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Breaking: Jack Kemp has Died


Via Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review's The Corner, Jack Kemp has died. He was 73 years old.

I'll update as I get more information.

Update: If you only read one thing about Jack, make it this one: The Importance of Jack Kemp. Here's a portion:

"When you tax something you get less of it, and when you reward something you get more of it."

With that simple exhortation -- and this is a man born to exhort -- Jack Kemp changed his party, changed his country and, ultimately, changed the world.

He had some help, of course. Ronald Reagan, notably. Robert Bartley and the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal. The late Jude Wanniski, one-time member of the WSJ board and author of The Way the World Works. Arthur Laffer, he of the famous Laffer Curve. Others. A number of distinguished others.

Yet for an idea to revolutionize the way the world thinks and works, in the American system it helps if one holds elective or appointed office. Elected as a Congressman from the unlikely world-changing precincts of Buffalo, New York, where he had come to fame as the quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, Kemp evolved into the enthusiastic godfather of what became known as "Reaganomics." or, in its other, equally familiar designation, "supply-side" economics...

With what Washington would eventually realize was the typical Kemp passion, Kemp took an idea about tax cuts and made of it a gospel. In legislative form it became what was called Kemp-Roth, named respectively after Kemp the House sponsor and Delaware GOP Senator William Roth, its Senate champion. At its core, the idea proposed to slash personal income tax rates -- and cut them big time by 30 percent over three years. It was 1978, the middle of the Carter malaise years, and after what Bartley calls a "stormy debate" the bill failed in a conference committee. Kemp kept going. By 1980 he had convinced candidate Ronald Reagan, and the concept was written into the 1980 Republican platform. By August of 1981 President Ronald Reagan was signing Kemp's cause into law. By 1983, the American economy had begun to shake off recession and, in a startling reversal, roared to life. The results were so powerful that Reagan later said France's Socialist President François Mitterrand, Reagan's guest at the 1983 Williamsburg G-7 Summit, wanted to know just exactly what went into America's blossoming and quite vivid economic growth.

Update II: The Heritage Foundation issued a statement:

WASHINGTON, May 2, 2009--Heritage Foundation President Edwin Feulner tonight issued the following statement on the death of former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp:

"Jack Kemp was a leader - whether it was in a football huddle, a national political campaign or a policy discussion about the Austrian school of economics.

"I first met Jack nearly 40 years ago, during his freshman year in Congress. When he introduced The Jobs Creation Act - a major legislative advance of supply-side economics - I knew I had found an ally. That ally soon became my friend

"Jack was a 'bleeding-heart conservative.' He wanted to make it possible for every American to succeed and eagerly worked with people of all races, colors and creeds toward that end.

"Across-the-board tax cuts and 'enterprise zones' for blighted neighborhoods are now common economic prescriptions - especially during these hard times. But to make these ideas respectable, Jack had to fight for them constantly during his years in Congress, as Housing and Urban Development secretary, as chairman of a national tax reform commission, and during his presidential and vice presidential campaigns.

"He won those fights, and millions benefited. The tax cuts that Jack helped engineer in the 1980s gave Americans unprecedented prosperity for decades. His commission also boldly proposed a national flat tax. Those policies also helped spread freedom around the world.

"I remember standing with him in Moscow's Red Square in 1990. The Cold War was starting to thaw, but few even suspected that the Soviet Union's days were numbered. Jack knew. As we stood on the square, in view of the Kremlin, he pointed out an astonishing sign: The line for the new McDonald's restaurant was longer than the line for Lenin's tomb.

"Many people will remember Jack as a great football player - and rightly so. But he was also a great player in the world of ideas, with a mind as strong as his arm. I will miss his strength and friendship greatly."

RIP, Jack.

Update III: Andrew Malcolm has more at Top of the Ticket:

Moments ago the Kemp family released a statement:
Jack Kemp passed peacefully into the presence of the Lord shortly after 6 o'clock this evening, surrounded by the love of his family and pastor, and believing with Isaiah, "My strength and my courage is the Lord."

