Monday, May 04, 2009

Jack Kemp - RIP

UPDATE - Now with more vowels!
Sorry to hear Jack Kemp passed away over the weekend. I liked him...sometimes.

When listening to Kemp talk I was always agreeing and disagreeing with him, often while he was in the same sentence. Every time Kemp spoke about financial matters and taxation policies it was if he was putting Mustard and Raspberry Jam on a hot dog. You can imagine liking all three, just not together. Here are examples of Kemp's great internal conflicts:

Supply-side economics - Kemp long discussed the need to lower tax marginal rates to raise receipts. He understood like a few politicians that there are certain taxes, that when lowered,can actually raise revenue. I've not understood though why an advocate for less government intervention would want more revenue fueling it.

Flat tax - Kemp felt a flat tax on wages and earnings was more fair. He said it should be somewhere between 17-25%. I've never understood why someone who advocated for personal liberty would concede that one-fourth of my productive energy should belong to someone else.

When he defended Reagan, he was really defending himself. Reagan expanded the role of government in our's a sad truth. The most shameful elements of Reagan's time in office were orchestrated by the likes of Kemp and a few others.

Kemp as head of HUD recommended that it be closed. Bravo.

Kemp was not afraid to speak in front of minorities, in particular African-Americans. I wish he would have been a little less smug while doing it though.

Kemp also played for the San Diego Chargers. I've never liked the Chargers much.

He had local ties to my area and I had on one occasion back in the early 90's shook hands with Jack Kemp. I'm sure he talked about shaking my hand quite a bit in his private life.

1 comment:

Gino said...

kemp was a disply of what is wrong with the conservative movement.

quality man, of good character, but oftentimes unable to settle on the best final solution out of a whole slate of better solutions than the opposition can prvide.

i was fan of kemp,the man, for a host of reasons. and voted for him in 88.
but in later yrs, i couldnt vote for him for lack of idealogical purity, but would enthusiatically support him over anything the democrats were capable of putting forward.

remember: he almost resigned HUD when Bush raised taxes, saying he couldnt in honesty support and defend the action of his boss.
Bush talked him out of it.