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How Silent Cal Beat a Recession (inheriting a bad economy, he cut taxes and slashed spending)
Wall Street Journal ^ | 08/03/2011 | Charles C. Johnson

Posted on 08/07/2011 6:15:25 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Eighty-eight years ago this week, Calvin Coolidge took office upon the sudden death of President Warren Harding. Like the current administration, the Harding-Coolidge administration faced a tough recession from 1919-1921. But unlike the current administration, the Harding-Coolidge and Coolidge-Dawes administrations cut taxes, balanced budgets and slashed government spending, reducing federal debt by over a third in a decade.

The economy grew, averaging just over 7% from 1924 to 1929, the years of his presidency. So did Coolidge's popularity. He was so popular that even during the Great Depression's height song-writer Cole Porter compared his lover to the "Coolidge dollar."

Ronald Reagan, who grew up during the Coolidge presidency, admired "Silent Cal," even going so far as to read a biography of the 30th president as he recovered from a surgery in 1985 and to praise him in letters to his constituents. To Reagan, Coolidge wasn't silent, but was silenced by New Deal supporters, whose intellectual heirs control much of Washington today.

In Coolidge's time, as now, the educated class harbored contempt for the philosophic underpinnings of our republic and for those who would defend them. Alice Roosevelt Longsworth, the daughter of Teddy, accused Coolidge of having been "weaned on a pickle." In language similar to attacks on conservatives today, Pulitzer Prize winner Arthur Schlesinger castigated Coolidge for being too beholden to business. The narrative stuck. In 1995, another Pulitzer Prize winner, Irwin Unger, said Coolidge "slept away most of his five years in office. . . . The watchword of [his] government was do nothing."

But "nothing" seemed to work. With the tax cuts in place, luxuries of the rich quickly became middle-class,

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: calvincoolidge; recession

1 posted on 08/07/2011 6:15:40 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

CALVIN COOLIDGE, 1923. The "Coolidge prosperity," denounced as ephemeral after the 1929 crash, was real for those who experienced it
2 posted on 08/07/2011 6:17:54 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

Cal Coolidge rarely opened his mouth, but when he did, he would speak gems like these:

* “There is no surer road to destruction than prosperity without character,”

* “I want the people of America to be able to work less for the Government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. That is the chief meaning of freedom.”

* “A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.”


3 posted on 08/07/2011 6:20:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic At Memorial Continental Hall
Categories: Budget
Date: June 30, 1924
We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is characteristic either of an undeveloped people, or of a decadent civilization. America is neither.
Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic To a Group of Labor Leaders
Categories: Bureaucracy, Despotism, Liberty, Power, Tyranny
Date: September 1, 1924
I do not want to see any of the people cringing supplicants for the favor of the Government, when they should all be independent masters of their own destiny.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic To a Group of Labor Leaders
Categories: Economy, Taxation
Date: September 1, 1924
No matter what anyone may say about making the rich and the corporations pay the taxes, in the end they come out of the people who toil. It is your fellow workers who are ordered to work for the Government, every time an appropriation bill is passed. The people pay the expense of government, often many times over, in the increased cost of living. I want taxes to be less, that the people may have more.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic On the Anniversary of the First Continental Congress
Categories: Bureaucracy, Despotism, Tyranny
Date: September 25, 1924
We are too solicitous for government intervention, on the theory, first, that the people themselves are helpless, and second, that the Government has superior capacity for action. Often times both of these conclusions are wrong.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic Foundations of the Republic
Categories: Budget, Economy, End of government, Government Spending
Date: Unknown
I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic Foundations of the Republic
Categories: Collectivism, Despotism, Government, Tyranny
Date: Unknown
I should put an ever stronger emphasis on the desirability of the largest possible independence between government and business. Each ought to be sovereign in its own sphere. When government comes unduly under the influence of business, the tendency is to develop an administration which closes the door of opportunity; becomes narrow and selfish in its outlook, and results in an oligarchy. When government enters the field of business with its great resources, it has a tendency to extravagance and inefficiency, but, having the power to crush all competitors, likewise closes the door of opportunity and results in monopoly.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic Foundations of the Republic
Categories: Commerce, Economy
Date: Unknown
The whole material development of our country has been enormously stimulated by reason of the general insistence on the part of the public authorities that economic effort ought not to partake of privilege, and that business should be unhampered and free.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic Foundations of the Republic
Categories: Citizenship, Commerce, The People
Date: Unknown
It is very difficult to reconcile the American ideal of a sovereign people capable of owning and managing their own government with an inability to own and manage their own business.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic A Free Republic
Categories: Collectivism, Commerce, Rights
Date: Unknown
If the people lose control of the arteries of trade and the natural sources of mechanical power, the nationalization of all industry should soon be expected. Our forefathers were alert to resist all encroachments upon their rights. If we wish to maintain our rights, we can do no less.
Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic The Reign of Law
Categories: Collectivism, Despotism, Tyranny
Date: Unknown
One insidious practice which sugar-coats the dose of Federal intrusion is the division of expense…

