“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” — Cicero, 55 B.C.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Hoover and Roosevelt tried Keynesian economics of massive spending during the ’30s recession, but Henry Morganthau Jr. said in 1939, “We tried many stimulus spending programs and the unemployment rate did not decrease.”
Calvin Coolidge inherited a tough recession from 1919-1921. His administration cut taxes, balanced budgets and slashed government spending, reducing federal debt by over a third in a decade. The economy grew, averaging just over 7 percent from 1924 to 1929 over the years of his presidency.
John Kennedy believed in tax cuts to spur economic growth, as did Reagan in dealing with the economic mess of Jimmy Carter.
While Obama presides over a debt downgrade, Ohio and Florida were upgraded by Standard & Poor’s in July. Ohio’s governor, John Kasich, pushed through a budget closing an $8 billion deficit without raising taxes and has an unemployment rate that fell to 8.6 percent from 11 percent a year ago. Ditto Florida. Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $615 million from the state budget, enacted a corporate income tax cut and added millions to the State’s rainy day fund.
Republican governors in Virginia, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Texas, Wisconsin and Oklahoma are following the same pattern — cutting spending, balancing budgets, and taking on pension reform in spite of massive resistance from the public employees unions. Texas has created more jobs since 2009 than all the other states combined.
Our economics illiterate president should emulate success, not history’s failures.
“A government which lays taxes on the people not required by urgent public necessity and sound public policy is not a protector of liberty, but an instrument of tyranny. It condemns the citizen to servitude.” — Calvin Coolidge, 1924.