Mr. Supply-Side Himself Goes REB
Jude Wanniski, who coined the phrase "supply-side" economics to champion Republican tax cuts as a way to stimulate growth, endorsed Democrat John Kerry for president, citing President George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq.
"The one big reason why I will vote for Senator Kerry next Tuesday is that he is an internationalist, as am I," Wanniski, 68, told clients in a note on his Web site. "Mr. Bush has become an imperialist -- one whose decisions as commander-in-chief have made the world a more dangerous place."
Wanniski, a political economist who helped design the tax cuts Congress enacted after Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, said his vote for Kerry will be his first for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964, when President Lyndon Johnson defeated Republican Barry Goldwater.
Wanniski supported Bush's 2003 reductions in tax rates for capital gains and stock dividends. Kerry, a four-term Massachusetts senator, said he'd use money raised by scrapping Bush's tax cuts for families making more than $200,000 a year to help pay for health care and education. A Republican-controlled Congress won't approve Kerry's plan to roll back those tax cuts, Wanniski said.
"Wall Streeters, who would hold their nose and vote for Bush, should have the luxury of voting" for Kerry, Wanniski said in an interview. "The fact is that for Bill Thomas, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Kerry plan would be a nonstarter."
Jason Furman, an adviser on economic policy for Kerry, declined to comment on Wanniski's endorsement. Tim Adams, policy director for the Bush campaign, didn't immediately return a phone call and an e-mail seeking comment.
Wanniski is founder and chairman of Parsippany, New Jersey- based Polyconomics Inc., which "anticipates economic events and interprets how these will affect financial markets and the real economy," according to the company's Web site. Wanniski said he's still a Republican and plans to vote for other Republican candidates on the ballot.