Thread: opinions of JFK?
#1 opinions of JFK?
03-15-2011, 05:30 PM
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
For the longest time, I always thought he was overrated...
He did cut taxes dramatically; His tax cut was the biggest in history until Ronald Reagan, cutting the top marginal rate from 92% (which it had been since the 1930s) to 70% in 1963. LBJ continued this tax cut into his own administration; Both of them saw that tax cuts were a good idea. LBJ's only problem was, like Bush Jr, he didn't see any problem with spending and cutting taxes at the same time.
He planned to get the US out of Vietnam by the end of 1965. Though he had increased the number of military advisors dramatically, he had no active ground fighting troops in Vientam. He saw Vietnam as a losing prospect as early as 1963, and drafted an executive order in October 1963 which ordered that 1,000 military advisors be withdrawn from Vietnam by Christmas 1963, and for the US to begin grooming the Vietnamese to handle the war themselves, with an eventual full withdrawl of US personnel except for training personnel by the end of 1965. Two days after JFK's murder, LBJ made his own executive order which invalidated JFK's plans. LBJ believed that Vietnam was a good cause, a right cause, one worth pursuing.
After some foibles with the Bay of Pigs and the Vienna Summit, JFK did, with Bobby's help, pretty much spare the world from nuclear destruction in the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962 and handled that deftly; He didn't "blink" when the USSR stared him down in that conflict.
Kennedy called his domestic program the "New Frontier". It ambitiously promised federal funding for education, medical care for the elderly, economic aid to rural regions, and government intervention to halt the recession. Kennedy also promised an end to racial discrimination. In his 1963 State of the Union, he proposed substantial tax reform and reduction, in income tax rates, from the current range of 20-90% to a range of 14-65%; he proposed a reduction in the corporate tax rates from 52 to 47%. Congress did not act until 1964, after his death. To the Economics Club of N.Y., he spoke in 1963 of "...the paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and revenues too low; and the soundest way to raise revenue in the long term is to lower rates now." Few of Kennedy's major programs passed Congress during his lifetime, although, under his successor Johnson, Congress did vote them through in 1964–65.
Kennedy ended a period of tight fiscal policies, loosening monetary policy to keep interest rates down and encourage growth of the economy. Kennedy presided over the first government budget to top the $100 billion mark, in 1962, and his first budget in 1961 led to the country's first non-war, non-recession deficit. The economy, which had been through two recessions in three years and was in one when Kennedy took office, accelerated notably during his brief presidency. Despite low inflation and interest rates, GDP had grown by an average of only 2.2% during the Eisenhower presidency (scarcely more than population growth at the time), and had declined by 1% during Eisenhower's last twelve months in office. Stagnation had taken a toll on the nation's labor market, as well: unemployment had risen steadily from under 3% in 1953 to 7%, by early 1961.
The economy turned around and prospered during the Kennedy administration. GDP expanded by an average of 5.5% from early 1961 to late 1963, while inflation remained steady at around 1% and unemployment eased; industrial production rose by 15% and motor vehicle sales leapt by 40%. This rate of growth in GDP and industry continued until around 1966, and has yet to be repeated for such a sustained period of time. There were nevertheless some painful moments, as in the stock market, which had steadily declined since Kennedy's election, and which dropped a full 10% shortly after the administration's action on the steel industry in 1962.
The major steel companies announced in April 1962 a 3.5% price increase (the first in 3 years) within a day of each other. This came just days after the companies had reached a settlement with the steelworkers' union, providing in chief a wage increase of 2.5%.
The administration was furious, with Kennedy saying, "Why did they do this? Do they think they can get away with this? God, I hate the bastards." The president took personal charge of a campaign against the industry, assigning to each cabinet member a statement regarding the effects of the price increase on their area. Robert Kennedy, echoing his brother's own sentiments, "We're going for broke...their expense accounts, where they've been and what they've been doing...the FBI is to interview them all...we can't lose this." Robert took the position that the steel executives had illegally colluded in doing this. There was genuine concern about the inflationary effects of the price increase.
The administration's actions influenced US Steel not to institute the price increase. The Wall Street Journal wrote that the administration had acted "by naked power, by threats, by agents of the state security police."[page needed] Yale law professor Charles Reich wrote in The New Republic his opinion that the administration had violated civil liberties by calling a grand jury to indict US Steel for collusion so quickly.[page needed] A New York Times editorial praised Kennedy's actions and said that the steel industry's price increase "imperils the economic welfare of the country by inviting a tidal wave of inflation." Nevertheless, the administration's Bureau of Budget reported the price increase would have resulted in a net gain for GDP as well as a net budget surplus.