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic The Reign of Law
Categories: America, Protecting
Date: Unknown
What America needs is to hold to its ancient and well-charted course. Our country was conceived in the theory of local self-government. It has been dedicated by long practice to that wise and beneficent policy. It is the foundation principle of our system of liberty. It makes the largest promise to the freedom and development of the individual. Its preservation is worth all the effort and all the sacrifice that it may cost.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic The Reign of Law
Categories: America, Protecting, Relativism, Tyranny
Date: Unknown
Nations are beginning to look to some vague organization, some nebulous course of humanity, to pay their bills and tell them what to do. This is not local self-government. It is not American. It is not the method which has made this country what it is. We can not maintain the western standard of civilization on that theory. If it is supported at all, it will have to be supported on the principle of individual responsibility.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic Inaugural Address
Categories: Taxation, Tyranny
Date: March 4, 1925
The collection of taxes which are not absolutely required, which do not beyond reasonable doubt contribute to public welfare, is only a species of legalized larceny. Under this Republic the rewards of industry belong to those who earn them.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic Economy in the Interest of All
Categories: Taxation, Tyranny
Date: Unknown
A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic Economy in the Interest of All
Categories: Economy, The People
Date: Unknown
I am for economy. After that I am for more economy. At this time and under present conditions that is my conception of serving all the people.

Calvin Coolidge Foundations of the Republic The Press Under a Free Government
Categories: Education, Government, Tyranny
Date: Unknown
It is all the more necessary under a system of free government that the people should be enlightened, that they should be correctly informed, than it is under an absolute government that they should be ignorant. Under a republic the institutions of learning, while bound by the constitution and laws, are in no way subservient to the government.

Calvin Coolidge Given before the American Society of Newspaper Editors
Categories: Despotism, Newspapers, The Press
Date: January 17, 1925
Wherever despotism abounds, the sources of public information are the first to be brought under its control.

Calvin Coolidge
Categories: National Defense
Date: Unknown
Our country represents nothing but peaceful intentions toward all the earth, but it ought not to fail to maintain such a military force as comports with the dignity and security of a great people.
Calvin Coolidge speech on the Occasion of the 150 anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Categories: Declaration of Independence
Date: July 5, 1926
About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restfull. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.


4 posted on 08/07/2011 6:26:38 AM PDT by mirkwood (Palin 2012 or I'm going fishing. Screw the gop.)
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To: mirkwood

The difference to me between the principles of Coolidge and the current guy look very black verses white to me.


5 posted on 08/07/2011 6:29:38 AM PDT by Mouton (Voting is an opiate of the electorate. Nothing changes no matter who wins..)
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To: mirkwood

‘The business of America is business,’ — Calvin Coolidge 1925


6 posted on 08/07/2011 6:33:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: Mouton

Although Coolidge was known to be a skilled and effective public speaker, in private he was a man of few words and was therefore commonly referred to as “Silent Cal.”

A possibly apocryphal story has it that Dorothy Parker, seated next to him at a dinner, said to him, “Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.” His famous reply: “You lose.”

It was also Parker who, upon learning that Coolidge had died, reportedly remarked, “How can they tell?”

Also, unlike Obama or Bill Clinton, Coolidge often seemed uncomfortable among fashionable Washington society; when asked why he continued to attend so many of their dinner parties, he replied, “Got to eat somewhere.”


7 posted on 08/07/2011 6:36:30 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind
“A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.”

Wow, a description of most of government from FDR onward.
8 posted on 08/07/2011 6:41:51 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: SeekAndFind
* “There is no surer road to destruction than prosperity without character,”

That is exactly why this country is in the trouble that it is in. Common sense is replaced with newthink political correctness, and from there, it isn't very far to "Truth? What is truth?".

9 posted on 08/07/2011 6:46:38 AM PDT by ecomcon
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To: SeekAndFind

The rest of this article is behind a paywall. Can you post it?


10 posted on 08/07/2011 7:05:20 AM PDT by ottbmare (off-the-track Thoroughbred mare)
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To: SeekAndFind

I assigned Coolidge to my high school senior for her research project. I wanted her to observe a small-government president.


11 posted on 08/07/2011 7:07:23 AM PDT by lurk
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To: ottbmare

I can see the complete article here:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903520204576484673631290098.html?mod=googlenews_wsj


12 posted on 08/07/2011 7:34:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (u)
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To: SeekAndFind
You know what's wrong with the GOP? Reagan hung a portrait of Coolidge in the White house. Ed Rollins was incredulous. To this day, he says he never figured out why Reagan picked Coolidge.

Why do conservatives even talk to that idiot?

13 posted on 08/07/2011 8:38:38 AM PDT by Forgotten Amendments (Days .... Weeks ..... Months .....)
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To: SeekAndFind

I think you must have a WSJ subscription. Even with that link, the first graphs end in an invitation that says “To continue reading, subscribe” and “Already a subscriber? Log in.”


14 posted on 08/07/2011 11:41:29 AM PDT by ottbmare (off-the-track Thoroughbred mare)
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