President J.Calvin Coolidge (Silent Cal) – 30th President of the United States; 1923 – 1929
One would hardly guess from this picture that President Coolidge was considered a shy person. Apparently he loved to be photographed as he is here wearing a Sioux head dress, after he had officially been adopted into the Sioux tribe for his work on behalf of Indian affairs. (President J.Calvin Coolidge gave U.S. citizenship to all Native Americans in June of 1924.)
Maybe it was because he was born on July 4, 1872, maybe it was his upbringing in a family of public servants, or maybe it was merely his true nature, but J.Calvin Coolidge understood that liberty, freedom and the right to personal property can only be realized when government remains small enough, so as not to interfere in the public’s ability to realize self reliance. When public safety was threatened by city police, during his tenure as the Governor of Boston, MA, he called in the state guard to break it, stating that “there is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, anytime.” In 1923, after President Warren Harding’s death, Vice President, J. Calvin Coolidge, was sworn in as the 30th President of the United States. President Coolidge handily won re-election in 1924, because of his reputation for being diligent,truthful and direct with the people.
Coolidge understood after decades of progressive expansionism and a world war,
what the United States needed most was a dose of austerity to reign in the federal government and give the private sector some room to breath. Both Roosevelt and Wilson had spent their presidency’s actively pursuing large social change, from establishment of the U.S. Forest Service and 51 Federal Bird Reservations, 4 National Game Preserves, 150 National Forests, 5 National Parks, and enabling the 1906 American Antiquities Act
during President Roosevelt’s
term, to the grandios plans of President Wilson
to form the League of Nations
, to prevent future horrific wars like World War I
, as was experienced during his presidency. President Coolidge turned his concerns to a nation that needed an economic boost and succesfully did so through lowered taxes, reduced business regulations and a balanced federal budget. “Trickle-down” economics
were achieved by actual reductions in tax rates for the wealthy and
reduced spending on federal programs, to achieve a balanced budget. The wealthy did as they always do with excess capital, they invested it directly into the economy
without the fear that they had to try to shield it from confiscation by the government from taxation. You could say that Coolidge was prescient in his understanding of foreign trade and its natural relationship to guard against war. During Coolidge’s presidency, he encouraged freer foreign investments into foreign markets, as a natural way to develop international relations and act as a refrain from foreign political entanglements that often led to war. President J.Calvin Coolidge had previously decided not to run beyond his 2nd term in office, and with the death of his teenage son in 1924, he retired. The 1920’s of Coolidge’s tenure were remarkable in the economic growth and expansion of the U.S. economy, it soared so high, so fast, when the correction came (and with no FDIC
in place at the time) a panic set-in which created a run on the banks and swung the correction even sharper-downward.
After Coolidge, came President Herbert Hoover
(R) who soon began re-instituting a progressive agenda of increased Federal mandates, implementing the expansion of the Federal govenment into dams, and pushing into the private sector power distribution grid. But soon after Hoover became president, the down turn in the economy of 1929 occured and the local banks were unable to make loans due to dwindling money reserves. The rest shall we say is history.
As many historians tell it, the public blamed Coolidge’s policies on the crash of the late 1920’s, but that fact is heavily debated by many economic scholars. Some economists believe that if President Roosevelt had not expanded government and interfered in the markets, the Great Depression would have quickly fizzled into a minor depression. Still others believed that the only reason it lasted so long was because President Franklin D. Roosevelt
didn’t interject enough federal spending, through treasury monetization of the dollar and off of the gold standard. We’ll never really know, because after all it’s only hypothesis and book learned speculation. What we do know is that when President J.Calvin Coolidge
took the jackbooted
weight of the Federal government off of the private sector, it boomed.The United States could really use a little Coolidge right now.
~ Kris Halterman
February is the month that we celebrate President’s Day and after doing some research on Pres. J.Calvin Coolidge, I found these two quotes from Coolidge, that epitomize a man who understood his role as the President to be limited. Coolidge understood that the Federal governments role was to protect the nation and allow the individual to pursue business entrepenuership and stimulate a growing economy for their Country. ~ Kris Halterman
Please enjoy the two quotes from Pres. J.Calvin Coolidge:
“Given their institutions, the people themselves have in the past, as they must in the future, to a very large degree worked out their own salvation without the interposition of the Government. It is always possible to regulate and supervise by legislation what has already been created, but while legislation can stimulate and encourage, the real creative ability which builds up and develops the country, and in general makes human existence more tolerable and life more complete, has to be supplied by the genius of the people themselves. The Government can supply no substitute for enterprise.”
“Unless there be some teaching of sound economics in the schools, the voter and taxpayer are in danger of accepting vague theories which lead only to social discontent and public disaster. The body politic has little chance of choosing patriotic officials who can administer its financial affairs with wisdom and safety, unless there is a general diffusion of knowledge and information on elementary economic subjects sufficient to create and adequately to support public opinion. Every one ought to realize that the sole source of national wealth is thrift and industry, and that the sole supply of the public treasury is the toil of the people.”
~ President J.Calvin Coolidge