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"TR: An American Lion" on History Channel NOW (9 pm EST)
The History Channel ^

Posted on 01/20/2003 6:03:01 PM PST by condi2008

Starting this evening on the History Channel and being repeated a few times later this week. One of my "Top 2" Presidents!


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 01/20/2003 6:03:01 PM PST by condi2008
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To: condi2008
The show will air again at 1:00AM EST tonight. That is past my bedtime, but I will tape it. I suspect that this show will repeat later in the week or this weekend.
2 posted on 01/20/2003 6:16:55 PM PST by PetroniDE
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To: condi2008
>>>One of my "Top 2" Presidents!

Whose #1?

3 posted on 01/20/2003 6:33:20 PM PST by Reagan Man
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Kuleana
The show is great. On the other hand TR gave us the worst president in our history.
5 posted on 01/20/2003 6:49:12 PM PST by Engine82
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To: Reagan Man
It would have to be #40; the current one, or the next one:


6 posted on 01/20/2003 6:54:38 PM PST by condi2008 (Pro Libertate)
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To: condi2008

We shall see.

7 posted on 01/20/2003 7:17:48 PM PST by Reagan Man
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To: nicollo
Are you watching?
8 posted on 01/20/2003 7:33:38 PM PST by x
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To: x
Thanks for the ping. I don't have cable. I saw the promos for it running around the show on my limousine book. Did you see that one, btw? I re-wrote their script to give Taft a plug.

What have they to say of my man?
9 posted on 01/20/2003 7:42:46 PM PST by nicollo
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To: x
Is this the Morris history of TR?
10 posted on 01/20/2003 8:00:05 PM PST by nicollo (Plenty of good; lots of bad, too. Careful!)
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To: condi2008
Any man who gets shot in the chest and still makes his speaking engagement has my vote!
11 posted on 01/20/2003 8:09:57 PM PST by Yasotay
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To: Yasotay
That's exactly what happened. TR's "numbers" (in the modern parlance) were on the down when he was shot. The shooting moved the nation's sympathy to him, and was the single most effective part of his campaign.

It was, of course, entirely unrelated to the radicalism that he was preaching. I'm certain that you would not subscribe to the insanities he preached, such as "direct democracy," which was the essence of his campaign. It was foolish.
12 posted on 01/20/2003 8:13:01 PM PST by nicollo
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To: condi2008
Ecccchhhhh. Too many comments by Bill Clinton. Although I did enjoy seeing what some of TR's present-day descendants look like.
13 posted on 01/20/2003 8:16:05 PM PST by shhrubbery!
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To: nicollo
Almost nothing said about Taft tonight, only alluded to as TR's 'handpicked successor' whom TR would eventually undermine. Second part tomorrow night.
14 posted on 01/20/2003 8:18:32 PM PST by shhrubbery!
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To: shhrubbery!
Oh, Jesus, they brought in x42? That says it all. Thanks for the update.
15 posted on 01/20/2003 8:22:32 PM PST by nicollo
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To: nicollo
I don't know about you, but I was tought in school that TR was a "great" President.

After my own independant study, I think TR stunk. A Socialist, class-warfare blowhard.
16 posted on 01/20/2003 10:05:22 PM PST by motzman ("Looney Insightful Linguist")
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To: nicollo
I couldn't watch much. I hope to see more later. President Bush introduces the program. Edward Herrmann, whose career got started playing FDR, narrates, and Richard Dreyfuss reads TR's words, which is not such a good idea, because I always think of the Saturday Night Live impersonations of Dreyfuss whenever I hear him talk. Though now that Mel Blanc is dead, Dreyfuss is a good choice if they want to make TR sound like Daffy Duck.

The show is a mixture of old photos, films, and graphics with reenactments by a TR impersonator and words from various talking heads: Morris and his wife, professors, Governor Pataki, Clinton (yes, Bill Clinton), and various Roosevelt decendants. It looked very good -- or rather it is very good for the basic information and the scholars contribute a lot, too. The look of the film is its chief drawback: too many sudden transitions between color and black and white, too many blurry shots, too much jerky camera motion, too many giant labels identifying scholars whose names aren't so important. So I wish the director had taken lessons from Ken Burns, but I definitely want to see more. And the limo show, too.

