- Summer 2015 will be an exciting time for the Coolidge Foundation, but we can't do it without you! Register today to participate in our exciting array of summer events!
- Our Second Annual Gala Awards Dinner, held on November 6th, 2014 at the Metropolitan Club in Manhattan, was a smashing success! We congratulate Dr. Donald Boudreaux, the winner of the 2014 Coolidge Prize for Journalism, and the runner-up, Bhekuzulu Khumalo! We also congratulate Sydney Benjamin of Peacham, Vermont, the winner of the 2014 Calvin Prize for Vermont Youth, and runner-up Jay Tilden of St. Johnsbury, Vermont!
- You’re probably wondering what skunks and Julie Andrews have to do with President Calvin Coolidge. For those of you who were able to attend our conference on Capitol Hill entitled ”The Virtuous Obsession: How Better Budget Law is Key to Meeting our Nation’s Fiscal Challenges,” you’ll remember the stuffed toy skunk former Congressional Budget Office Director June O’Neill brought as a prop. This skunk was given to Dr. O’Neill when she became CBO director in 1995 by her immediate predecessor, Robert Reischauer. The skunk was to serve as a constant reminder that the CBO’s role was to provide, as far as possible, an accurate picture of the fiscal impact of proposed legislation, no matter the consequences for the two major parties.
Today’s policymakers from both political parties can learn from the lessons on budget and tax policy from President Calvin Coolidge. Perhaps one of the most urgent domestic policy problems today is the federal budget and the enormous national debt that is approaching $18 trillion, and this does not include the trillions in unfunded entitlement obligations of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. President Coolidge understood, what he termed “economy in government” was essential not just for a sound economy, but was a moral and constitutional responsibility. During the 1920s President Warren G. Harding and President Coolidge made “economy in government” a centerpiece of their administrations. Economy in government meant a balanced budget, tax rates that were low and reasonable, and paying down the national debt.
Our conference featured a vast array of impressive bipartisan experts on the budget process. They provided tremendous insight into the nuances and history of the Federal budget process. They also offered a number of innovative solutions to make the process work better for the American people and ultimately put our country on a more sound fiscal trajectory, in line with the spirit of President Calvin Coolidge. You can find the conference agenda on our website.
The Grand Old Party (GOP) has changed tremendously since its founding in the mid-19th century in Ripon, Wisconsin. There are few issues on which the GOP has evolved more than trade policy. Today a solid majority of Republicans are supporters of free trade. This was not the case for most of the GOP’s history. In fact the principle of protectionism was a sacred pillar of the Republican Party. This philosophy was carried over from the Federalist and Whig economic programs of Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican elected president, championed a protective tariff. A tariff was used both for revenues and to protect the American economy from Europe.