Coolidge presidency is unfortunately often overlooked



Rome Sentinel Co.


A recent column here paid homage to Calvin Coolidge, the 30th American president, and his ability and desire to shrink government spending and the federal government. Vice president and then president when Warren G. Harding died, Coolidge took the helm and cut federal spending by 65% in one year, going from $18 billion to $6 billion. Elected to one term, “Silent Cal” would regularly meet with officials and go through the budget line by line. He continued to reduce federal spending from $6 billion to less than $3 billion, eliminating waste as little as the lettering “U.S. Mail” on the sides of postal carrier bags. Determined to pay down the debt of World War I, Coolidge helped reduce the national debt from $24 billion to $17 billion. Even as the Depression of 1920 was on course to be worse than the Great Depression, Coolidge, through his spending cuts, kept this financial disaster from lasting much more than a year and paved the way for the “Roaring Twenties.” Before his death in 1933, Coolidge summed up the unfortunate place for fiscal conservatives like himself during the liberal spending of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration by saying, “I feel like I no longer fit in with these times.” — Zachary Kotwica, Durhamville.