Sorry I can't help with the content more. I'll get back to you in a few days when I've seen more. One thing I did notice. TR looked to be pretty fat by today's standards, both the actor and the President himself. I don't think he'd pass muster as the picture of vitality today.

I can recommend PBS's Chicago, City of the Century series, though. Fascinating look at old Chicago lore. It peeved me though that, unless PBS is holding back some episodes for the next fundraising, the century in question ends in 1893. PBS will also be having a documentary on the transcontinental railroad next week or so.

17 posted on 01/20/2003 10:45:51 PM PST by x
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To: condi2008
OMG!!! U say that TR is one of your favorite Pressidents? Lord, help us....he was one of our nation's first "Progressive" (SOCIALIST) Presidents; he got us into a war w/ Spain; he placed thousands of square miles of western & State territory into Federal hands; he vastly increased the size of the Federal Regulatory State....sure, he said a lot of great soundbites & was tough as nails, but Constitutionally, his policies were a disaster to the idea of limited government & the rights of States. Personally, I wouldn't shed a tear if TR's & Lincoln's faces were blown off of Mt. Rushmore & replaced with JAMES MADISON & ROBERT E. LEE.
18 posted on 01/21/2003 12:35:59 AM PST by libertyman
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To: nicollo
OK you are right ....but I'm still impressed with his taking a bullet (even though his speech probably saved him...)
19 posted on 01/21/2003 6:27:55 PM PST by Yasotay
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To: Yasotay
Oh, no question it was a brave, almost heroic act. And no question it played well in the press. And no question that it was exploited by Roosevelt.

One cannot blame him for taking advantage of it. He can also be credited for not blaming Taft or anyone for the attack. He might have, and I wouldn't be surprised had he done it. Some wanted him to.

In the end, though, the shooting was his best publicity, not his ideas, which stunk.
20 posted on 01/21/2003 7:45:21 PM PST by nicollo
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To: nicollo
Saw some of Part 2. It's actually pretty impressive. Fine old films of McKinley's funeral and other events. And the presentation is quite nuanced, judging from the presentation of TR, race and Booker T. Washington. The present day color footage is mostly of the White House and fits in better with the old stuff. Richard Dreyfuss is still hard to get used to, though. But to characterize one unique individual with his own recognizable manner of expression, who better than another of the same sort? The talking heads do contribute a lot. So it looks like it's definitely worth seeing. I'll get back to you, if I ever manage to see the whole thing. The Video or DVD will probably turn up in public libraries soon enough.

It was a bit ironic watching though. A hundred years later, Morgan's Northern Securities dream has pretty much become a reality -- though a giant railway merger is far less frightening today than it once was. The contemporary parallel would be something like a merger of Microsoft, Intel, IBM and Apple. And the mine workers won their fight, but where are they now? Many of the towns they lived in no longer exist. The same sort of battles are still going on now, but railroads and coal don't matter much any more. The centers of economic dynamism have moved on and the "commanding heights" of the economy are elsewhere.

BTW, I heard the author of a new book, The Great Tax Wars on the radio. He said Taft never expected the income tax amendment to be ratified. The amendment was one of those things that get passed because politicians know the votes aren't there to put it into effect. It was the Republican interparty conflict and the Democratic sweep of 1910 that ensured sufficient ratifications and made the Amendment part of the law of the land. Is this true? It looks like a foolish move on Taft's part. He also said that the 1918 elections were the first federal income tax revolt. Disgust with Wilson's high income tax rates brought Republicans back to Congress and doomed the League of Nations and the Versailles Treaty. I suspect it was more Wilson's own mistakes that ruined his plans.

21 posted on 01/21/2003 11:23:52 PM PST by x
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To: x
Thanks for the notes on the series. I'll watch it.