During the treatment of his cancer, Jack expressed his gratitude for the thoughts and prayers of so many friends, a gratitude which the Kemp family shares.

His condition had been declining rapidly since the announcement and friends knew the end was near for the devoted politician and father, known fondly for breaking off Friday business meetings to fly overnight to watch his two boys, Jeff and Jimmy, also quarterbacks, play college or pro football on the weekend.


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Comments (19)

Bryan, the man has died, ye... (Below threshold)

Bryan, the man has died, yet you still can't muster any sense of human decency. Your comment has been deleted.

Once again, a useless idiot... (Below threshold)

Once again, a useless idiot liberal shows just how little class and brains they have.

God rest His soul ... (Below threshold)

God rest His soul


Thanks for your unrequested eulogy

bryanD Must you shit on any... (Below threshold)

bryanD Must you shit on any, and everything?

fuck you.

R.I.P. Jack Kemp

You spiteful little troll<b... (Below threshold)

You spiteful little troll

Smelling salts!Get y... (Below threshold)

Smelling salts!
Get your smelling salts!
$5---I mean $50(!) a pop!
Smelling salts!
Get your smelling salts!
notiz=It's almost like you want to be whacked.

SMELLING SALTS WILL NOT KI... (Below threshold)


bryanD - your first comment... (Below threshold)

bryanD - your first comment that was rightfully deleted should have been a friggin' clue, but obviously is WAY beyond your ability to figure out.

You're damn lucky to still possess the ability to comment, your comment warranted banning, but you don't seem to give two shits about that either.

BryanD,I did not s... (Below threshold)


I did not see your first post, but heard it was pretty awful.

It is a shame that all you can do is spew hate and invective seemingly in every post. And there's no humor in it. It's just, anger. And it's too bad. You are actually a very intelligent guy.

You are being discussed by the members, who are leaning toward banning your ass.

At the risk of angering maggie, our comments editor, I'd have to say one more time and you are done.

So stop being such an ass, grow up, and post like a decent human being who has something intelligent to say.

No grudges will be held.

I believe you are capable.

Either way.


How can you complain about ... (Below threshold)
Rick Caird:

How can you complain about BrianD? He is a self described liberal (or progressive) who considers himself a friend of humanity and only interested in the best for all. Such a person should be an inspiration. (/sarcasm)


"BryanD,I did not se... (Below threshold)

I did not see your first post, but heard it was pretty awful."-shawn

I simply cited Jack Kemp's proud hearkening (circa 1986) of America's new role as a "service economy" sans industrial base by his immortal words "New Paradigm".

And I cited the medical miracle that turned a draft board medical deferrment into a stellar NFL career.

Which I see is more time and thought to the man on the day of his passing than any other commenter on this thread.

"Which I see is more time a... (Below threshold)

"Which I see is more time and thought to the Man on the day of His passing than any other commenter on this thread."

But You see Bryan, this thread is not about You

Heartfelt prayers to his fa... (Below threshold)

Heartfelt prayers to his family. ww

This is too bad, because Ke... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

This is too bad, because Kemp was a decent man. Unfortunately he wasn't as much help yo Robert Dole in 1996 because Kemp was a political lightweight who was far less impressive as many had hoped. However, he was an honest mainstream conservative with good personal integrity and values.

maggie... boot the Bas**rd!... (Below threshold)

maggie... boot the Bas**rd!..

<a href="http://www.kemppar... (Below threshold)
#16 exposes Bryan DD214 for... (Below threshold)

#16 exposes Bryan DD214 for the A$$ he is to the core.

bryanD - "And I cited t... (Below threshold)

bryanD - "And I cited the medical miracle that turned a draft board medical deferrment into a stellar NFL career."

You certainly did, and in the very first comment in the thread.

What you actually did, but would be loath to admit, is take a broadswipe at the man's integrity while not saying a single word about his passing.

Put another way, you lived up to your well deserved reputation here as a despicable little troll with zero regard for the truth, honesty or honor.

Screw yourself!

<a href="http://www.thenati... (Below threshold)






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