President John F. Kennedy, in his 1963 state of the union message advocating cuts in income taxes.  (And you probably thought it was Ronald Reagan.)

The bonus quotation is from John Kenneth Galbraith, also in 1963.  I think it’s the most intelligent thing he ever said.