Calvin Coolidge Says, March 17, 1931

Date: March 17, 1931

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

Tax returns made in 1930 reveal incomes that are beyond human comprehension. The total is over one hundred and forty-one billions of dollars gross and thirty­five billions net. Four-fifths belong to individuals and one-fifth to corporations. About four million individuals and five hundred thousand corporations make returns.

Thirty-six million persons gainfully employed made no returns. Their income would increase the total national gross income. These persons contributed as employees and consumers to the taxable income. More than one-half the net individual income is supplied by persons who have less than two thousand dollars annually. The people still own this country.

These figures show not only the stupendous earning power of the nation but they show conclusively the fallacy of thinking the government can be supported by taxing the rich. A national income as large as ours can only be secured by combined effort of all the people. The work and expenditure of all of us contribute to it. High taxes always keep the people poor, emphasize the cleavage between the classes and retard the distribution of wealth. The people at large have a great interest in economy in public expenditures.

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 Pamela Mett who prepared this document for digital publication.

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