Your comments about Northern Securities is dead on. The influence and general meaning of the railroads to that day cannot be underestimated. Still, there was Standard Oil, there was U.S. Steel... the bad trust, and the good trust, in Roosevelt's terms. These were a greater magnitude than Northern Securities. The difference was that Northern Securities fell more directly under Federal law. Even Mark Hanna warned Morgan's people, before the merger, that the Government would intervene. When Standard Oil was taken in by the Courts it was largely over its manipulation of railroad rates. So we see that railroads were the main target of and impulse behind Roosevelt's trust busting.

Roosevelt was entirely shortsighted to focus his entire legislative program around the railroads. To get his railroad bill he gave Congress to Uncle Joe Cannon. Cannon and Aldrich ran circles around Roosevelt thereafter. [Not to say that's all Roosevelt accomplished; it was his major program, and marked the apex of his legislative triumphs; after 1906, he got next to nothing]

I credit Taft with larger, more meaningful reforms than railroad rates. Taft passed workers comp for the railroad industry and other labor reforms. The 16th Amendment did more to form the 20th Century than anything Roosevelt did. Also, Taft's trade reciprocity and international arbitration agreements set a standard for what followed, and continues to follow. I think Taft would have a thing or two to say on today's debate with the UN.

We'll have to see the sourcing for this "Great Tax Wars" author's claim that Taft never intended for the 16th to be ratified. I disagree. That was a lie that La Follette & Co. accused of Taft during their 1911 pre-nomination gaming. I know of nothing in Taft's personal letters that shows any insincerity in the amendment. On the contrary, Taft proposed it because he saw that an income tax was coming, and it revolted him to the bottom of his large gut that Congress pass a law that went contrary to a standing Supreme Court decision.

Taft did not support a personal income tax. And he did think that Wilson's high taxes turned the public against him (back in 1913, Taft sincerely thought that Wilson's tariff would kill the economy). What's missing here, and I suppose the Great Tax War author discusses this, is the tariff. In order to get tariff revision through the Senate, Taft needed to take away the revenue imperative for it by offering an alternative revenue source. He pulled a double switch on the Democrat/progressive alignment for an income tax and Aldrich himself. Just when Dem. Sen. Bailey was about to consolidate various income tax supporters, and just when Aldrich was about to lose control of it, Taft tossed a bomb by proposing a corporation excise tax and the 16th Amendment. It cut everybody at the knees, and the tariff revision went forward. The corporation tax was successful and passed a Court test the following year.

That History Channel's summary of Taft you linked us takes my breath away. Roosevelt-centric history. See what I'm up against? I hate to seem obsessed by Roosevelt; I'm not. I just can't get away from him, for he's got history in a trance.

22 posted on 01/22/2003 6:34:17 AM PST by nicollo
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To: Reagan Man
T.R. was a statist. He supported national health insurance and cozy big business/big government partnership. Grover Clevaland belongs on your list. T.R. doesn't.
23 posted on 01/22/2003 6:37:10 AM PST by Austin Willard Wright
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To: Austin Willard Wright
For starters, Grover Cleveland had much in common with Bill Clinton. Not only did he have a child out of wedlock, two years into his presidency he married his 22 year old ward and finally, he took credit for legislation that he didn't originate or initiate.

There were some good aspects to Cleveland's first term as POTUS, however, his second term was mired in the worst depression in the nations history, up till that point, with unemployment hitting 18%. Cleveland also made a very unpopular move by ordering the US Treasury to sell governemnt bonds to WallSt bankers for gold. In Cleveland's remaining time in office, he became a protector of the status quo.

In addition, Cleveland didn't believe blacks deserved the same rights as white folks and he didn't support the right to vote for American women. He also wasn't a supporter of states rights.

While Cleveland wasn't considered a visionary leader, by either historians or the common folk, his fiscal conservatism and strong support for the Monroe Doctrine were positive attributes of his Presidency.

For a 19th century Democrat, he was a decent president, but couldn't begin to touch the accomplishments and achievements of TR.

