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Republican Economist Wanniski Endorses Kerry, Citing Iraq War
Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- 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.