To some of us, this is a very bizarre image: the grandson of JFK, whose name is Jack Schlossberg, giving an award to George HW Bush, the Profile in Courage Award, from the JFK Presidential Library.
And, as surreal as it is for JFK's grandson to be doing that, what is equally surreal is the reason why they gave him the award: it was because he broke a promise to the American people not to raise their taxes. I kid you not: that is why they gave him the award.
They said it took courage to do it and may have cost him the 1992 election. But, wait a second. What about the idea that if a politician makes a promise, makes a commitment, and begs for votes on the basis that he is going to do something or refrain from doing something, that upon being elected, he ought to do what he promised? If Bush didn't mean it, he shouldn't have said it. What it really means is that he lied, that he betrayed the people to whom he promised.
And get this: they went on to speak of the good that came from the tax hikes that Bush allowed: they said that they laid the groundwork for the revenue surpluses of the Clinton years. Well, there were no revenue surpluses during the Clinton years. The debt of the United States increased in every one of the Clinton years. It was just an accounting trick. They swept all the money out of the Social Security trust fund, that wasn't being distributed to seniors, and replaced it with IOUs, which weren't even liquid, and then didn't count that borrowing as debt. They said it was "off-budget."
And why even mention those so-called surpluses, knowing that the official government debt today stands at around $22 trillion, and climbing rapidly, and the real debt is a multiple of that? The good from Bush's tax hikes is non-existent. There is no good from any tax hikes because if government revenue goes up, then so does government spending. There is never any savings. There is never any paying down of debt. Government debt only grows. It never shrinks. Don't you know that?
Another recipient of the JFK Profile in Courage Award was Gerald Ford, the guy who arbitrarily moved the location of JFK's wound from his back (at the level of T3) to the back "of his neck." Poor JFK. And as for the succeeding generation of Kennedys, apparently the only one with any courage was John F. Kennedy Jr.