Amity Wows Philly
With Amity Shlaes are Jerry Klein of Wallingford and Fran Shusman of Rydal.
The Independence Hall Tea Party Association had another hit with this afternoon's, April 28, presentation by noted author and journalist Amity Shlaes, who discussed matters political along with her highly regarded new book, Coolidge, which concerns our 30th president.
"I really like him," said Ms. Shlaes. "The book I wrote before was called The Forgotten Man. He could be called the forgotten president. He's the hero we never knew we had."
The event was held at the Independence Visitors Center Ballroom with Independence Hall across Market Street providing a backdrop to Ms. Shales and the other speakers via a full wall of windows.
Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president in 1923 upon Warren Harding's death and served until 1929 and the inauguration of Herbert Hoover. Coolidge, despite immense popularity, chose not to seek re-election in 1928.
Ms. Shlaes said that modern politicians of either party work from two assumptions: spending is important and political naysayers can't get elected. Coolidge, she said, prove both to be wrong.
She noted that when Coolidge left office the federal budget was lower than when he came in, that he had cut the tax rate to 25 percent, and that unemployment during his term was very low.
She noted that the Ku Klux Klan -- which enjoyed a resurgence with the film Birth of a Nation. which had been praised by Coolidge's once-removed predecessor Democrat Woodrow Wilson -- was in decline.
She said the Coolidge's tax policy was formulated by Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon and was based on the business principle of charging what the market would bear. This means that pricing items lower can bring in much more revenue, which is the strategy behind Wal-Mart's success. She said when she explains this to business students they quickly get it, while history students sometimes are slow on picking it up.
And this worked for Coolidge as the tax money rolled in with the rich paying an increased percentage of it despite being taxed at a lower rate.
Ms. Shlaes graduated magna cum laude Yale University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in English. She has worked for several publications and was the op-ed editor of the Wall Street Journal for a time. She now writes a column for Bloomsberg News along with being a senior fellow and director of the Four Percent Project at the George W. Bush Institute, where she works closely with Laura Bush.
She has made numerous television appearances including The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Fox News and C-Span.
She is married to journalist Seth Lipinsky and has four children including Helen Ann who was at the event and had been given a tour of Philadelphia's historic sites by Teri and Don Adams of the Association.
Preceding Ms. Shales at the podium were author Bill Miller and WPHT talk show host Dom Giordano.
Miller spoke of the spiritual significance of the buildings outside the center and described his book, Tea Party Papers, which compared the French and American revolutions. He noted that the British government of 1775 was less intrusive and less arbitrary than the one we have today.
Giordano touched on several issues including the Kermit Gosnell murder case and the Boston Marathon bombing. Giordano said that Catholic priests and other clergy were not allowed to cross the police line in the attack to administer to the dying. He said that this meant that Martin Richard, the eight-year-old boy murdered by the Tsarnevs who had just received his first communion, had died unattended.