Monday, February 16, 2009

Presidents' Day

Which Presidents, though? In light of the last couple of posts about the CPSIA, which might have to get a tag, Calvin Coolidge, who said, "It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones," seems an appealing President for today. Another line, "I am convinced that the larger incomes of the country would actually yield more revenue to the government if the basis of taxation were scientifically revised downward," sounds like an anticipation of the Laffer curve. John J. Miller, at The Corner, points to his own Reason piece from 1998, in which he reviews three books that were new at that time.

I've mentioned Coolidge favorably here a few times before, but I have never read a full-length biography. I certainly did not know until I read the Miller article that he had translated Dante's Inferno into English.

I can't help wondering what would have been the alternate history had Coolidge run and been re-elected in 1928. Hoover and Roosevelt were both tinkerers, experimentalists, activists; Coolidge knew how to leave something alone.

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