TR was more a nationalist, then a statist, but if nothing else, TR was a true reformer and progressive leader. His public efforts to advance what he would call the "Square Deal", led to many positive changes in government, but did sow the seed for future liberal policies that transpired during Wilson's eight years as POTUS. As with Cleveland, TR also enforced the Monroe Doctrine. It was by Roosevelt's personal determination, political strength and his willingness to employ the US military, that finally allowed the US to build the Panama Canal, controlling it's operation until recently. Giving it away under the terms of Jimmah Carter's outrageous decision, would have seriously angered TR.

TR`s creation of our National Parks system and his general conservationist moves taken to protect open spaces for future generations, were also highly positive moves. It's a shame that the environmentalist wackos have used that part of TR`s legacy to foster an invasion on the privacy and freedom of individual land owners.

24 posted on 01/22/2003 9:17:17 AM PST by Reagan Man
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To: nicollo
You might like "The Great Tax Wars." The author, Steven Weisman of the NY Times, is a big fan of income taxes -- and no fan at all of Taft, whose biggest virtue, according to Weisman, was the knowledge of his own limitations. But there is an awful lot of detail about the politics of the Progressive era. You're right about Taft. Weisman says it was Nelson Aldrich who expected that the amendment would never pass, and was rudely disappointed.

The Founders were quite clever. The states with the most poor people also had the most rich people, and they would oppose uniform income taxes, which would allow the federal government to dig deeply into that wealth. So you had greater inequality, but also greater freedom from government intervention. Once income taxes became constitutional, politicians could induce poorer voters in both the poor and the rich states to vote together to get ever more money out of richer voters. Anyway, it was interesting that the most conservative states then are the most liberal today (NY, PA, MA, RI, CT). In those days, their wealth voted. Today it's their poverty.

The book goes into far more detail than I can or would want to follow. But it is curious that taxes were such a big issue at the time. Was there some increase in expenditures at the time that made higher taxes seem necessary?

25 posted on 01/22/2003 11:05:31 PM PST by x
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To: x
In those days, their wealth voted. Today it's their poverty.
If there's a quote of the day somewhere, this is it. I'll nominate it for quote of the month. Great statement.
... it is curious that taxes were such a big issue at the time. Was there some increase in expenditures at the time that made higher taxes seem necessary?
It'll be interesting to see Weisman's take on the tariff. So generally understood it was that the tariff needed revision that during the 1908 campaign, William Jennings Bryan declared that the campaign was not about the tariff. Even Aldrich and co. signed on to tariff reform, although their idea of reform was lateral not downward moves. This was a justifiable, view, not the corrupt, baby-killer oppression that history generally lays upon Aldrich and his tariff. He really believed in it. (I think he was wrong, but his entire party was wrong; and those that got it right, like La Follette, got it right for the wrong reasons; what a mess).

The other pressure for reform was public debt. Tariff receipts were way down following the 1907 Panic. In January of 1908, Roosevelt bragged that the Guvmnet had a surplus. That had turned into a $100+ million deficit by the time Taft took over. Taft recognized that the tariff could not fund the growth in demands on the Treasury.

He is little credited for having actually cut expenses in many departments. He developed the "budgeting system" still in use today whereby Departments submit their needs to Congress, rather than Congress telling them what they'll have. Taft did this in the name of economizing, but I don't think he'd like what came of it, whereby it's entrenched bureaucratic self-justification for more money. Budgeting only works to economize when budgeting is perceived as limited...

So, yes, there was a need for an alternative revenue. Remember that in those days the tariff represented less than half the Federal income.

