PEEK

'08 GOP hopeful channels 2nd worst president ever

Barbara O'Brien: Calvin Coolidge's policies led to economic disaster. Why does Fred Thompson want to bring them back?
Fred Thompson writes in the Wall Street Journal [emphasis added]:
President John F. Kennedy was an astute proponent of tax cuts and the proposition that lower tax rates produce economic growth. Calvin Coolidge and Ronald Reagan also understood the power of lower tax ratesand managed to put through cuts that grew the U.S. economy like Kansas corn. Sadly, we just don't seem able to keep that lesson learned.
One of the triumphs of the Coolidge Administration was the passage of his tax program in 1926. The Coolidge program "repealed the gift tax, halved estate taxes, substantially cut surtaxes on great wealth, and reduced income taxes for all," it says here. Coolidge signed his tax cuts into law on February 26, 1926. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 was only slightly over three years and seven months away. The Great Depression followed soon after.

Calvin Coolidge's tax program is the bad example that won't die. I remember just after George W. Bush was "elected" in 2000 some eager young folk of the Right wrote giddy tributes to tax cuts that cited the Wisdom of Silent Cal. But mention of Coolidge vanished rather quickly, and I assume there was some frantic back-channel communication explaining that, um, maybe Calvin Coolidge's economic policies are not something we want to emphasize. I guess Lawnorder Fred didn't get the memo.
Barbara O'Brien has guest blogged at the Take Back America Conference, Glenn Greenwald's, Unclaimed Territory, and Crooks and Liars. She is the "owner/proprietor" of The Mahablog.
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