Calvin Coolidge, I’m afraid, agrees with John Kenneth Galbraith, not with Jude Wanniski.
Long before Smoot-Hawley was a gleam in its sponsors’ eyes, Calvin Coolidge was aware of the dangers of not only excessive speculation but prosperity itself. “History is littered with the stories of nations destroyed by their own wealth,” Coolidge warned the Union League of Philadelphia.
After Coolidge announced in 1927 that he would not seek a second term, a White House dinner guest asked him why not. Coolidge responded with characteristic silence, whereupon his wife let out, “Poppa says there’s a depression coming.”