Ranching on the Beltway

Herbert Hoover once complained to former president Calvin Coolidge that his attempts to promote economic recovery during the Great Depression seemed to be having minimal impact; moreover, his critics were becoming increasingly vocal and belligerent. "You can't expect to see calves running in the field the day after you put the bull to the cows," Coolidge remarked. "No," Hoover replied. "But I would at least expect to see contented cows."

[The Urban Institute once ranked 20th Century Presidents according to their increases in domestic spending as a percentage of national income. The top three -- Richard Nixon, Herbert Hoover, and Dwight Eisenhower -- were Republicans. (Harry Truman and George Bush rounded out the top five.) The lowest spender? FDR.]

[For the entire length of his career in government (some 47 years), Hoover (independently wealthy before entering politics) turned over his Federal salary checks to charity.]

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