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#withnewt #tcot #wacot #sgp #teaparty In his first months in office, in early 1981, Reagan actually dithered on moving on his tax cut. He conceded to watering down Kemp-Roth, and he actually had to be convinced by Democrats that the top rate of the income tax had to be taken down all at once, instead of in phases.
Smelling blood, in spring of that year Democrats started to offer alternatives to Reagan’s tax cut, in the form of smaller, more “reasonable” tax cuts. Crucially, these did not index the tax code against inflation, as the Reagan bill would soon propose and has been a beloved staple in the tax code since indexing came into effect in 1985.
In stepped – Newt Gingrich. Gingrich, a second-term Representative, led an “Economic Recovery Working Group” in the House whose purpose was to show “what each member can do to help the Reagan tax cut” against its Democratic alternatives.
The group gave daily briefings and issued strategy memos on how to get the job done in the House. “Emphasize that the Reagan program is a real tax cut; and that the O’Neill/Rostenkowski program will mean a real tax increase for most Americans by 1984” was the gist of one memo. This particular point is the one Reagan would seize on in the famous chart (designed by Entin) that he presented to the American people in a televised address in late July, which closed the deal in Congress.
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