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Thread: Calvin Coolidge Quotes: Inspirational Quotes from the 30th President

  1. #1

    Calvin Coolidge Quotes: Inspirational Quotes from the 30th President



    Calvin Coolidge is one of our favorite U.S. Presidents. He served two terms between 1923 and 1929, and was known for being soft-spoken and principled. Nicknamed "Silent Cal," Coolidge was deeply concerned with tax reduction and the federal budget, as well as U.S. intervention abroad in the aftermath of World War I in 1919.


    Prior to the Coolidge administration, the U.S. government had grown unchecked for years under the Theodore Roosevelt, Taft, and Wilson administrations. Wealth redistribution, government regulation, and the strength of unions were on the rise during this era of American progressivism.


    When President Coolidge and his administration came to power, they helped cut the national debt almost in half, and cut America's tax rates and tax rolls to boot. These cuts worked – unemployment averaged 3.3% during Coolidge's two terms, and the American GDP increased a whopping 17.5%.


    President Coolidge was the rare politician who stuck by his principles of government restraint and fiscal responsibility. Below are a few of our favorite quotes.


    “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”


    “No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.”


    “Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”


    “Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.”


    “Whenever the state of the Treasury can permit, I believe in a reduction of taxes. But I am not advocating tax reduction merely for the benefit of the taxpayer; I am advocating it for the benefit of the country.”


    “The wise and correct course to follow in taxation and all other economic legislation is not to destroy those who have already secured success but to create conditions under which everyone will have a better chance to be successful.”


    “An expanding prosperity requires that the largest possible amount...be invested in productive enterprise under the direction of the best personal ability. This will not be done if the rewards of such action are largely taken away by taxation.”


    “We cannot improve the condition of the people or reform human nature by intruding the Nation into the affairs of the States or despoiling the people of their business.”


    “The success of the Government does not lie in wringing all the revenue it can from the people, but in making their burden as light and fairly distributed as possible, consistent with the proper maintenance of the necessary public functions.”


    “I want the people of America to be able to work less for the Government ...to have the rewards of their own industry. That is the chief meaning of freedom.”


    “I would like it if the country could think as little as possible about the Government and give their time and attention more undividedly about the conduct of the private business of the country.”


    “The property of the people belongs to the people. To take it from them by taxation cannot be justified except by urgent public necessity. Unless this principle be recognized, our country is no longer secure, our people no longer free.”


    “A government which requires of the people the contribution of the bulk of their substance and rewards cannot be classed as a free government, or long remain as such.”


    “We need not concern ourselves much about the rights of property if we will faithfully observe the rights of persons. Under our institutions their rights are supreme. It is not property but the right to hold property, both great and small, which our Constitution guarantees.”


    “Civilization and profits go hand in hand.”


    “That tax is theoretically best which interferes least with business.”


    “No matter what any one may say about making the rich and the corporations pay the taxes, in the end they come out of the people who toil. It is your fellow workers who are ordered to work for the Government every time an appropriation bill is passed.”


    “The appropriation of public money always is perfectly lovely until some one is asked to pay the bill...the people will have to furnish more revenue by paying more taxes.”


    “There is no substitute for a militant freedom. The only alternative is submission and slavery.”


    “There is no greater service we can render the oppressed of the earth than to maintain inviolate the freedom of our own citizens.”


    “Liberty is not collective, it is personal. All liberty is individual liberty.”


    “When once the right of the individual to liberty and equality is admitted, there is no escape from the conclusion that he alone is entitled to the rewards of his own industry.”


    “The individual has rights, but only the citizen has the power to protect rights. And the protection of rights is righteous.”


    “Freedom is not only bought with a great price, it is maintained by unremitting effort.”


    “When once the right of the individual to liberty and equality is admitted, there is no escape from the conclusion that he alone is entitled to the rewards of his own industry. Any other conclusion would necessarily imply either privilege or servitude.”


    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”


    “In its main features the Declaration of Independence...is a declaration not of material but of spiritual conceptions. Equality, liberty, popular sovereignty, the rights of man...are ideals.”


    “Ultimately, property rights and personal rights are the same thing.”


    “To live under the American Constitution is the greatest political privilege that was ever accorded to the human race.”


    “The Constitution is the sole source and guaranty of national freedom.”