26 posted on 01/23/2003 6:27:23 AM PST by nicollo
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To: x
Here are some numbers:

.......... Reciepts ........ Dispursements
(in millions)
1899......... 515 ......... 605
1900......... 567 ......... 487
1901......... 587 ......... 509
1902......... 562 ......... 471
1903......... 560 ......... 506
1904......... 540 ......... 582
1905......... 544 ......... 567
1906......... 594 ......... 568
1907......... 663 ......... 578
1908......... 601 ......... 659

[Postal Service not included;
Fiscal years - Jul-Jun of the year]

1899 = Spanish American War costs.
I don't know what happened in 1908 other than
the assumption of some costs for the new State
of Oklahoma and some extra outlays for the Canal
Also, Naval construction went up, but it was no
more than in 1905. I think it all depended on
the timing of battleship purchases, which cost
$5-8mil each.
27 posted on 01/23/2003 6:52:07 AM PST by nicollo
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To: Reagan Man
Cleveland inherited the financial crisis of 1893/4. It came of Harrison and Sherman's inane silver deal to buy-off the populists, plus the McKinley's tariff, whose stated intent was to limit revenue by raising rates to prohibitory levels. Both choked commerce and panic resulted. Cleveland did what he had to with the gold/bonds deals. It was not popular, but it was right, which is a sign of leadership.

That panic was like today's: it was sparked by one President and landed on the next.
28 posted on 01/23/2003 7:00:08 AM PST by nicollo
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To: libertyman
Here is my summary.

TR was bad domestically.

He put America's interest first in foreign policy. This is good.

He was not our greatest President.

He was, however, the greatest man to ever hold that high office.
29 posted on 01/23/2003 7:06:22 AM PST by ConservativeDude
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To: nicollo
>>>That panic was like today's: it was sparked by one President and landed on the next.

There is no panic today.

President Bush is dealing with a sluggish economy, brought about by an economic slow down that began in late 1999 and was exacerbated by the effects of the 9-11 attacks. Grover Cleveland faced a full bore depression, in fact, a worldwide depression. The cases aren't similar.

All presidents are limited in what actions they can take to stimulate and revive a flat economy. PresBushes acceleration of the 2001 tax cuts and his recently proposed additional tax plan inititives, should go a long way in further getting the entire economy rolling once again.

However, its a fact of life, when the economy is going good, presidents receive more credit then they deserve --- Slick Willie being the best example of that --- and when economic times are bad, presidents receive more blame then they deserve. The current situation with PresBush is no different. If the economy remains flat through 2004, Bush will have a very difficult time winning re-election. If the war on terrorism/fight against evil remains a hot issue, it will help Bush out in getting himself re-elected. I believe the economy will perk up and Bush will find himself victorious in 2004.

I'm no expert on Grover Cleveland, but I've read enough history to know that while some historians may give Cleveland a pass on his handling of the Depression of the 1890`s, the average citizen didn't. Cleveland was viewed as wildly unpopular because of the depression. This caused huge internal problems for the Democratic Party and made William Jennings Bryant's campaign more difficult from the get go.

Starting in 1887 Cleveland promoted tariff reform, but throughout his presidency, failed to secure real tariff reform. The Wilson-Gorman Tariff of 1894 did not meet the campaign promises of the Democrats in 1892 to lower the tariff. Not only did Cleveland refuse to sign the bill, he declined to veto it too and offered no effective leadership on the issue.

30 posted on 01/23/2003 9:21:17 AM PST by Reagan Man
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To: Reagan Man
Eisnehauer? Do you really think so? I'm not being sarcastic, but curious what he did. I did like what he did for civil rights, namely integrating the military.

Agian, I'm ignorant, who's the one to the right of TR?
31 posted on 01/23/2003 9:26:01 AM PST by Dead Dog (Socialism: Theft justified by lies, enforced by murder)
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To: condi2008
Great show, except it had a big fat ugly fly on it. I mean clinton's big fat maggot infested face had to appear every few minutes making stupid commentaries. Why was he in the show?
32 posted on 01/23/2003 9:28:07 AM PST by desertcry
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To: Dead Dog
The following, is from a small response I gave on an Eisenhower thread a few years back. And the man to the right of TR, is Calvin Coolidge. Silent Cal was an old school "hardcore" conservative president and a favorite of Ronald Reagan. Things might have been different if Coolidge had chosen to run in 1928, instead of Herbert Hoover. We'll never know.

