Jackie Gingrich Cushman

One of my favorite quotes is from President Calvin Coolidge, "I want taxes to be less so that people may have more." He understood that the government was entrusted with the people's money and that the more the government taxed, the less money people would have for themselves.

The report continues, regarding tax reform, "Those of us who are best off will need to contribute the most. Tax reform must continue to protect those who are most vulnerable and eliminate tax loopholes favoring those who need help least."

Regarding saving Social Security, "All of us must do our part. The most fortunate will have to contribute the most, by taking lower benefits than scheduled and paying more in payroll taxes. Middle-income earners who are able to work will need to do so a little longer. At the same time, Social Security must do more to reduce poverty among the very poor and very old who need help the most."

The recurring theme: redistribution of wealth through government interaction.

Government is in charge, government decides, government controls.

Digging into the details of the plans reveals that the commission proposal includes an increase in taxes to the American people from 14.6 percent of gross domestic product in 2010 to 20.6 percent in 2020.

Known for his frugality and common sense, Coolidge said in his inaugural address: "I favor the policy of economy not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of government. Every dollar we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much more meager. Every dollar we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant."

Coolidge, who is included in my recent book, "The Essential American: 25 Speeches and Documents Every American Should Own," might not be well known, but he was a solid performer on the economic front. His tenure as president was marked by slightly more than 1 percent inflation and slightly more than 3 percent unemployment.

Remember: The higher the taxes, the less money the people have.

It seems so simple, but somehow people have become confused -- it's time to go back to the basics.


Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Jackie Gingrich Cushman is a speaker, syndicated columnist, socialpreneur, and author of "The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own," and co-author of “The 5 Principles for a Successful Life: From Our Family to Yours”.