Richard Nixon on Tax Reform

President of the U.S., 1968-1974

I did not order illegal IRS audits; but I did order audits

The most one-sided myth was that I used government agencies illegally by asking Secretary of the Treasury George Shultz to order IRS audits of a political adversary, Larry O'Brien. I have no regrets for that action. In the 1960s, when the Democrats controlled the White House, I was routinely subject to politically instigated IRS audits. Moreover, the IRS bureaucracy--long dominated by Democratic appointees and civil servants--was engaged in wide-ranging field audits of many of my close personal and political friends, including Billy Graham. I was simply trying to level the playing field, and everything I did was totally legal. In any case, I see nothing wrong with getting wealthy people to pay their taxes.
Source: In The Arena, by Richard Nixon, p. 32 , Apr 1, 1991

Raising taxes OK to maintain sound economy & sound dollar

Q [to Kennedy]: A year ago, you said that you would not hesitate to recommend a tax increase if necessary.

KENNEDY: That's right.

Q: Is this what you have in mind?

KENNEDY: I don't think that in 1961 under present economic conditions that a tax increase would be desirable. In fact, it would be deflationary; it would cause great unemployment; it would cause a real slowdown in our economy. If it ever becomes necessary, and is wise economically and essential to our security, I would have no hesitancy in suggesting a tax increase.

NIXON: I think it may be necessary that we have more taxes. I hope not. I hope we can economize elsewhere so that we don't have to. But I would have no hesitation to ask the American people to pay the taxes even in 1961--if necessary--to maintain a sound economy and also to maintain a sound dollar. Because when you do not tax, and tax enough to pay for your outgo, you pay it many times over in higher prices and inflation; and I simply will not do that.

Source: The Second Kennedy-Nixon Presidential Debate , Oct 7, 1960

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George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
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Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
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Page last updated: May 01, 2015