*************************************************

Eisenhower and the 1950's were made for each other. Ike became a Republican because he believed Democratic policies were promoting a centralized government at the expense of individual liberty. Ike used a chain of command approach, delegated responsibilities to his subordinates and focused on the big picture. Ike also believed that many problems would be better solved at the local level than through initiatives from Wash-DC. Ike was a conservative minded individual who proposed balancing the federal budget, limiting the growth of federal spending, lowering farm price supports and building a national hi-way system.

In John W. Sloan's book, "Eisenhower and the Management of Prosperity" - Studies in Government and Public Policy, he says about Eisenhower:

-Three Years out of eight, President Eisenhower achieved a balanced budget.

-Ike's performance as chief economic policymaker merits far higher marks than it has received.

-[Eisenhower had a] commitment to fiscal responsibility.

-[he had]impressive skills as leader and politician.

-Sloan contends that even the revisionists have underestimated the full range of his accomplishments in shaping America's postwar economy.

-"Eisenhower appears as a conservative activist, more involved in domestic economic policy than was perceived by his contemporaries."

-Sloan depicts a president haunted by a prophetic fear--the fear that the nation would collapse unless politicians and their constituents practiced self-discipline, especially in balancing the federal budget.

Eisenhower's outstanding leadership, as the American General commanding the Allied forces in Europe, was nothing short of magnificent. Whether he rode Patton to victory and maneuvered Bradley like a chess pawn, isn't the issue. He was the man in charge at a time when the world needed someone of his outstanding caliber to organize, plan and implement the largest military invasion force ever asssembled and drive it onto victory over the axis forces.

Eisenhower was a total success throughout his entire lifetime. He played a big role in world history and dominated the American scene from 1940 through 1960. IMO, Eisenhower was one of the top-25 world figures of the 20th century.

Posted on 02/19/2001 17:40:30 PST by Reagan Man

33 posted on 01/23/2003 9:48:35 AM PST by Reagan Man
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To: x
...and Richard Dreyfuss reads TR's words, which is not such a good idea, because I always think of the Saturday Night Live impersonations of Dreyfuss whenever I hear him talk

Yes! Good call. Couldn't get past the sniveling Dreyfuss to watch it all because of that.

"I was in Jaws!" - LOL

34 posted on 01/23/2003 9:59:19 AM PST by Textide
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To: Reagan Man
Thanks!
35 posted on 01/23/2003 10:06:07 AM PST by Dead Dog (Socialism: Theft justified by lies, enforced by murder)
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To: desertcry
I couldn't hear what the X said, even if I'd wanted to (which I didn't), because my children sent up a chorus of hssssssss's and boooooo's each time his mug appeared. Oh wait, I did hear something about, "I was constitutionally prevented from seeking a 3rd term, unlike poor TR.."
36 posted on 01/23/2003 10:06:19 AM PST by condi2008 (Pro Libertate)
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To: condi2008
My wife does the same thing, hzzzzzzzzzz & BOOOOOOS every time the bent one's face shows up. And yes, it's always about the bent one even on a documentary about one of the great Republican President. The bent one is totally devoid of any shame.
37 posted on 01/23/2003 10:41:58 AM PST by desertcry
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To: nicollo
Thanks for the information. I did not realize that the federal government needed so much more money than the tariff provided. Britain also had trouble paying for battleships at this time. Lloyd George's comment that a Duke cost as much to keep up as a fully-equiped dreadnought provided a war cry not just for more taxes but for a rollback of the power of the House of Lords. So upper houses on both sides of the Atlantic were under assault at the same time. The collectivist implications of his remark -- that all wealth belongs to the government, and keeping it in private hands is as much an expenditure as taxing it and spending it -- should also be noted. Lloyd George also put through his retirement pensions scheme at this time. Some observers have said that there might have been better effects from his actions were they directed at education, rather than old age pensions.

Budget and tariff questions are hard to understand. It's not clear in Weisman whether the income tax was the anticipated result of twenty or forty years of preparatory struggles, or whether it was a footnote to the tariff conflict of 1909. Maybe both, depending on how you look at it.