    “[But] the matchless wisdom that is enshrined in our Constitution...needs constant effort and tireless vigilance for their protection and support.”


    “It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.”


    “We have got so many regulatory laws already...we would be just as well off if we didn’t have any more.”


    “The people cannot look to legislation generally for success.”


    “After order and liberty, economy is one of the highest essentials of a free government.”


    “I favor the policy of economy...because I wish to save people...Economy is idealism in its most practical form.”


    “Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.”


    “There is no justification for public interference with purely private concerns.”


    “Unfortunately the Federal Government has strayed far afield from its legitimate business...confine our Federal expenditures to the legitimate obligations and functions of the Federal Government…the fabric of our constitutional form of government…tends to be gradually weakened and undermined by this encroachment.”


    “Men do not make laws. They do but discover them. Laws must be justified by something more than the will of the majority. They must rest on the eternal foundation of righteousness.”


    “There is scarcely a word in the constitution of any of our States or of our nation that was not written there for the purpose of protecting the liberties of the people from some servitude which a despotic government had at some time imposed upon them.”


    “Where commerce has flourished there civilization has increased... Today it is not the battle fleet, but the mercantile marine which in the end will determine the destiny of nations.”


    “No complicated scheme of relief, no plan for Government fixing of prices, no resort to the public Treasury will be of any permanent value.”


    “After all, the chief business of the American people is business... In all experience, the accumulation of wealth means the multiplication of schools, the encouragement of science, the increase of knowledge, the dissemination of intelligence, the broadening of outlook, the expansion of liberties, the widening of culture. Of course the accumulation of wealth cannot be justified as the chief end of existence. But we are compelled to recognize it as a means to well-nigh every desirable achievement. So long as wealth is made the means and not the end, we need not greatly fear it.”


    “Our country is an exceedingly good example of the fact that if production be encouraged and increased, then distribution fairly well takes care of itself... no other country ever approached ours in the equal and general distribution of prosperity.”


    “We have had many attempts at regulation of industrial activity by law. Some of it has proceeded on the theory that if those who enjoyed material prosperity used it for wrong purposes, such prosperity should be limited or abolished. That is as sound as it would be to abolish writing to prevent forgery.”


    “Government price fixing, once started, has alike no justice and no end. It is an economic folly from which this country has every right to be spared.”


    “Where the people themselves are the government, it needs no argument to demonstrate that what the people cannot do their government cannot do.”


    “There can be no perfect control of personal conduct by national legislation.”


    “[I will not] surrender to every emotional movement seeking remedies for economic conditions by legislation.”


    “We do not need more government, we need more culture. We do not need more laws, we need more religion. We do not need more of the things that are seen, we need more of the things that are unseen.”


    “If all the folks in the United States would do the few simple things they know they ought to do, most of our big problems would take care of themselves.”


    “When depression in business comes we begin to be very conservative in our financial affairs. We save our money and take no chances in its investment. Yet in our political actions we go in the opposite direction. We begin to support radical measures and cast our votes for those who advance the most reckless proposals. This is a curious and illogical reaction.”


    Calvin Coolidge Quotes: Inspirational Quotes from the 30th President of The United States originally appeared in The Resistance Library at Ammo.com.
    "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” - Thomas Jefferson

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  3. #2
    'Do the day's work. If it be to protect the rights of the weak, whoever objects, do it. If it be to help a powerful corporation better serve the people, whatever the opposition, do that.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Expect to be called a stand patter. But don't be a stand patter. Expect to be called a demagogue, but don't be a demagogue.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Don't hurry to legislate. Give administration a chance to catch up with legislation.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'We come here to honor the past, and in doing so render more secure the present.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Your glory lies in what you have given and may give to your country not in what your country has or may give to you.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Shall we use our power for self aggrandizement or service?'--Calvin Coolidge
    'To reduce war taxes is to give every home a better chance... Of all services which the Congress can render to the country I have no hesitation in declaring this one to be paramount.'--Calvin Coolidge
    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”--Calvin Coolidge

  4. #3
    `We all came to America on different boats, but we're in the same boat now, and we have to learn to get along with each other.'--Calvin Coolidge


    ' We need a broader, firmer, deeper faith in the people, a faith that men desire to do right, that the commonwealth is founded upon a righteousness which will endure, a reconstructive faith that the final approval of the people is given not to demagogues slavishly pandering to their selfishness, merchandizing with the clamor of the hour, but to the statesmen ministering to their welfare, representing their deep silent, abiding conviction.'--Calvin Coolidge

