Coolidge, Calvin (1872–1933)
COOLIDGE, CALVIN (1872–1933)
John Calvin Coolidge, the thirtieth President of the United States, succeeded warren g. harding upon Harding's death in August 1923 and served until 1929. The heart of his legislative program was a series of tax reductions for individual taxpayers in all brackets, economy in government, and a balanced budget.
The chief legislative controversy of the 1920s concerned the McNary-Haugen bills, which Coolidge vetoed in 1927 and 1928. These bills, proposed in response to a prolonged agricultural recession, would have authorized the federal government to buy and sell farm products in an effort to raise their prices. Coolidge opposed the bills as unworkable and as an unconstitutional expansion of the commerce power. The Congress, he argued, was limited to those powers granted to it or implied as incidental to the express powers. In language anticipating the opposition to the new deal, Coolidge cautioned against the dangers of bureaucracy. He also observed that the people of the United States could reallocate the constitutional powers of the federal government and the states by means of the amending process. Coolidge supported national legislation to regulate child labor, but he believed that a constitutional amendment would be required first to grant such power to the federal government.
Thomas B. Silver
Silver, Thomas B. 1983 Coolidge and the Historians. Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press.