Apr 25, 2010

Calvin Coolidge - A Study in Foundations

Abigail and Dolley readers I have recently become interested in the study of Calvin Coolidge and the contrasting of the Coolidge years with the Wilson and FDR years.  Liberal historians will laud the wonderful accomplishments of Wilson and FDR while deriding Coolidge as the cause for all the ill of the Great Depression.  A careful study of the facts reveal that the 20's were indeed a Golden Age of Prosperity and Opportunity for everyone in the country.  While the decades of Wilson and FDR are marred by misery and war.

Wilson and FDR both were bold experimenters tinkering with the American system to change the outcomes from Freedom and Prosperity to Fairness and Central Control.  Coolidge on the other hand was a strong fundamental principled believer in doing what works and what is proven by history to be effective.  Calvin Coolidge studied and meditated on what the bedrock foundation of American Society was and governed in harmony with those principals.

He is much maligned by the Liberal Historians, but a careful study reveals the truth.  Consider this from theThe Heritage Foundation:

In some ways, President Coolidge was a supply-sider before his time. He understood that high tax rates do not always mean higher tax revenues. Taxes can constrict economic activity, leaving less profit and income to tax. "The method of raising revenue," he argued,
ought not to impede the transition of business; it ought to encourage it. I am opposed to extremely high rates, because they produce little or no revenue, because they are bad for the country, and, finally, because they are wrong. We cannot finance the country, we cannot improve social conditions, through any system of injustice, even if we attempt to influence it upon the rich.... The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and in all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which every one will have a better chance to be successful.
That is sound, practical, principled advice for any time. In his own time, it was dramatically effective. The Revenue Act of 1926 -- engineered along with Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon -- was a stunning success. In 1922, the effective tax rate on the wealthy was 50 percent, who paid a total of $77 million into the Treasury. By 1927, Coolidge had cut their tax rate to 20 percent -- but the same group paid $230 million in taxes. Meanwhile, the total tax burden on people making less than $10,000 fell from $130 million in 1923 to less than $20 million in 1929.

For more on this subject, check out the Heritage link above.

I must conclude that in the days of glitz, glamor, and Godlessness - Calvin Coolidge and his solid principals are looking mighty good.