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  • Morning Bell: A Man of Ideas

    This weekend the conservative movement lost one of its best and brightest when former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp passed away Saturday night. We were honored to also count Kemp as a longtime Distinguished Fellow here at The Heritage Foundation. Kemp gave two lectures while at Heritage, both of which should still inspire conservatives today.

    Speaking in July 1993, Kemp described how conservatives should offer an alternative to newly minted President Bill Clinton:

    Recently, The Heritage Foundation has turned its intellectual firepower on exposing Clintonomics for what it really is – a mix of Reagan rhetoric and Jimmy Carter’s economics. As Tom Edsall of the Washington Post admitted, Clinton talks right while walking left.

    In my view, this debate should not be over whether we’re going to spend $16 billion or $6 billion on a spending-driven stimulus package. Instead, for the good of the economy and the good of the country, America needs a real debate over the principles of what creates a growing economy.

    Does government create jobs, or do entrepreneurs? Does government spending spur growth, or do lower taxes, less regulation, and spending limits? Can government direct investment better than the private sector? The answers to these questions provide the keys to designing a strategy for long-term growth in America.

    Substitute “Clinton” for “Obama” and “$16 billion” for “$787 billion” and those same words could have been uttered this year. Just 17 months later, Kemp gave another speech, this time celebrating a conservative takeover of Congress. Again, his words should help focus conservative efforts today:

    Democrats tried to make this election about anger. But thanks to New Gingrich and Dick Armey, and with the help of organizations like The Heritage Foundation and Empower America, we made this into an election about ideas – about opportunity, ownership, entrepreneurship, responsibility, education, safe streets, and jobs for all.

    We will all sorely miss Kemp and his passion for ideas. We can honor his memory by fighting for the principles we shared with him every day.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Morning Bell: A Man of Ideas

    1. Brad Raffensperger, says:

      Jack Kemp inspired a generation of free enterprise conservatives. I remember hearing about Mr. Kemp's ideas as a young college student. His ideas seemed radical at the time, because his ideas were filled with common sense, a commodity in short supply in the 70's and a rarity today. Mr. Kemp believed in free enterprise and a free people. His vision was as inspiring and it was a key component of the Reagan Revolution and the Reagan coalition of farmers, small business owners, small government folks, heartland voters.

      I mentioned Mr. Kemp's passing to my wife and I asked her if she remembered him. And she replied yes, she remembered how I always talked about his ideas and vision.

      In computer speak what America needs now is JACK KEMP 2.0. Mr. Kemp, may God bless you greatly and thank you for your vision and inspiration.

    2. Eugene Hoffman, Hous says:

      Why doesn't the the "Rock Star" propose lattes and cappucinos, and some polite conversation with the Taliban while asking them to play nice on the playground? Or, he can find a way for this issue to all be blamed on Western Civilization and apologize for the way these pirates and enemies of modern civilization have been treated; then, of course, he will receive their promise to quit blowing up their children, treating their wives like chattel property, cutting off the heads of infidels, putting used tires soaked with gasoline around people who disagree and lighting them like candles, and finally take on the responsibility of creating infrastructure and jobs for their constituents so they no longer have to be mercenary "pirates".

    3. MAS1916 - Denver, CO says:

      He will be missed. We need the next generation of conservative leaders to step up soon!

    4. michael hutchings says:

      I WAS SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT THE PASSING OF MR KEMP.HE TRIED TO MAKE A WIDER PARTY AND IT POINTS OUT THAT PRINCIPLES AND RACE SHOULD NOT BE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE AND TO IGNORE ONE IN FAVOR OF THE OTHER IS WRONG WHEN PRINCIPLE SHOULD BE PARAMONT AND RECOGNIZE.

      HE WAS EFFECTIVE IN HIS EFFORTS TO BE MORE INCLUSIVE BECAUSE OF THE LEVEL OF ATTACK HE DREW FROM THE LEFT WHEN THEY SAW HIM AS RAIDING THEIR PLANTATION AND A PLANTATION IS WHAT IT IS.

      THE MINDS ON IT NEED TO BE FREE AND TAUGHT FIRST TO BE AMERICANS AND ARGUE FROM THAT POSITION AND RESPECT CONTRACTS AND THE PRIVATE PROPERTY THEY ARE As MUCH AS ANY PIECE OF GROUND.

      MR KEMP KNEW WHAT WAS COMING AND TRIED TO HEAD IT OFF WHEN PRESIDENT REAGAN AND THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT WERE PROSCRIBED BY THOSE IT THREATENED.

      LETS HOPE WE HAVE HIS LIKE AGAIN.

      WE CAN ALWAYS HOPE UNTIL WE CANNOT DO SO SAFELY.

      I WANT TO THANK HERITAGE FOR ALLOWING ME TO LEARN THE CRAFT OF WRITING. I COME NOT TO PRAISE CEASAR BUT TO BURY HIM AND HOPE THE EFFECT WILL BE THE SAME AS MARK ANTHONY ACHIEVED WITH HIS TACTIC OF SATIRE AND EXPOSURE OF THE COMPLICIT.

    5. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      I'm shocked and saddend by this tragic news. My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

    6. Eugene Hoffman, Hous says:

      Quoted from East of Eden, John Steinbeck, Chapter 13: "And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the World. And this I would fight for : the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for that is the one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against to preserve the one thing that seperates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost".

      Jack Kemp understood what collectivism, and all forms of governments based on elitists rule and tyranny will do to OUR CONSTITUTION, and our freedoms. He believed in solutions and not in throwing money that was not his at a problem. He believed that individual effort in harmony with a team concept could solve any problem. He will be missed.

    7. Mike, Chicago says:

      I don't think Obama's $787 billion is proportionate to Clinton's $16 billion even with an inflation adjustment.

