Skip to comments.Democrats Don't Recall FDR's 'Promises' - The Last Word
Posted on 05/11/2005 7:29:03 PM PDT by perfect stranger
Perhaps Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts should study the Democratic past. It might temper their demonizing attacks on President George W. Bush and inject some decency into their political rhetoric. It also would remind them of the mote in their collective eye.
They are giving their tonsils a workout, accusing Bush of having "lied" to the American people about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and his economic program. Their research would introduce them to lies of vast proportions. To wit: Franklin D. Roosevelt's pledge, made "again and again and again," that no American boys would be sent overseas to fight in a foreign war a pledge made at a time when he was working secretly with Winston Churchill to involve us 100 percent in Europe's hostilities.
Today's Democratic leaders have far more on their plate than FDR's wartime prevarications. Belaboring Bush for his economic program, they demonstrate what can be described as a vast ignorance of the Democratic past, or deliberate obfuscation, to be charitable about it. Let me remind them.
When Roosevelt ran for president in 1932, he had made a record of a proposed program that the American people believed reflected his honest convictions. Walter Lippman, the great liberal guru, wrote that FDR's "mind is not very clear, his purposes are not simple and his methods are not direct" a polite way of saying he was deceptive.
FDR pleaded for states' rights and warned eloquently against centralization of power in the hands of the federal government. "The doctrine of regulation and legislation by 'masterminds' ... has been too glaringly apparent at Washington during the [Republican administrations]," the sage of Hyde Park opined. "Were it possible to find ... men almost godlike in their ability to hold the scales of justice with an even hand, such a government might be in the interests of the country, but there are none such on our political horizon."
The Democratic Party and FDR ran on a promise of the "immediate and drastic reduction of governmental expenditures" by reducing the bureaucracy "to accomplish a saving of not less than 25 percent in the cost of the federal government." He fulfilled this promise by adding 100,000 bureaucrats to the federal payroll, not counting those on relief, the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Public Works Administration.
FDR and the Democrats promised a balanced budget, and commensurate taxation. But as his program skyrocketed taxes, FDR was warned that there would be a revolt on Tax Day if Americans were called upon to shell out all at once. At this point, the brain trust devised "withholding" directly from paychecks to hide the extent of new taxation.
Roosevelt railed against budget deficits which under president Herbert Hoover had amounted to $7 billion in four years. FDR's deficits in the first two years of his administration came to $7.5 billion. His total expenditures for 1934 to 1936 came to $24 billion whereas the cost of the federal government from the time of George Washington up to Woodrow Wilson had been $25.5 billion in sum. This indicates how FDR cut expenditures.
To limit the centralization of government, one of FDR's first acts was the enactment of the National Industrial Recovery Act (patterned on Benito Mussolini's corporative ideology), which suspended the antitrust laws and favored big corporations over small business. The Supreme Court tossed it out. FDR condemned "the extravagance" of Hoover's agricultural policy "and its unsound restriction of agricultural production" and then made it a permanent part of agricultural policy. The Agricultural Adjustment Act (or "Triple A," as it was called), which directed the destruction of crops at a time when Americans were going hungry, also was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
As president, FDR shot down every one of his campaign promises. Four years later, when he was running for re-election, the unemployment rate, hovering at 11.5 million, remained at the 1932 level. Recovery was so far distant that the 1936-37 Roosevelt recession would have become permanent had not America's impending participation in World War II boosted the economy by putting the unemployed in military uniforms.
Move to the 21st century. As John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan demonstrated, tax-cutting paradoxically increases federal revenues. Measures to encourage business and investment are a sine qua non. And yet the Democrats have been so determined to prevent tax cuts that some unkind souls suggest that they want the economy to slump in order to defeat the Republicans in 2004.
In 1935 James Warburg, who had been one of the drum beaters for FDR, published a small book 92 pages entitled Hellbent for Election. I came across a copy among my collection of political books and gladly would donate mine to the Democratic National Committee if it can be shown that Terry McAuliffe wants to read it or can.
Ralph de Toledano is the dean of Washington columnists and a frequent writer for Insight magazine.
...Roosevelt recession would have become permanent had not America's impending participation in World War II boosted the economy by putting the unemployed in military uniforms...
As we remember Pearl Harbor, and the ongoing speculation as to why it happened...
And lets not forget the millions of hogs that were butchered not for food at a time of great hunger but for price control? At least, this is utter insanity that contradicts most basic common sense at worse, it is deceptive, criminal and has political motivations....but for what reason?
...on any radio news, the simple mention of the "FDR DRive ", would set off a few family members ballistically, and it wasn't about any traffic problems either---
"fdr"---man, would they go off.
Sorry, I even used the spelling correction, I must have clicked the wrong word, " kerosene" it should be.
Thanks for posting it. It ought to be made required reading in schools... and before Election Day.
...but after a few selective judicial appointments, the second AAA was approved by the Supremes.
Certainly ties a few issues together does it not. A history of Judicial activism warned against by our Founders and used by the Democrat's going way back. Clearly an insult to American principles.
Bless you frannie. I'm a lot younger than you, but have been saying that I'm an anti-New Deal since I was in my early 20's. When I say it, most people just look at me funny.
FDRs right hand man Dexter White was a KGB agent. And on orders from good old Joe. Made sure that the USs talks with Japan would not only fail. But force Japan in to attacking us. Keeping them off his back.
My reference thread follow the many links on it.
Secrets, Lies, and Atomic Spies,.....Or... Joe McCarthy was more right than he ever knew
FDRs right hand man Dexter White was a KGB agent.....
Yes, it has an interesting history. FDR was a hard leftist, and he proved it many times over with all the "gifts" that he generated for the American people. White was a pinko maggot. And not much in our Congress has changed...just look at the Progressive Caucus...they are everywhere. We are at a crossroads for America - a battle between a free republic and hard socialism. We know that socialism will fail, it always does, so our only hope is to save and maintain America as a free republic.
Our communists, socialists and far-left Dems are working hard to change that.