Policy Forum

Tax Cutting and Economic Growth: Lessons from the Coolidge Tax Reform

April 11, 2013 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM EDT

Hayek Auditorium

Featuring Amity Shlaes, Director, Four Percent Project, George W. Bush Institute, and author of Coolidge; with comments by Dan Mitchell, Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; moderated by Marian L. Tupy, Policy Analyst, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute.

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When Calvin Coolidge became president in 1923, the top personal income tax rate was 77 percent. The national debt had risen from $1.5 billion in 1916 to $33 billion in 1919 — in large part due to America’s entry into World War I. Together with his treasury secretary, Andrew Mellon, Coolidge cut the top personal income tax rate to 24 percent and dramatically reduced government spending. The economy expanded along with tax revenue, and that allowed the national debt to fall to $16 billion by 1929. Please join us for a discussion of the lessons that Coolidge administration reforms hold for the United States today.