Silent Cal could have acted to thwart the '29 crash

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Columnist George F. Will lauds the presidency of Calvin Coolidge ("The Beauty of Brevity: Calvin Coolidge Didn't Say Much, But He Said Enough," Feb. 14), saying in part: "Coolidge and Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon advocated 'scientific taxation,' an early iteration of the supply-side economics theory that often lowering rates will stimulate the economy so that the government's revenue loss will be much less than the taxpayers' gain. Soon Coolidge was alarmed that economic growth was producing excessive revenues that might make government larger."

I would assert that history proves Coolidge should have made his government (slightly) larger by creating an agency that could have restrained the excesses of the private economy during his presidency that led to the "Crash of '29." That crash drove the nation into the worst depression we've ever had, before or since. The magnitude of the economic loss that we suffered during that depression cost far, far more than the cost of an agency that could have restrained the "irrational exuberance" of the unbridled economy that was created during his presidency. If he had created such an agency, we would have avoided the crash and the subsequent calamitous depression.

ROBERT W. WOLFE
Wilkinsburg


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