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Obama: The Worst President Since FDR

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I know what many of you are thinking: "But FDR got us out of the Great Depression. FDR signed the Social Security act. FDR helped us win World War II. He was a good president!"

A good president? Yes and no.

Now while I would not be one to discount his leadership in World War II or many of the other positive things he accomplished, instead what I intend to look at is the result of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's economic policies, specifically the ones he implemented to get us out of the Great Depression in comparison to Obama's economic policies today.

Certainly there are parallels between the two presidents from the outset. Both began their administrations after an unpopular Republican president. Both faced dire economic circumstances in the early parts of their administrations (though for FDR, the problems were arguably much greater than they are today). And both of them sought to bring about major social change through their respective government programs.

One thing that is interesting to note about FDR's administration is that he actually implemented some of the policies of his predecessor, Republican president Herbert Hoover. How can that be? FDR bringing about the same things as the dreaded Herbert Hoover? It's true. Just ask FDR's advisor Rexford Guy Tugwell:

"We didn't admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started."

This is unusual considering that FDR ran on a platform of cutting taxes, cutting government, and balancing the budget. In contrast to Hoover's Revenue Act in 1932, which doubled the income tax rate and was the largest tax increase in peacetime history.  The ideas that FDR campaigned on were actually quite good. However, just like with Obama, campaign promises and actual policies were two different things to FDR. He raised the top income tax rate as high as 90 percent. In the same vein, just last year, Obama has proposed to increase the top income tax rate as well, although fortunately not to 90 percent like FDR did! 

And just as FDR followed Hoover's bad policies, Steve Forbes points out that Obama is following Bush's bad economic policies, which ironically run counter to that of FDR's: 

"What is most astounding about President Barack Obama's radical economic recovery program isn't its breadth, but its continuation of the most destructive policies of the Bush administration. These Bush policies were in themselves repudiations of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Mr. Obama's hero.

Both presidents also share a fondness of elevating the public sector. In The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression, Amity Shlaes points out that the New Deal eroded the private sector, while lifting the public sector:

"Evidence from that period suggest that government was crowding out the private sector. The Tennessee Valley Authority, for example, dealt mortal blows to a private employer that wanted to electrify the South… For every state-relief job created, about half a private-sector job was lost."

Since Obama has taken office, private sector jobs have decreased and public sector jobs have increased.

A few interesting excerpts from the diary of Henry Morgenthau Jr., Secretary of the Treasury under FDR, are also very revealing:

"…we have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work… We have never made good on our promises…. I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started… and an enormous debt to boot!"

That sounds eerily familiar, doesn't it? A 2004 study by economists at UCLA concludes that FDR's "ill-conceived stimulus policies" prolonged the Depression by seven years. They also said that the New Deal "short-circuited the market's self-correcting forces."

But back to Morgenthau's comment on unemployment. In spite of the New Deal, the unemployment rate during the Great Depression never got below 14%. Obviously, the New Deal had little to no effect on the staggering unemployment that faced our country. Just like the New Deal, Obama's stimulus has failed to affect unemployment. In fact, unemployment numbers have gone up since the stimulus, despite the White House's predictions.

Just like FDR, Obama is prolonging our recession. Now personally, I think Barack Obama is more like Jimmy Carter: a miserable failure of a president that needed to be ousted after 4 years of dreadful economic policies. But perhaps like Carter, the American people will find themselves repeating history by voting Obama out in 2012. Only time will tell.

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About Braden

  • I agree wholeheartedly, Dave.

  • Dave

    its this kinda garbage put out by republicans thats mainly to blame for the mental breakdown of our young people and society as a whole. most people have no idea what reality is because they dont realize there is very little real news out there these days, just lies and entertainment.there was a time when demacrats and republicans both loved and cared about this country above all else.these days the republicans would wreck the economy if it meant they won thats pure evil

  • John Wilson

    Carter wasn’t that bad. He negotiated the only lasting peace in the middle east (Israel/Egypt), and he recognized the energy crisis when others just scoffed. He put solar panels on the Whitehouse as an example, and the idiot who followed him took them off!

  • Spurwing Plover

    Not even JIMMY CARTER who was and still is a idiot was as bad as this obama has been i hope he gose down in history as the all time worst american president

  • John Wilson

    There’s no political faction more radical in American life than the current crop of radical rightists. In congress they are committed to voting 100% against Obama, no matter what, for purely personal political reasons. The tea partyers are revealing the Iron Fist within their tattered velvet glove as they exhibit more and more radical open racism.

