Hail to the Chiefs
The shortest month is long on presidential influence, with the birthdays of Lincoln, Washington, the Gipper, and Tippecanoe. Plus, we have the primaries. But Presidents are more than just political leaders--their economic policies affect us all, and they provide models of leadership that are often emulated in the business world. So how much do you know about the 43 execs whose corner offices were also oval?
1. In 1963, John F. Kennedy backed a bill that changed the tax rate for people in the top income bracket by:
- Raising it to 40% from 25%
- Lowering it to 39.6% from 45%
- Raising it to 35% from 18%
- Lowering it to 70% from 91%
2. Before entering politics, Harry S. Truman was a failed entrepreneur. He ran a ____ named ____ in Kansas City.
- Savings and loan, "The Bucks Start Here"
- Haberdashery, "Truman & Jacobson"
- Candy store, "For Fat Men and Little Boys"
- Occult shop, "Harry Gives 'em Hell"
3. Like a CEO, a President hires and fires people. Match the boss with those he pink-slipped:
- 11,000 air-traffic controllers
- More than 800 CIA operatives
- Special prosecutor Archibald Cox
- The defense secretary, for criticizing budget cuts
- The surgeon general, discharged for endorsing onanism
4. What did Herbert Hoover, who presided over the early years of the Great Depression, do with his federal paychecks?
- Bought cheap shares of stock in companies like Standard Oil and Ford Motor Co.; retired rich
- Donated every cent to charity
- Invested in California real estate. Ironically, several "Hoovervilles" were erected on his property
- Kept a small S&L solvent with his deposits
5. Calvin Coolidge, who said that "the chief business of the American people is business," was all of the following except:
- An ardent afternoon napper
- A cheapskate
- A free trader who refused to purchase farm surpluses to support struggling farms
- The son of a Wall Street tycoon
6. True or False: One of the four men to assassinate a President subsequently threw himself into launching a business venture.
Answer key: 1. d; 2. b; 3. Nixon-c, Ford-d, Carter-b, Reagan-a, Clinton-e; 4. b; 5. d. Actually, his father was a Vermont shopkeeper; 6. True. After killing James Garfield, disgruntled office seeker Charles Julius Guiteau tried to sell the suit he'd been wearing when he pulled the trigger, as well as autographs and pictures through local newspaper ads.
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