Medical Tuesday Blog
Government can Control Spending But not since our 30th President, Calvin Coolidge
Government control its own spending has been variable and even rare. There are isolated instances of where this may be true. Robert Sobel in his treatise, Coolidge, An American Enigma, whose low rankings as President was the work of Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr and also Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr and was due to selective mining by New Deal historians who taught Coolidge only for comic relief. Championing activist presidencies (FEDR, JFK, Clinton) appear to require the painting of their opposite numbers (Coolidge, Eisenhower, Reagan) as complete nitwits. The faithful “Coolidge Underground” feel there was a fluttering of hope in 1981, when a newly elected Ronald Reagan pulled Coolidge’s portrait from storage and placed it in the Cabinet Room. Coolidge’s programs in the 1920s presaged the conservative movement toward smaller government and reduced taxes. Historian Robert Sobel looks at Coolidge’s impressive record as president—his four tax cuts, his yearly budget surplus, his success shrinking the debt—in this expansive biography of a forgotten American icon.
William McGurn in his de gustibus column, 20 years ago on the 75th anniversary of Coolidge’s Inauguration, states that all too often “stupid” is the Kultur’s shorthand for dissent from the current wisdom, in the same way that “doing nothing” is confused with saying “No.”
Walter Lippman observed in 1926, that “Mr. Coolidge’s inactivity” was not merely the absence of activity. It was, on the contrary, a steady application to the task of neutralizing and thwarting political activity wherever there were signs of life.
A press release issued after the well-attended revisionist conference at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston in 1998, asked: “Coolidge: Progressive or Conservative?” The question itself suggests that maybe the issue here isn’t what historians think of Coolidge. It’s how they define progress.
It was also interesting that this was held at the JFK library recalling that President Kennedy instituted a large tax cut which stimulated the economy markedly. He could have been a conservative if he had remained steadfast in that endeavor. However, his political party thought they had been hoodwinked. Kennedy to save his stature in the Democratic party, then endorsed Union activity in the government. This allowed the Unions to collect money from those that did NOT join the Union. This has been a huge source of funding for the Democratic party for more than 50 years. A recent Supreme Court Decision may have ended union funding for their candidates even if most of the funds were forced from government workers not in agreement.
It took government 50 years to correct a political mistake—this seems to be about par.
The Reality: Neither party can control spending unless we have another Coolidge or Reagan.
However, neither party would call that progressive as in progress.
Our checks and balances of the three branches of constitutional Government accomplished this.
Read more at https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/860010.Coolidge
Myths originate when defined by progressives as in Liberal.
Myths disappear when we define what is truly progressive as being constitutional.