But the sentiment for income taxes in the South and West seems to have been quite strong. I guess that's the other side of federalism. The rich states were bound to oppose plans for federal income taxation. The poor states were bound to overturn the constitutional bar to such taxation. Maybe a bit less piggishness on the tariff might have delayed things, but federal income taxes were probably inevitable.

If I've understood Weisman correctly, Taft contemplated tailoring an income tax plan that the courts would not overturn, thus making a constitutional amendment unnecessary. Earlier TR had advocated taking a similar approach to income and inheritance taxes. What such taxes would have looked like is unclear. But the corporation tax that Taft wanted also would have required a Constitutional amendment, so he took that route.

Interesting factlet: TR's father had been a glass importer whose business had been ruined by the development of the domestic glass industry under protectionism. He turned towards banking and was successful. Had he not been, perhaps TR would have been an embittered Democrat.

38 posted on 01/23/2003 12:07:29 PM PST by x
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To: Reagan Man
Whatever the popularity of Cleveland's management of the Panic of 1894, he handled it with skill and resolution. And regardless of our analogies to today's "downturn," Cleveland inherited the problem. He reversed the idiot Republican silver schemes and tariff. The Gorman tariff that he allowed into law with a "pocket veto" (not signing it, but not vetoing it, either) went a long way towards reforming the ludicrous 1890 McKinley tariff.

That pocket veto, btw, was extremely effective, and Democrats pointed to it as an example of statesmanship for years afterwards. Whatever Cleveland may have done to halt Bryan was to his credit. Cleveland abhorred Bryan, and with good reason. In 1908, just before he died, Cleveland through his support to Taft over Bryan.
39 posted on 01/23/2003 5:49:05 PM PST by nicollo
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To: x
If I've understood Weisman correctly, Taft contemplated tailoring an income tax plan that the courts would not overturn, thus making a constitutional amendment unnecessary. Earlier TR had advocated taking a similar approach to income and inheritance taxes. What such taxes would have looked like is unclear. But the corporation tax that Taft wanted also would have required a Constitutional amendment, so he took that route.
Weisman is correct that Taft wanted a constitutional amendment for a personal income tax, but he is wrong that Taft needed an amendment for the corporation tax. Taft knew the law, and his selection of lawyers for the Cabinet, much derided by the progressives, paid off early with this one. The Cabinet drafted a corporation excise tax that proved spotless in the courts, without the need for constitutional amendment. Taft also saw the tax as a measure of regulatory control over interstate corporations. Ironically, following Roosevelt, Taft was accused of unjust meddling in the legislative process. Where Roosevelt boiled, Taft stirred, and with far greater success in the Congress.

Roosevelt's tax proposals were pure rhetoric. He had no intention of messing with the tax code. The tariff was the largest source of revenue, but not the only, or even the majority source. Nevertheless, the tariff was the key to it all. Tariff revision required an alternative revenue source. Roosevelt proved incapable of meeting the challenge.

The ship program was not the primary cause of increased expenditures. It was one of several. Besides, naval expenditures were offset by decreases in Army pensions (due to deaths of Civil War veterans and their wives), which were the largest single Federal expenditure.

Cannon was stunned when Taft demanded of him two battleships in 1910. He said,

Nothing illustrates better than this the difference between our last two Presidents. Roosevelt never wanted but two at a time and yet he always asked, even demanded, four a year, hoping thereby to get two. You, on the contrary, want two and ask for two...
In those days, the keepers of the Federal cash drawer took their job seriously. Roosevelt's fiercest opponent was not Cannon or Aldrich, it was House Appropriations Chairman, Jim Tawney. Tawney once said,
I am tired of these annual wars with Japan, which always occur simultaneously with the consideration of the naval appropriation bill by Congress. All the rest of the time our relations with Japan are friendly, but as soon as we begin to consider the naval appropriation bill then we learn from the press and other sources that war is imminent.
In my book I outlined how Tawney was the key to the Taft-Roosevelt break. The Roosevelt fanatics, wonderfully labelled the "incense swingers" by Gen. Clarence Edwards, blamed Tawney for all their ills. For example, Tawwney refused to fund several of Roosevelt's famed (and in my mind useless) "commissions." They went insane over it, to the point that Gifford Pinchot absurdly accused Tawney of being, "the most dangerous opponent of the public welfare in the United States."

