Joe Biden Meet President Calvin Coolidge

The differences between President Calvin Coolidge’s results and Joe Biden’s results are like night and day. Coolidge closely reflected our Founders’ insights in what he wrote and said, which we would truly profit from, given how far we have deviated from those ideas in modern America.  

Despite the blindingly obvious leftward political bias of the press, there is a growing chorus of dissatisfaction toward President Biden, reflected in historically poor approval ratings.

It seems that everything he touches turns to dross. From inflation not seen for decades to an unprecedented expansion of the welfare state, not to mention an eagerness to evade constitutional limits and coerce Americans everywhere he looks, based on what could only be termed “political” science (though I apologize to political scientists for any perceived slur), he has been a disaster. To pile on, he tells Americans that spending trillions more dollars costs nothing and claims credit for recent growth, which largely represents recovery from what we would never have been forced to endure if Hurricane Biden hadn’t blown through the economy.

As Doug Bandow recently noted, “Internationally, the President has done no better,” summarizing Biden’s performance as having “earned an indelible record for incompetence.”

Bandow is reminded of Jimmy Carter’s struggles, reflecting an administration that was “hopelessly naïve and incompetent, and in the end, desperate.” And while that is an analogy to what Biden’s performance is like, I find an analogy to what it is not like more powerful.

That inverse analogy is to Calvin Coolidge, who, despite mediocre evaluations from historians who like Presidents who produce dramatic change, rewriting history more to their liking (perhaps why the increasingly undeniable smell of failure has even turned some of them away from Biden), produced outstanding results for Americans without sacrificing our freedoms largely because he respected their rights and liberties to live their own lives and stayed within the confines laid out in the Constitution,

What did those results include? Under Coolidge, the top income tax rate of 65 percent was eventually cut to 20 percent. The stock market began its unprecedented “Roaring 20s” climb as it became clear through 1924 that Coolidge’s tax reduction bill would pass. In both his first and last year in office, federal receipts were $3.8 billion and expenditures were $3.1 billion In between, he cut the national debt from $22.3 billion to $16.9 billion. His policies took more than a million people off the income tax rolls, and 98 percent of Americans paid no income tax at the end of his term.

differences between President Calvin Coolidge’s results and Joe Biden’s results are like night and day. Coolidge closely reflected our Founders’ insights in what he wrote and said, which we would truly profit from, given how far we have deviated from those ideas in modern America.  

Despite the blindingly obvious leftward political bias of the press, there is a growing chorus of dissatisfaction toward President Biden, reflected in historically poor approval ratings.

It seems that everything he touches turns to dross. From inflation not seen for decades to an unprecedented expansion of the welfare state, not to mention an eagerness to evade constitutional limits and coerce Americans everywhere he looks, based on what could only be termed “political” science (though I apologize to political scientists for any perceived slur), he has been a disaster. To pile on, he tells Americans that spending trillions more dollars costs nothing and claims credit for recent growth, which largely represents recovery from what we would never have been forced to endure if Hurricane Biden hadn’t blown through the economy.

As Doug Bandow recently noted, “Internationally, the President has done no better,” summarizing Biden’s performance as having “earned an indelible record for incompetence.”

Bandow is reminded of Jimmy Carter’s struggles, reflecting an administration that was “hopelessly naïve and incompetent, and in the end, desperate.” And while that is an analogy to what Biden’s performance is like, I find an analogy to what it is not like more powerful.

That inverse analogy is to Calvin Coolidge, who, despite mediocre evaluations from historians who like Presidents who produce dramatic change, rewriting history more to their liking (perhaps why the increasingly undeniable smell of failure has even turned some of them away from Biden), produced outstanding results for Americans without sacrificing our freedoms largely because he respected their rights and liberties to live their own lives and stayed within the confines laid out in the Constitution,

What did those results include? Under Coolidge, the top income tax rate of 65 percent was eventually cut to 20 percent. The stock market began its unprecedented “Roaring 20s” climb as it became clear through 1924 that Coolidge’s tax reduction bill would pass. In both his first and last year in office, federal receipts were $3.8 billion and expenditures were $3.1 billion In between, he cut the national debt from $22.3 billion to $16.9 billion. His policies took more than a million people off the income tax rolls, and 98 percent of Americans paid no income tax at the end of his term.

As a result, America prospered under Coolidge. Real economic growth averaged 7 percent per year while he was in office, while inflation averaged only 0.4 percent. Investment, manufacturing output, and disposable income rose dramatically, and unemployment averaged 3.3 percent. That remarkable record explains why, after Coolidge outpolled his Democratic opponent by nearly 2 to 1 in 1924, he would have won in another landslide if he had run again in 1928. But unfortunately for America, he did not.

One might ask why there is such a gap between Coolidge’s success and his reputation. In large part, it is because he advocated individualism, as clearly spelled out in his speeches (which he composed himself, in sharp contrast to Biden, who can now barely deliver words written for him), and the newspaper column he wrote after leaving the Presidency. For example, his speech to mark the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence is well worth people’s attention. While that seems appropriate for the only President born on the Fourth of July, it is so distant from the modern mindset that many now cannot understand why someone who, as Senator, Governor, Vice-President, and President, viewed government intervention in broad areas of life as a problem rather than a panacea.

Some people’s unduly negative evaluations of Coolidge also come from attributing the origins of the Great Depression under Herbert Hoover, who had been his Secretary of Commerce. But they have not done so because of any evidence that his policies were responsible. Along with monetary policy blunders, the Great Depression was triggered by Hoover’s abandonment of Coolidge’s policies, in favor of disasters ranging from erecting monumental trade barriers to sharply raising tax rates. Coolidge made the chasm between the two men clear when he said of Hoover:

“That man has offered me unsolicited advice for six years, all of it bad.”

The differences between Coolidge’s results and Biden’s results are like night and day. But I believe “Silent Cal” is even more useful today in illustrating what the underlying approach the Biden administration has applied to Americans is the opposite of. Coolidge closely reflected our Founders’ insights in what he wrote and said, which we would truly profit from, given how far we have deviated from those ideas in modern America.

Consider just some of the wisdom that not so silent Cal has to offer us about our current circumctances.

Gary Galles

1 thought on “Joe Biden Meet President Calvin Coolidge

  1. Pingback: Joe Biden Versus President Calvin Coolidge — THE ARTFUL DILETTANTE | Vermont Folk Troth

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