“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
I’m starting a new book, the biography “Coolidge” by Amity Shlaes. It’s a big book, 560 some pages including notes and index, but I’m off; not very far into it, but what else am I to do these long winter days?
Coolidge’s “actual record”: he inherited a national debt of $28 billion and reduced it to less than $18 billion; he cut the top income tax rate to 25% while balancing the budget and producing surpluses each year; and unemployment was reduced from 5.7 million at the beginning of the decade to 1.8 million when he left office. The economy became popularly known as the “Coolidge prosperity.”
The New York Times is not much enamored by Coolidge, but then they are among those who call Tea Party folks terrorists (four of their columnists as I recall) , so their negative opinion is to be expected and I include it here. An interesting snippet from the Times review claims:
“ …that his actual record shows that he was an extraordinarily blinkered and foolish and complacent leader, no less than George W. Bush before the stock market plummeted in 2008. The bogus nostrums that Coolidge touted have directly led either to enormous deficits during the Reagan era or to outright catastrophe during the Bush era.”
I find that interesting because a more valid claim about the supposed “Bush caused” catastrophe can be leveled against a more recent president, President Bill Clinton, and his championing of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) along with Democrats Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. The CRA is the root cause of the mortgage/banking collapse of 2008; not Calvin Coolidge, and not George W. Bush. I have previously investigated the 2008 collapse and reported on it here for your scrutiny.
I hope to report more on my read of Coolidge, so stand by.
Don Johnson – February 2013