The Roosevelt Republicans hadn't a clue when it came to the management of the Federal Government. They thought the Government could snap its fingers and solve all problems. Taft knew it would take laws, not words, to address (not solve) the day's problems. To the wild rhetoric of the progressives, Taft replied in 1912,

Votes are not bread, constitutional amendments are not work, referendums do not pay rent or furnish houses, recalls do not furnish clothing, initiatives do not supply employment or relieve inequalities of condition or of opportunity. We still ought to have set before us the definite plans to bring on complete equality of opportunity, and to abolish hardship and evil for humanity. We listen for them in vain.

40 posted on 01/23/2003 5:50:19 PM PST by nicollo
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To: nicollo
>>>Whatever the popularity of Cleveland's management of the Panic of 1894, he handled it with skill and resolution.

Bottom line. If Cleveland had handled the Depression properly, he would have been re-nominated by the Democrats and re-elected in the general election. It's quite obvious, Cleveland was a lousy politician.

>>> That pocket veto, btw, was extremely effective, and Democrats pointed to it as an example of statesmanship for years afterwards.

Since Congress didn't ajourn, there was no pocket veto. "Wilson-Gorman" was an improvement over "McKinley" and did lower overall tariff rates, but Cleveland’s capitulation hurt his reputation. He had campaigned on tariff reform, but allowed the bill to become law without his signature. The president concluded, that since "Wilson-Gorman" was better than "McKinley", his decision against a veto was proper. Again, Cleveland offered no effective leadership on the tariff issue.


41 posted on 01/23/2003 7:49:53 PM PST by Reagan Man
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To: nicollo
A few points of clarification.

The Wilson-Gorman Tariff legislation was first introduced in the House by William L. Wilson of West Virginia, head of the House Ways and Means Committee. In its original incarnation, Wilson offered a far-reaching tariff reform bill. It moved many products to the "free list". But it also called for a 2% income tax, that was eventually found unconstitutional by the USSC.

When it reached the Senate, protectionist forces under A.P. Gorman of Maryland attached more than 600 amendments to the measure, which destroyed its reform intent. Cleveland gave in and let it become law.

42 posted on 01/23/2003 8:36:20 PM PST by Reagan Man
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To: Reagan Man
Cleveland offered no effective leadership on the tariff issue.
You are wrong.
43 posted on 01/23/2003 8:53:34 PM PST by nicollo
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To: nicollo
Pithy response. Problem is, you turn a blind eye to the facts.

Later.

44 posted on 01/23/2003 9:00:42 PM PST by Reagan Man
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To: nicollo
Weisman agrees with you about TR's tax plans and his unwillingness to follow through with them in any serious way. He sees TR as a conservative masking himself as a reformer (at least during his Presidency), and much prefers Wilson. I'd have to say that that underlying conservatism was one of TR's endearing traits. Unfortunately, TR's rhetoric was like writing blank checks to the left that would have to be cashed someday.

WH Taft is in the magazines today. BTW, I gather the current governor of Ohio is a descendant of his.

45 posted on 01/24/2003 12:07:58 PM PST by x
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To: x
Thanks for those links. Looks like tax trouble is in the family gene...

I'll have to give TR some credit here with Bush's Gulf War, or vice-versa.

When Roosevelt asked for the funds to send the "White Fleet" around the world, Congress balked. So Roosevelt sent the fleet to the Pacific and said -- to the effect of -- "let them get it back." [Taft did the same thing with Mexico: when troubles started there he sent the Army to the border; he was madly criticized for it. Wilson stupidly let up on the pressure, but that's a whole 'nuther lesson...]

Bush has effectively done the same thing, albeit on a huge scale, with Iraq. The American military has been sent to War. Now Congress, the UN, and all the rest have no choice but to give him the war. Rather, they've already given it to him. All he has to do now is to take it.
46 posted on 01/25/2003 6:14:03 PM PST by nicollo
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