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

  • Click here for definitions & background information on Tax Reform.
  • Click here for VoteMatch responses by Richard Nixon.
  • Click here for AmericansElect.org quiz by Richard Nixon.
Other past presidents on Tax Reform: Richard Nixon on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Past Vice Presidents:
V.P.Joseph Biden
V.P.Dick Cheney
V.P.Al Gore
V.P.Dan Quayle
Sen.Bob Dole

Political Parties:
Republican Party
Democratic Party
Libertarian Party
Green Party
Reform Party
Natural Law Party
Tea Party
Constitution Party
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022