    `That man [Herbert Hoover] has given me advice every day, all of it bad.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'The chief business of the American people is business. The chief ideal of the American people is idealism. Any newspaper who forgets this will not get very far. And the American people are idealistic people.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Riches didn't make the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence gave us the freedom to become wealthy.'--Calvin Coolidge
    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”--Calvin Coolidge

  5. #4
    'I am having the usual experience with a good many members of the House and the Senate that are returning to Washington. They are all interested in some plan that calls for a considerable expenditure of public money.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Well, they're going to elect that superman Hoover, and he's going to have some trouble. He's going to have to spend money, but he won't spend enough. Then the Democrats will come in and they'll spend money like water. But they don't know anything about money.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Proposals for promoting the peace of the world will have careful consideration. But we are not a people who are always seeking for a sign. We know that peace comes from honesty and fair dealing, from moderation, and a generous regard for the rights of others. The heart of the Nation is more important than treaties.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things there will be born in us a Savior and over us all will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.'--Calvin Coolidge
    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”--Calvin Coolidge

  6. #5
    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”--Calvin Coolidge

  7. #6
    'About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final.

    'No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers.'--Calvin Coolidge
    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”--Calvin Coolidge

  8. #7
    No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace, or insure it victory in time of war.--Calvin Coolidge

    'There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can't be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Politics is not an end, but a means. It is not a product, but a process. It is the art of government. Like other values it has its counterfeits. So much emphasis has been placed upon the false that the significance of the true has been obscured and politics has come to convey the meaning of crafty and cunning selfishness, instead of candid and sincere service.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Wherever despotism abounds, the sources of public information are the first to be brought under its control. Where ever the cause of liberty is making its way, one of its highest accomplishments is the guarantee of the freedom of the press.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Peace will come when there is realization that only under a reign of law, based on righteousness and supported by the religious conviction of the brotherhood of man, can there be any hope of a complete and satisfying life. Parchment will fail, the sword will fail, it is only the spiritual nature of man that can be triumphant.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'A display of reason rather than a threat of force should be the determining factor in the intercourse among nations.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'One of the greatest dangers to peace lies in the economic pressure to which people find themselves subjected. One of the most practical things to be done in the world is to seek arrangements under which such pressure may be removed, so that opportunity may be renewed and hope may be revived.--Calvin Coolidge

    'They criticize me for harping on the obvious; if all the folks in the United States would do the few simple things they know they ought to do, most of our big problems would take care of themselves.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'The people cannot look to legislation generally for success. Industry, thrift, character, are not conferred by act or resolve.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'It takes a great man to be a good listener.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'There is only one form of political strategy in which I have any confidence, and that is to try to do the right thing and sometimes be able to succeed.'―Calvin Coolidge

    'There is no force so democratic as the force of an ideal.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Wealth comes from industry and from the hard experience of human toil. To dissipate it in waste and extravagance is disloyalty to humanity.'--Calvin Coolidge
    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”--Calvin Coolidge

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    No nation ever had an army large enough to guarantee it against attack in time of peace, or insure it victory in time of war.--Calvin Coolidge

    'There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no independence quite so important, as living within your means.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can't be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'When more and more people are thrown out of work, unemployment results.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Little progress can be made by merely attempting to repress what is evil. Our great hope lies in developing what is good.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Politics is not an end, but a means. It is not a product, but a process. It is the art of government. Like other values it has its counterfeits. So much emphasis has been placed upon the false that the significance of the true has been obscured and politics has come to convey the meaning of crafty and cunning selfishness, instead of candid and sincere service.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Wherever despotism abounds, the sources of public information are the first to be brought under its control. Where ever the cause of liberty is making its way, one of its highest accomplishments is the guarantee of the freedom of the press.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Peace will come when there is realization that only under a reign of law, based on righteousness and supported by the religious conviction of the brotherhood of man, can there be any hope of a complete and satisfying life. Parchment will fail, the sword will fail, it is only the spiritual nature of man that can be triumphant.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'A display of reason rather than a threat of force should be the determining factor in the intercourse among nations.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'One of the greatest dangers to peace lies in the economic pressure to which people find themselves subjected. One of the most practical things to be done in the world is to seek arrangements under which such pressure may be removed, so that opportunity may be renewed and hope may be revived.--Calvin Coolidge

