Andrew W. Mellon,
Secretary of the Treasury

Andrew W. Mellon (1855-1937) was Secretary of the Treasury from 1921-1931, spanning the administrations of Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. (INTRO NOTE Coolidge Presidency) In 1924, he published Taxation: The People's Business (not in the collection), a plan to put more money in the hands of individual consumers and the nation's businessmen by reducing the federal income tax. His plan bore fruit in the Revenue Acts of 1924, 1926 and 1928.

Mellon's efforts on behalf of income tax reduction brought out cries from some that he was engineering a system of taxation calculated to benefit the wealthy. The customary response was that the individual wage-earner/consumer, who under Mellon's various Acts paid almost no tax, was signally a beneficiary.

A caustic appraisal of Mellon's performance as treasury secretary under Coolidge appears in the February 20, 1929 issue of The Nation. In "Radio and Democracy," an article in the April 1929 issue of Forum, General J.G. Harbord notes that the power of radio was so irresistible that it had induced even the reticent treasury secretary to broadcast a talk.

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