Date: May 28, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
(Original document available here)
Secretary Mellon has convincingly stated the approaching necessity of devising a tax system when business becomes normal to make national revenues more nearly depression proof. Assessing taxes where they can best be borne is sound enough. The rich are necessarily the immediate source of the income taxes. But mixed up with our tax laws have been certain social theories for dispossessing the rich in the name of reform rather than for revenue.
Now, when we especially need surplus money for relief purposes, we find Treasury receipts greatly reduced. The vacillating income of persons and corporations does not supply certain sources of revenue. Taxes should provide a sure income and a balanced budget for the government without reference to social theories. It would be cheaper for the people of small incomes to pay one direct tax to the government than many indirect taxes on what they consume. A broad base of income assessments enabled Great Britain to balance its recent budget with little increased taxes. If government is to be able to relieve future depressions and encourage business it must first provide a revenue system that will not itself be depressed and also demonstrate ability to pay its own bills from current receipts.
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 Frank Harder who prepared this document for digital publication.