Calvin Coolidge Says, January 28, 1930

Date: January 28, 1930

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

One trouble with the argument proposing to revive business by distributing a cash bonus among the veterans of the World War is that it proves too much. If only that were necessary to make good times probably we now should have our greatest peace-time prosperity, for the amount of money being paid out by all our governments is the greatest on record. If prosperity is the goal a distribution of public money would evidently be more effective if given to everybody.

Another difficulty is the necessity of borrowing this fund. At a time when capital has been exhausted and needs to be recreated by earnings the dissipation of a large sum of borrowed money could only delay prosperity. We cannot lift ourselves by our financial bootstraps. Any one familiar with governmental finance knows that borrowing increases the burden on production and is a wasteful process. The future is already overmortgaged. We need to conserve, retrench and reduce expenses to income.

What the veterans gave cannot be measured in money. It was priceless. Both paying a cash bonus and borrowing money to revive business are part of the same delusion that the people can rely on the government alone to furnish salvation.

Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)

The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of Robert Manchester who prepared this document for digital publication.

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