    8. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      BuSh was Prez then.

      "States and local governments borrowed $53.5 billion in the first three months of the year, just shy of the first-quarter record set in 2003."

    9. Ron, Derry NH says:

      Thanks Mr Jarvis for the reminder that governments are prone to mis-allocation of resources time and time again. Still proves the point that any government willing to borrow from its citizenship with reckless abandon must once again rob and plunder to recover the debt created while all the time never addressing the reasons for the debt. The obviousness that this is not a party issue but one of governments lack of principles seems to elude some Americans.

      Jack Kemp was frequently trivialized in the press,as are most people who encourage American values because having a principled point of view is not a way to buy a needy constituency.

      Liberalism has the advantage of always succeeding by failing and then adding more programs on the belief that some how wrongness of notion will right itself with quantity not quality of direction.

      As Jack Kemp's presidential run dribbled away he may have found there are more people willing to enslave their neighbor for a quick fix that gives them an un earned advantage, then there are that are willing to admit that it takes work and commitment to follow through on values and principles that don't include forcing your neighbors to pay for your folly.

      The new way is to create a tit to suckle upon for the ultimate consequence of deliberate surrender to weakening society by extorting government power from individuals by threat and slander to secure a belief that governments are a cure for the very corruption they create.

      This is not a partisan issue but one of the government is aggressively taking what they have not asked for with nobody able to stop them. Congressional laws caused the housing chaos along with the fed, but somehow the government has found it necessary to blame businesses for taking advantage of laws it created, with the exact intent of making some one rich.

      This isn't about debt but responsibility. Both parties seem to forget their place and are now rampant with desire to overthrow America and turn it into a festering snake pit of government deception and totalitarian decrees.

      I don't See the point of defending Obama when his tactics are the same as the republicans and democrats at their worst times, only he is more amplified.

      Jack Kemp never suggested taking America away from the citizenship and fleecing it for government directed interests, so to me he was a great guy and decent politician. Few today exemplify his honorable view of the American citizenship, who today are being drained for want of a party to hide its shame and inability to protect the American economy from their own greed.

    10. Ron, Noblesville, IN says:

      Give all TAX PAYING US Citizens over the age of 35 an opportunity to have a "Bail Out" by the Governemnt that have a mortgage, college loans car loans…Credit Card Loans etc.

      They apply for the Governemnet Backed " Bail Out" : All mortgages are paid off, the Government College Loans are Paid back & millions of new cars back on the road and not sitting in the parking lot… Waiting for buyers..

      Mortgage crisis over – Car maker crisis over- Put the rest in a retirement account or – Invest in the stock market…

      This idea may be way to simple for some elected officals to understand…. IF they don't then they don't deserve to hold office…

      Please excuse me I must get ready to go to work I have a Country to pay for…& so do my Great Great Great Grand Children…

    11. David Sayers, NC says:

      First, Jack Kemp was one of the best,too bad there isn't too many still around with a backbone and the honesty that goes with it. Second,Komrade Ken, go back to burying you head in Pravda.

    12. paul ranquist, duckt says:

      what I have to say about the late Jack Kemp is,RESPECT,GREAT RESPECT.

    13. NYstatehome says:

      Jack Kemp was a great American, a good man who had morals and values and lived by them, I thank him for his services to our country and Congress. My heart goes out to his family and friends. Your work is done, Rest in Peace, Jack

    14. John, Eagle River, A says:

      I met Jack Kemp while living in Seattle, at a Seattle Seahawks football game. His son Jeff was the QB for the Seahawks. He made as great an impression on me as did meeting President Reagan.

      I felt he was a man of ideals, and would not compromise on the foundation of those ideals. And though I only spoke to him for a few short minutes, I will always remember him.

      My sincerest condolences to his family. America has lost a quiet champion.

      My hope is we take his "heart" for this country to heart. And not compromise what our foundational beliefs are for the sake of getting along.

      Thank you Jack for your service to this nation, and for making football a bit more enjoyable to watch. God Bless, and God Speed Mr. Kemp for I know he holds you in the palm of his hand.

    15. jr., Michigan says:

      r.i.p. mr. kemp. godspeed, brother.

    16. ella quinn kinston n says:

      Jack Kemp was a good person.We need a lot more like him.God bless his family in their greif.Ken lay off of bush.

    17. guy, shreveport, la. says:

      debating obama's tactics for restoring the American economy is less than useless in the face of his strategy to subordinate our country to global rule

    18. John R , Illinois says:

      Jack Kemp was a gem- a true leader who knew how to educate people on the principles of conservatism. He had a great life.

    19. Jim R says:

      OBAMA = THE NEXT JIMMY CARTER… ONLY LESS FILLING AND TASTES WORSE

    20. Richard Morales, Cal says:

      My sincere condolences to Jack's family. While disagreeing with him, I very much admired him. I observed with interest Heritage Foundation’s founder commenting on his passing. He praised the former congressman as “a man of ideas.” Unfortunately, he didn’t tell the whole truth. Ideas? Yes, of the 19th century, perhaps. Founder went on to say that Jack believed if you tax something less you have more of it; if you tax it more you have less. For example: “income.” I wish Jack had studied history more and seen the flaw in his argument: We tried leaving income un taxed in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and it resulted in an increasingly growing divide between rich and poor. It also let to the excesses at the root of the Stock Market Crash. A man of ideas? Maybe. But ideas unrealistic in a modern economy – a fact voters recognized in handing Jack his two defeats in his run for President, and later Vice President. Still, I am glad to see the Heritage Foundation leading the Republican Party with those ideas that voters will recognize as unrealistic, causing the party to move more and more into the minority.

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