An except from Robert Dallek's "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917 - 1963":
Kennedy also hoped that appeals to the national well-being might sway congressional majorities to support a tax cut and other reforms. In his January 1963 State of the Union message, he announced a program of changes, which he described as essential to the nation’s future. Although the most recent recession was over, with a million more people working than two years before, this was no time to relax. “The mere absence of recession is not growth,” he said. To achieve greater expansion, “one step above all, is essential – the enactment this year of a substantial reduction and revision in Federal income taxes….It is exceedingly clear…that our obsolete tax system exerts too heavy a drag on private purchasing power, profits, and employment.” He proposed to lower tax liabilities by $13.5 billion, $11 billion on individuals and $1.5 billion on corporations. Individual tax rates were to drop from between 20 and 91 percent “to a more sensible range of 14 to 65 percent.” The corporate rate would drop 5 points from 52 to 47 percent. To combat the temporary deficits anticipated by the cuts, Kennedy proposed phasing them in over three years and holding expenditures, except for defense and space, below current levels.