    'They criticize me for harping on the obvious; if all the folks in the United States would do the few simple things they know they ought to do, most of our big problems would take care of themselves.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'The people cannot look to legislation generally for success. Industry, thrift, character, are not conferred by act or resolve.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'It takes a great man to be a good listener.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'The only way I know to drive out evil from the country is by the constructive method of filling it with good.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'There is only one form of political strategy in which I have any confidence, and that is to try to do the right thing and sometimes be able to succeed.'―Calvin Coolidge

    'There is no force so democratic as the force of an ideal.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Wealth comes from industry and from the hard experience of human toil. To dissipate it in waste and extravagance is disloyalty to humanity.'--Calvin Coolidge
    Some real gems here… +rep… & for the OP.

    Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by shakey1 View Post
    Some real gems here… +rep… & for the OP.
    Thank you. Yes, when "Silent Cal" did open his mouth, some real gems emerged.

    It wasn't easy to collect these. He quickly became the original He Who Must Not Be Named. But he was worth the effort.

    A man of few words, the words we did get out of him were mighty good stuff. This is the principle and intellect that gave us the Roaring Twenties.

    Once a famously gabby Washington society flapper told him she had bet a friend she could get more than two words out of him during a dinner.

    Said Silent Cal, "You lose."
    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”--Calvin Coolidge

  12. #10
    Teaching is one of the noblest of professions. It requires an adequate preparation and training, patience, devotion, and a deep sense of responsibility. Those who mold the human mind have wrought not for time, but for eternity.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Education should be the handmaid of citizenship.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'We draw our Presidents from the people. It is a wholesome thing for them to return to the people. I came from them. I wish to be one of them again.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Governments do not make ideals, but ideals make governments.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Unfortunately the Federal Government has strayed far afield from its legitimate business. It has trespassed upon fields where there should be no trespass. If we could confine our Federal expenditures to the legitimate obligations and functions of the Federal Government, a material reduction would be apparent. But far more important than this would be its effect upon the fabric of our constitutional form of government, which tends to be gradually weakened and undermined by this encroachment.'—Calvin Coolidge

    'Freedom is not only bought with a great price; it is maintained by unremitting effort.'—Calvin Coolidge

    'Men do not make laws. They do but discover them. Laws must be justified by something more than the will of the majority. They must rest on the eternal foundation of righteousness.'—Calvin Coolidge

    'We have got so many regulatory laws already that in general I feel that we would be just as well off if we didn’t have any more.'—Calvin Coolidge

    'We need more of the Office Desk and less of the Show Window in politics. Let men in office substitute the midnight oil for the limelight.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'American ideals do not require to be changed so much as they require to be understood and applied.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'One with the law is a majority.'--Calvin Coolidge


    'Under the attempt to perform the impossible there sets in a general disintegration. When legislation fails, those who look upon it as a sovereign remedy simply cry out for more legislation.

    'A sound and wise statesmanship which recognizes and attempts to abide by its limitations will undoubtedly find itself displaced by that type of public official who promises much, talks much, legislates much, expends much, but accomplishes little.

    'The deliberate, sound judgement of the country is likely to find it has been superseded by a popular whim.--Calvin Coolidge

    'The government of the United States is a device for maintaining in perpetuity the rights of the people, with the ultimate extinction of all privileged classes.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'I cannot repeat too often that America is a nation of idealists. That is the only motive to which they ever give any strong and lasting reaction.'--Calvin Coolidge
    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”--Calvin Coolidge

  13. #11
    When people are bewildered, they tend to become credulous.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshipers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness. They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exaltation which sooner or later impairs their judgment. They are in grave danger of becoming careless and arrogant.'--Calvin Coolidge

    '[Grover Cleveland] was so sound on most economic questions that his [Democratic] party deserted him.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Don't expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'Duty is not collective. It is personal.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'If you don't say anything, you won't be called on to repeat it.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty.'--Calvin Coolidge

    'This country would not be a land of opportunity, America could not be America, if the people were shackled with government monopolies.'--Calvin Coolidge

    Sure enough. We are, and this is not an America Coolidge would recognize.
    “If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights... he will withdraw his allegiance from that government...”--Calvin Coolidge



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