Opinions

The Top 5 Most Libertarian Former Politicians (Other Than Ron Paul)

3. Calvin Coolidge

Like John Tyler, Calvin Coolidge ascended to the presidency upon the death of the sitting president, this time Warren G. Harding. As president, Coolidge was one of, if not the last, fiscally responsible presidents. He cut taxes several times during his six years in office, and the simultaneous reduced government spending allowed the debt to be reduced from more $22 billion when he first took office to approximately $17 billion by the time he left. Millions of people were relieved from the burden of the income tax entirely, and only the richest of the rich paid any income tax at all by 1927. This all occurred years after both Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson had treated the presidential office as more of a platform for their own agendas than as a constitutionally limited position with strict responsibilities; Coolidge’s resistance to follow suit is thus doubly impressive. Similarly to Cleveland, who strongly influenced Coolidge, he made great use of the veto power to kill unconstitutional bills. While he did make some concessions, such as generally supporting “protective” tariffs and providing federal aid to victims of a severe Mississippi flood, Coolidge respected both limited government and a general “hands-off” executive policy to a much greater degree than any of his successors.

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