Why do words matter? I have corrected people several times about Nero fiddling while Rome burned. False statement in all aspects, fiddle was invented a thousand years later, Nero was not in Rome during the fire, even rushed back and was the driving force behind the recovery. He housed and fed the homeless at his personal expense, and required brick homes to be built as part of a fire prevention policy from that day forward.
Seems funny to me that Nero, who should be given the highest praise, is remembered as an un-caring elitist. So why does it matter today? A hero from a thousand years ago is commonly believed to have been an uncaring scumbag.
“Those who do not learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” (Winston Churchill)
In school, I was taught that presidents Woodrow Wilson and FDR were among our greatest presidents. It came as a shock to discover Wilson had US citizens imprisoned illegally.
“The Sedition Act forbade Americans from criticizing their own government in a time of war. Citizens could not “utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the government or the military. The Postmaster General was given the authority to revoke the mailing privileges of those who disobeyed. About 75 periodicals were shut down by the government in this way and many others were given warnings.
In the fashion of a police state, the Department of Justice arrested tens of thousands of individuals without just cause. One was not safe even within the walls of one’s own home to criticize the Wilson administration. All in all it is estimated that about 175,000 Americans were arrested for failing to demonstrate their patriotism in one way or another.“(1)
FDR did the same, but while that was actually taught, it kinda made excuses for him, Japan had just attacked, national defense, etc… So why didn’t he have the German and Italians arrested also? Why was FDR’s handling of the depression given such praise when it made things worse? Harding and Calvin Coolidge faced a similar economic event a decade earlier and let market forces adjust. A two-year recovery compared to a permanent depression only escaped due to war. And yet, who is remembered as “great”?
“On March 4, 1921, President Woodrow Wilson relinquished the office of the presidency to Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding. The state of the union was poor. “With the exception of Lincoln, probably no president in our national history has taken office with as pressing a burden of unresolved questions.” Those were the words of the Nation of February 1921. The national economy was in the depths of a depression with an unemployment rate of 20% after a runaway inflation.
On April 12,1921, President Harding went before a contentious Congress and presented his program for economic recovery which he called “A Return to Normalcy”. Harding’s normalcy program consisted of the following measures.
1) A call for a national budget program (which was vetoed by his predecessor).
2) National debt reduction
3) Tax reduction
4) An emergency tariff to protect American industry and farm commodities.
5) Farm relief legislation (farm bankruptcies were up 20% from 1914).
6) Immigration restrictions to protect American jobs.
President Harding pushed hard for his program and got it passed by Congress in 1921. By late 1922, the economy began to turn around. Harding did not live to see it, but his normalcy program proved to be the foundation that Coolidge prosperity was built on. Harding’s successor, Calvin Coolidge had the wisdom to stay the course and build on Harding’s program. The American people were the beneficiaries of the unprecedented prosperity of the 1920?s. Unemployment was pared from its high in 1921 of 20% to an average of 3.3% for the remainder of the decade.
The misery index which is a combination of unemployment and inflation had its sharpest decline in U.S. history under President Harding. The Gross National Product averaged 7% from 1924 to 1929. Wages, profits, and productivity all made substantial gains during the 1920?s. Harding slashed federal spending by two billion from Wilson’s last year and Coolidge maintained that spending level of 3.3 billion per year for the rest of the decade. The Harding-Coolidge tax cuts produced increased revenue that went to cut the national debt left by Wilson by one-third.”(2)
So after Wilson, our second socialist president, two small government presidents cut spending and let the mostly then free market fix itself. Why does modern culture credit FDR with “saving” us from the depression, especially following so close after Harding and Coolidge? I think the media has always picked the winners much more than they have “reported”. Add to that, academics who study, publish and teach at our universities also favor the liberal/progressive viewpoint. There are studies that counter the historically correct version of what FDR’s policies accomplished, but don’t expect them to gain much attention.
FDR’s policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate
By Meg Sullivan August 10, 2004 Category: Research
Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach:
President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
After scrutinizing Roosevelt’s record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.
“Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,” said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA’s Department of Economics. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”
In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.”(3)
And today, history seems to be repeating itself, with Obama following an updated FDR policy, but with the same results. How can Nancy Pelosi make any claims that they will fix the economy without being outed as an absolute loon? History is written by the victors, and the Progressives have won a few battles, especially in America’s classrooms. We are all victims of government and media propaganda or brainwashing. Think I’m wrong? Maybe just overstating things?
Consider Joseph McCarthy. He was right after all!
Joseph McCarthy said in the early 1950s that he suspected there were over 50 Soviet/ communist sympathisers in the FDR and Truman White House. He was laughed at and scorned to an early death. The media still talks about McCarthy in a negative way.
In 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the U.S. released secret documents it didn’t want to release during the Cold War for fear of hurting any efforts of winning the Cold War. These secret documents were the Vinona Accords. The Vinona Accords showed — proved — that not only was McCarthy right about their being 50 soviet spies working for the FDR/ Truman administrations, there were over 300 spies.
Still, you don’t hear much about this outside the conservative sphere. This is just more proof of how powerful the liberal media was before the end of the Fairness Doctrine.
One can only wonder how many communist sympathizers are working in Washington in 2009. The way our government is headed, it appears there may be lot more than 300. And maybe our arrogance makes us take for granted the truth as we know it, after all, we live in the greatest nation in the world, with the most freedom.
