In response to a recent heckler at the White House President Obama said, "You're in my house." While walking one morning in Washington President Coolidge's secret service man pointed at the White House and jokingly said, "Who lives there?" President Coolidge responded, "No one. They all just come and go." And so the cornerstone is laid upon which great presidents are erected and construction of much lesser ones is never begun. Humility. The humility of Calvin Coolidge that informed him that he only occupied an office that was greater than any man who was graced by the honor of serving in it.
President Obama has presided over a federal government that has had record deficits, record budgets, and will, by the time he leaves office on January 20,2017, double the national debt. President Coolidge not only cut the budget, eliminated any deficit, but also paid off a third of the national debt at the time with the surplus he created by cutting taxes. An amazing feat after just 5 1/2 years in office. He accomplished this shrinking of government all the while giving breathing room for private commerce to create one of the most prosperous economies in this country's history.
President Obama siphons over a billion dollars a year in taxpayer money to run the White House and keep him and his family on never-ending, lavish vacations. President Coolidge paid for his White House staff and even the food for State dinners out of his $75,000 a year salary. The economy that President Coolidge enforced on the federal government he lived in his personal life. President Obama gives new meaning to the term profligate spending, both in government spending and spending on himself and his family.
President Coolidge use to say that legislation must give administration time to catch up. He would be appalled at the tens of thousands of regulations imposed on the country by President Obama, and the multi-thousand page legislative bills. President Coolidge knew that a too robust federal government could only hinder commerce and be a drag on free enterprise. President Obama thinks the grease that lubricates the wheels of commerce is government interference through a regulatory structure that oversees every aspect of the economy's interactions between buyer and seller.
When President Obama leaves office he will retire to a multi-million dollar estate with a generous pension package worth millions of dollars paid for by hard working taxpayers. President Coolidge upon leaving office moved with his wife Grace back to the same rented house they had lived in since the early days of their marriage. It was only after the crowds who "stopped by" to see the former president got out of hand that he purchased a modest home with a little more room. The former president lived on money he had saved all his life and on fees garnered from writing magazine articles.
The stark difference between Barack Obama and Calvin Coolidge is not just a matter of differing management styles. It is the difference between a government that works for the people by allowing the people to work for themselves, and one in which the people work to sustain a government that no longer works for anyone but those who occupy its seats of power.