When did taxes start to come down?
Arguing that the World War II tax regime exerted “too heavy a drag on growth in peacetime,” President John F. Kennedy in 1963 called for slashing the top rate for individuals from 91 percent to a “more reasonable” 65 percent. Kennedy’s plan met stiff resistance from conservative Democrats and Republicans, who worried about the plan’s impact on the deficit. It fell to President Lyndon Johnson to shepherd a bill through Congress, with an emotional appeal to lawmakers after Kennedy’s assassination. The Revenue Act of 1964 lowered the top individual tax rate to 70 percent and the bottom rate to 14 percent from 20 percent, while reducing the corporate tax rate from 52 percent to 48 percent. It would be 17 years before the next across-theboard tax cuts passed under President Ronald Reagan.