And where are we today? A double dip recession seems unavoidable. And why? Allow me to play the blame game for a minute. Clinton left us with a surplus, then came Bush with his tax cuts, so Bush clearly deserves some blame, but how much? I don’t think 9/11 was because of him, and it had an impact on our economy. The housing bubble, if it can be blamed on an elected official, I think Franks and Dobbs have more responsibility than Bush. The Republicans had control of congress, and Gingrich went on a spending spree. I blame Bush and Gingrich equally for this.
The dot-com bubble was the result of President Clinton’s economic incompetence. Chairman Greenspan’s warning about “irrational exuberance” in the markets occurred when the Dow was at 6,000 in 1996, but nothing was done until January 2000, when the Dow was at 12,000. At that point, the NASDAQ crashed, soon followed by the Dow. The NASDAQ lost $2.5 trillion before Clinton left office, and a recession was assured even if the main effects of the recession trailed out for a couple of years, as those recessionary effects always do.Every economic bubble soon crashes. The dot-com bubble was the third-largest economic bubble in history, following the Roaring Twenties before the Great Depression and the Japanese bubble and subsequent crash in 1991. We should have been trying to limit the coming economic damage rather than bragging about the ephemeral and two-bit “Clinton surplus,” which, in any event, turned into a $3-trillion addition to the national debt.The housing bubble, similar to the War on Poverty, was wholly the creation of Democrats. President Carter created the Community Reinvestment Act in 1977 with little ill effect. The CRA required that lending institutions had to provide loans to qualified borrowers, with an emphasis on qualified. President Clinton adopted the FRB Boston “Closing the Gap” policy, which officially required lending institutions to give mortgage loans to borrowers who were patently unqualified and unable to repay them, in 1998.This was government policy when Bush became president, but Bush soon realized that the whole mortgage structure was a house of cards. From 2003 on, Bush, Senators McCain and Hagel, and all the Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee tried to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, only to be voted down in the Banking Committee by party-line Democrats. The rest is history: a huge Dow collapse and an even larger worldwide markets collapse, complete with destruction of the nation’s wealth and citizens’ retirement accounts.(4)
Then the Democrats had control of both houses with a super majority, needing not a single Republican vote to pass a law for the most partisan president in history to sign. I blame Pelosi, Reed and Obama for their spend and tax spree. The Spendulous did not work as they promised.
The “shovel ready” jobs were not there, which didn’t matter. They got their blank checks to advance their agenda. If anything, Pelosi learned Gingrich thought too small. They cheerfully lied about the costs of ObamaCare, and what was in it. And before loosing their majority, they deliberately ignored their job of passing a budget, knowing it would cause a crisis this spring they could exploit. Obama has stated he would reduce the deficit with a budget that calls for spending increases. He even “forgot” to count the interest when he published the numbers. Is China giving interest free loans now?
And the media continues to make excuses for the liberals in an endless spin cycle. When logic is against them, they cloud the issue with emotional appeals:
Dire Consequences of Shutdown: ABC Invokes Washington Monument, Liberty Bell and Kids with Cancer, But Cheetahs Will Be Fed(5)
4/11/2011 by John Lott
None of the hosts on the Sunday Morning talk shows called White House senior adviser on his false claims about Obama’s deficit plans
Besides the expected attacks on Republicans wanting to help high income individuals with tax cuts, David Plouffe pretty much gave the same incorrect statement to all the Sunday morning talk show hosts yesterday. From Fox News Sunday:
PLOUFFE: Well, first, on the 2012 budget, that would be $1 trillion of deficit reduction over the next decade and lowest level of domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower. And he said it in the State of the Union, that was just a start. We’re going to have to do more.
From Meet the Press:
MR. PLOUFFE: Well, let me say what the president has done and, and will say. His budget he just put out for next year would reduce $1 trillion over the next 10 years. It would bring domestic spending to the lowest level since President Eisenhower . Many of the debt commission ‘s and deficit commission ‘s suggestions were in the president’s budget. . . . [The Republican proposal] cuts our energy investments at a time we’re dealing with high gas prices by 70 percent. So we’re obviously not going to sign on with that approach. But what’s clear is, like on any issue in Washington, we have divided government. So we’re going to have to bring leaders together and figure out where we can find compromise.
PLOUFFE: If you look at his budget for 2012, which he announced around the state of the union. It would actually reduce the deficit a trillion dollars in the next 12 year, it would bring ,spending down to the lowest since dwight eisenhower. The president’s commitment to spending reduction is absolutely firm. But how we do that, we’ve got to make sure that we are not hurting our ability for our people to get the education they need to compete with people in beijing and bangalore that we’re investing in research and , development, that we’re investing in infrastructure, so that’s going to be his approach going forward.
OK, so what is the truth? The Congressional Budget Office already reported that Obama’s newest budget plans will increase debt by $1.2 trillion, not cut it by $1.1 trillion as the president claims. (6)
I think GMan posted a joke about a guy saying Obama was nothing but a horse thief in a bar, and he kept getting punched for insulting horse thieves. FDR did not save us from a depression, he made it worse. Obama says he’s reducing the deficit by a trillion with a budget the CBO says increases it by $1.2 trillion. How can the Wilson’s, FDR’s and Obama be idolized, except through blatant propoganda. Maybe someday, truth will win.
Until then, I propose a toast to Coolidge and Nero, the unsung.