As a senator, Kennedy had been opposed to the manned space program. The Apollo program was conceived early in 1960, during the Eisenhower administration, as a follow-up to America's Mercury program.
While NASA went ahead with planning for Apollo, funding for the program was far from certain given Eisenhower's ambivalent attitude to manned spaceflight. Early in his presidency, Kennedy was considering plans to dismantle the Apollo program due to its cost, but postponed any decision out of deference to his vice president whom he had appointed chairman of the U.S. Space Council and who strongly supported NASA due to its Texas location. In his January 1961 State of the Union address, Kennedy had suggested international cooperation in space. Sergei Khrushchev said Kennedy approached his father, Nikita, twice about a "joint venture" in space exploration—in June 1961 and autumn 1963. On the first occasion, the Soviet Union was ahead of America in many aspects of space technology.
On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to fly in space, reinforcing American fears about being left behind in a technological competition with the Soviet Union. Kennedy was eager for the U.S. to take the lead in the Space Race for strategic reasons. Kennedy first announced the goal for landing a man on the Moon in the speech to a Joint Session of Congress on May 25, 1961, stating:
"First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish."
Kennedy later made a speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962, in which he said:
"No nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space."
"We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard."
On November 21, 1962, in a Cabinet Room meeting with NASA Administrator James E. Webb and other officials, Kennedy said:
"This is important for political reasons, international political reasons... Because otherwise we shouldn't be spending this kind of money, because I'm not that interested in space. I think it's good, I think we ought to know about it, we're ready to spend reasonable amounts of money. But...we’ve spent fantastic expenditures, we’ve wrecked our budget on all these other domestic programs, and the only justification for it, in my opinion, to do it in the pell-mell fashion is because we hope to beat them [the Soviets] and demonstrate that starting behind, as we did by a couple of years, by God, we passed them. I think it would be a helluva thing for us."
On the second approach to Khrushchev, the Ukrainian was persuaded that cost-sharing was beneficial and that American space technology was forging ahead. The U.S. had launched a geosynchronous satellite in July 1962 and Kennedy had asked Congress to approve more than $25 billion for the Apollo program.
In September 1963, during a speech before the United Nations, Kennedy again proposed a joint lunar program to the Soviet Union. The proposal was not enthusiastically received by Khrushchev. Kennedy's death only a little more than a month later essentially made the proposal irrelevant. On July 20, 1969, almost six years after his death, Apollo's goal was realized when Americans landed on the Moon.
03-15-2011, 05:32 PM
He was a drug addicted womanizing douche.
03-15-2011, 05:42 PM
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
He did take medications for his myriad of health problems (Osteoporosis and other back problems, Colitis, Anxiety, Sleep Disorders, Addison's Disease, Allergies, Urinary Tract Infections) but he never seemed to be addicted to any of them, and all of the medications he took were ones he needed. His back problem was so intense that he wouldn't even be able to bend over and tie his shoes without pain killer.
Even the guy who did research, uncovered and brought to light his medical history and his list of medications compared it to both private and public video and audio footage of him during his Presidency, and found he was never mentally impaired while President.
Like Truman, Ike, Nixon and LBJ, Kennedy taped his meetings and private phone calls:
03-15-2011, 05:45 PM
Wait people on your side say that Rush is a hopeless addict just because he used painkillers for his back.
On the flip side of this coin you have a man (JFK) who basically used pharmacy worth of drugs everyday and you're telling me he wasn't addicted? ya right.
03-15-2011, 05:55 PM
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
Ironically, Kennedy would be considered a right-wing kook by the very same Left who so idolize him today if only they looked at what he actually stood for: lower taxes, he hated Communism, and he believed in actually treating people equally, rather than affirmative action bullshit.
The article paints a bit of a rosy picture of Kennedy on his actual handling of defense issues, but he did in fact manage to get us through them without getting the country nuked, so I suppose he deserves some credit there.
