Saturday, September 04, 2010

Timely Words from "Silent" Cal

We again venerate Calvin Coolidge by offering a quotation from his 1925 inaugural address, in its articulation of a philosophy of taxation perhaps more timely today than when it was first delivered. In so doing we thank Coolidge scholars Amity Shlaes and Joe Thorndyke for providing this gem on their blog,

The time is arriving when we can have further tax reduction, when, unless we wish to hamper the people in their right to earn a living, we must have tax reform. The method of raising revenue ought not to impede the transaction of business; it ought to encourage it. I am opposed to extremely high rates, because they produce little or no revenue, because they are bad for the country, and, finally, because they are wrong. We can not finance the country, we can not improve social conditions, through any system of injustice, even if we attempt to inflict it upon the rich. Those who suffer the most harm will be the poor. This country believes in prosperity. It is absurd to suppose that it is envious of those who are already prosperous. The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which every one will have a better chance to be successful. The verdict of the country has been given on this question. That verdict stands. We shall do well to heed it.

1 comment:

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

We smugly note that our correspondents who advocate higher taxes have no response whatsoever to the sublime Coolidge's elegant statement of justice and sagacity in moderate taxation.

Take that as a dare.