Excerpts of the President's News Conference
It is expected, as I have said in the conference a number of times, that we can come through this year with a surplus. Nobody can tell what it will be because we don't know in the first place how much will be collected and in the second place because we don't know how much will be expended, so that nobody knows whether there will be a saving of between $22,000,000 and $30,000,000. There is not a great deal of difficulty in seeing what is coming into the Treasury, but there isn't any source from which you men of the press or anyone else can very accurately gauge what is going to be required to be paid out. So that all forecasts are more or less estimates. Our trouble is not with the present year, as I have said. Our difficulty, if it arises, is going to be with the coming year, and it is for that reason that we can make appropriations during this year that will be taken care of now and not continued along, but an appropriation that calls for continuing payments in the years to come, why those might be very troublesome. The condition of the Treasury, which now is being supplied so largely from income taxes, is very greatly dependent upon the general condition of business throughout the country. If the volume of business goes on increasing, why the condition of the Treasury will be easy to manage, but if we should get a recession in business, if profits were small and therefore income taxes greatly cut down, or our foreign trade dimin-ishes so that our income from the tariff and customs diminish, it will be very easy to run into a deficit.
Source: "The Talkative President: The Off-the-Record Press Conferences of Calvin Coolidge". eds. Howard H. Quint & Robert H. Ferrell. The University Massachusetts Press. 1964.
Calvin Coolidge, Excerpts of the President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/349154