Jerry L Wallace sends in this story from Norway, where the government makes individual tax records available for public perusal. In Calvin Coolidge’s day, Americans gave this a shot, too.
The progressives tried this business under CC (Revenue Act of 1924). The lists were put up in the Post Offices, as I recall. It was claimed that making public this financial data encouraged criminal activity, such as kidnapping, and the practice was abandoned (Revenue Act of 1926). Under FDR, publicity was revived for a time (Revenue Act of 1934).
I actually published a short item about this on tax.com. Pretty strange stuff. And I don’t think it’s confined to Norway, even today. I’ve heard that Finland and Sweden do it, too (in some fashion, at least). Anyone know for sure?
Marjorie Kornhauser, a tax law professor at Arizona State University, has written extensively about the 1930s flirtation with income tax publicity (which never really got off the ground).one
Wrote the following piece on the strikes:
….and beginning to research Coolidge….none
Slemp had served six terms in the House of Representatives, elected from Virginia’s 9th Congressional District. He had won the seat in 1907 after the incumbent — his father, Campbell Slemp — died in office. He held the seat until 1922, when he declined to run for reelection.
Slemp was a powerful figure in Virginia politics and a prominent member of the GOP establishment. Observers suggested that Coolidge chose him in a bid to shore up support within his own party. As William Allen White explained:
Slemp was the man whom President Coolidge needed, a liaison officer between the White House and the Republican organization in Congress and in the National Committee, a man “diligent in his business” who should stand before kings. From the Democratic press, from the independent press, from the Progressive group in Congress and out, a storm of protest rose over Slemp, but it beat vainly upon the White House. The new president knew exactly what he wanted and he had it.
As White suggested, Slemp’s nomination was not uncontroversial. But it proved useful for Coolidge, who relied on Slemp for the latter’s political acumen and connections.
Slemp served as secretary until March 1925, when he resigned after failing to win a Cabinet appointment from Coolidge. His successor, Everett Sanders of Indiana, was also a former congressman.
Nowadays, presidents often fly home to cast their votes when election day rolls around. Even in Coolidge’s day, it wasn’t unusual. As Time magazine noted:
Biennially Calvin Coolidge used to board a special train, whisk off to Northampton, Mass., drop his vote marked with a cautious x into the ballot box. His electoral duty done, that President would then whisk back to Washington.
These electoral pilgrimages were not always easy. In 1926, the New York Times applauded Coolidge for making the effort. “He furnished an example to the electorate by exercising his franchise under difficulties,” although his biggest obstacle seemed to be a light drizzle and large adoring crowds.
In 1924, however, Calvin and Grace Coolidge cast their votes using absentee ballots. Appearing October 30 on the White House lawn, they completed ballots in front of eager photographers (and a notary public).
Grace Coolidge’s vote was particularly notable, since the 1924 election marked the first time that women were allowed to vote for president.2 com
Spoke at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids for the Hauenstein Center and the Seidman College of Business. Found myself talking about Coolidge. Writing a Coolidge bio is going to be hard, because his assumptions were so far from ours today. Jon Alter, the other speaker, moved forward in time and is writing on President Obama.
Is Coolidge’s America still America? I think so, but many won’t agree. Ray Nothstine wrote a Facebook note making same point. What would Coolidge make of a state stabilization fund? What would he make of Michigan’s unemployment rate?
Also: Got some important help from Jerry Wallace of the CCMF improved a forthcoming Forbes Coolidge column by me.5 com
The 1924 World Series, played October 4-10, pitted the Washington Senators against the New York Giants. The Senators won in seven games.
When Coolidge threw out the first pitch in Game 1, he became the first U.S. president to play a starring role in the series. Reputedly, he declined to attend Game 2 since it was played on a Sunday.
It may not have been much of a sacrifice. Coolidge was believed to have only limited interest in the game. His wife, Grace, on the other hand, was an avid fan. When the Senators tied the series in the middle of Game 4, Coolidge stood up to leave. Grace objected:”Where do you think you’re going? You sit down.” Coolidge sat.
After the Senators won the series, Coolidge invited the team to the White House. He closed his remarks with these words:
They are a great band, these armored knights of the bat and ball. They are held up to a high standard of honor on the field, which they have seldom betrayed. While baseball remains our national game our national tastes will be on a higher level and our national ideals on a firmer foundation. By bringing the baseball pennant to Washington, you have made the National Capital more truly the center of worthy and honorable national aspirations.
by Joe Thorndike
by Joe Thorndike
by Joe Thorndike
by Joe Thorndike
by Aliens Caricature From Photos