JFK could never be President today with his blatant skirt-chasing. The press kept that quiet back then, but today it wouldn't slide. Then again, I think Kennedy would probably be a Republican if he were still alive today, and Republicans don't get the same pass in the press that Democrats do. Either way, his womanizing ways would have him in bigtime trouble today that he managed to get away with in the '60s.
AFAIC, Kennedy was not a terrible President, but I think that he's highly over-rated. He gets a lot of "martyr praise" that he really just doesn't deserve all that much, if you ask me.Olde-style, states' rights conservative. Ask if this concept confuses you.
03-15-2011, 06:00 PM
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
Also, in the same way, I've read a hell of a lot about JFK's medical issues and his medications. He used a pharmacy worth of medications because he had a long list of ailments. There is no evidence from his medical and X-Ray records that he ever abused any of the medications he had.
Like I said, listen to his phone conversations for one. He's in full command mentally.
03-15-2011, 06:09 PM
This is just an FYI, and isn't meant to convey the message that I have a negative opinion of Kennedy. I really don't know that much about him, as he was before my time, and I have trouble forming an opinion because I'm paranoid that most material on him is hugely sensationalized. If I were to base my opinion purely on results and not on character, I'd say he was pretty effective at what he wanted to accomplish.
Edited to add an interesting thought: Had things gone south with the USSR, and conventional or low yield nuclear warfare ensued, Kennedy may have a some opiate supply issues, to say the least, and if he couldn't get them, that could have severely impaired his leadership skills in a time of crisis. If full scale nuclear warfare had commenced, it would have been moot point.
Last edited by malloc; 03-15-2011 at 06:21 PM."In England a king hath little more to do than to make war and give away places; which in plain terms, is to impoverish the nation and set it together by the ears. A pretty business indeed for a man to be allowed eight hundred thousand sterling a year for, and worshipped into the bargain! Of more worth is one honest man to society and in the sight of God, than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived."
—Thomas Paine, Common Sense
03-15-2011, 06:22 PM
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
Yes, the BODY can become tolerant of the substance, but that doesn't mean it hooks the mind, or makes the person unstable, unreliable, and in his case, there was no danger of any physical withdrawal effects given that he was the President and could get whatever medicines he needed. Prescription medications can mentally impair some, especially those who simply use the drugs to get ''high''--I've known a few--but for those who take it as prescribed and don't abuse it, they can be pretty much normal.
I myself have had experience with being prescribed a very powerful medication (for legitimate reasons), which I was on for a number of months. From what I've read, the dosage level of the medication could/would leave most tired, groggy, or "stoned." It would knock others right out, and at the very least, impair their motor skills and reaction times. It was a Class IV drug, so it had great potential for addiction, and in my family, there's history of addiction.I was on this medication and yet my mind was clear, I was never the least bit tired, groggy; my voice never slurred, my mind never felt numbed as it might do for some. I never stumbled or walked funny, my reflexes were as keen as normal. I was in full command of my faculties and if you talked me, I spoke the same and thought the same as I did before I was on the medication. I also NEVER took more than what I was directed to on the bottle--Never once. It simply eased great back pain and took the edge off in other areas.
What's important is if a leader is in command mentally, if his judgement isn't impaired by his health or substances used. Kennedy was on a number of prescription medications, but I find no evidence through reading that it impaired his judgement. Compare this to FDR. FDR was not on any medications except a heart medication (to combat his heart failure), but his very poor health and declining energy alone resulted in poor decisions made at Yalta.
Last edited by CaughtintheMiddle1990; 03-15-2011 at 06:26 PM.
03-15-2011, 06:38 PM
That's basically what I just said. He may not have been impaired, nor abusing the drugs. However, depending on the nature of the specific drug, which I'm suspecting was opioid based, withdrawal symptoms are going to manifest in every single person who takes them for any substantial period of time and them abruptly discontinues their use. By "every single person", I mean there is very nearly a 100% chance of a user experiencing withdrawal when stopping the medication. This is why doctors always ween the patients off the drugs slowly, and sometimes provide "helper" medications to lessen withdrawal symptoms. So, I'm not arguing that the drugs affected Kennedy's performance. I'm arguing that the absence of the drugs would have most definitely had an effect on his judgment to some degree, if that situation had happened.
—Thomas Paine, Common Sense
03-15-2011, 06:48 PM
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
My grandparents and parents were all about Kennedy. I've never really understood it. I understand wanting to see someone closer to your own age be president, and being born in the same century is nice too.
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