NR Digital

Calling Cal

by Amity Shlaes
Look to Coolidge for inspiration today

Republicans often ask what Reagan would do, but it is hard to answer that question about our current budgetary situation. When Reagan won the presidency in 1980, the federal debt was a third of gross domestic product. Now it is approximately 100 percent. Even Reagan might not try a strategy of tax cuts before budget cutting today.

There is another Republican president whose example might be better suited to our times: Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge came to Washington in 1921, as vice president to Warren Harding, and became president upon Harding’s sudden death in August of 1923. Coolidge then won four years on his own in 1924, staying until March of 1929.

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