Calvin Coolidge Says, March 4, 1931

Date: March 4, 1931

Location: Northampton, MA

(Original document available here)

The general reaction of the country at the final adjournment of the Congress will be one of relief. When the people are in distress legislation always reflects their condition. In the national government this inconsistently took the form of spending money. Temporary help for the needy may have been justified, but large expenditures only delay business recovery. Normal income taxes are already 1 per cent higher than last year and a prospective deficit threatens a large increase in taxes. New debts seem impending.

The Congress threw away a great opportunity to help the people. If it had granted all necessary relief and then by a policy of rigid economy reduced governmental costs, avoided a deficit and more debt, the country would have looked on it as a savior.

Politics is always present. Probably there were those who thought they would profit politically by being able to charge that business is bad and taxes and debt have been increased. Those making the charge in the future will have to explain what constructive measures they proposed to revive business, promote economy and reduce taxes and debt. Those voting for the largest peace-time expenditures any Congress ever authorized cannot escape responsibility.

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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