  • dan

    Obama’s a total nightmare and disaster. Be real people…What has he done in a year? Nothing…His policies are radical and so are the people in his adminstration…Look at Attorney General Holder saying stuff about Osama and how he would never be caught. Even the Military Generals are going after Holder on this. Think Holder knows something we dont. How about his comment about the laywers defending these idiot terrorists, Patriotic heroes…WTF is going on. I blame the American people. They wanted this president and they got it and KNEW that Obama came from a radical background. Unreal. Be careful what you wish for people because it just may come true…

  • Spurwing Plover

    Obama is even worse then JIMMY CARTER

  • We need a strong federal government to bring consistency and to protect the rights of all the American citizens, not only the free market. I don’t blame the free market for our present problems. I blame avarice.

    “Beauty is the disinterested one, without which the ancient world refused to understand itself, a word which both imperceptibly and yet unmistakably has bid farewell to our new world, a world of interests, leaving it to its own avarice and sadness.” -Hans Urs von Balthasar

  • Kenn Jacobine


    Excellent article and right on the money! The Hoover/FDR depression was caused by easy money from the Fed and perpetuated by more statist policies under the aforementioned administrations. Does this sound familiar in terms of our recent and current history?

    But, you watch when the collapse happens, all the statists will blame the free market. With the advent of the internet I hope this time the American people are more educated and resist the big government schemes of the fringe statists.
    Worst presidents in history: 1. Lincoln 2. A. FDR B. Hoover 3. Bush 4. Johnson 5. Nixon 6. Obama? it is too early yet to tell. Notice Obama lovers I picked Repubs and Dems.

  • There certainly was a funny smell around here.

  • zingzing

    doc, gas?

  • I am not going to apologise for or justify my presence on this site, Jamison.
    I write here, and if you have that much to bitch about, then why don’t YOU write an article here?


  • Doc,

    The ancient Sumerians knew that, there’s evidence of that in their writings, and so they always zeroed out all debts upon death of the king. When is George W. expected to pass?

    :)lol Does it make sense, now?

  • When is George W. expected to pass?

    Pass what?
    a) the football;
    b) his kidney stone;
    c) on?

  • When is George W. expected to pass?

  • Boeke

    “134 – realitybetraysusall” makes a good point, no matter how adverse to ones personal preconceptions about ‘economics’.

    Many societies have tried to control inflation and failed. It’s a matter of mathematics. Eventually everything explodes. The ancient Sumerians knew that, there’s evidence of that in their writings, and so they always zeroed out all debts upon death of the king.

  • My suggestion is that the US start to get its friends and allies committed to sharing defense burdens, fairer trade, and energy independence from brigands like the sheiks of the Middle East and two-horned dictator from Venezuela and other places. Cheap energy, cheap products from China and a society that is ever more divided between the very rich and the very poor leads usually to disaster. The middle class created by the union movement after the Civil War, reinforced by the Wagner Act that recognized collective bargaining, the change in the Nine Old Men of the Court by FDR, the GI Bill after WWII, and an affordable, decent educational system must be re-invented. Union wages aren’t un-American. But we must also recognize that civil service unions have probably been over-compensated, causing a strain on local governments. The capitalists among us should fight for less monopolies and more transparency. We should have a private sector that rewards workers better than the public sector, and we should have fair taxation at the top brackets. The fact that Warren Buffet paid a 17% FIT, which was much lower than his employees is a disgrace and a joke. We must also recognize that this is a very expensive country to run and if we want services, a big active, world-class military, infrastructure repairs, an excellent and affordable transportation system, good schools and an excellent heath care system, the cost is high. The Tea Bag morons who run around cursing government with their torches and pitchforks, and quoting the Founding Fathers should get a reality check for their brains before staining themselves with their drivel.

    Watch The Pacific tonight on HBO. You’ll see the story of the great John Basilone, the winner of the CMH and the Navy Cross. He was the Audie Murphy of that theater.

    Richard J. Garfunkel
    Host of The Advocates

  • zingzing

    i doubt that that ever happened. doubt’s my bitch.

  • Clavos

    Create a constitutional amendment for th USA that all debts public and private be canceled every 50 yrs.

    Do that, and nobody would ever lend long-term money again…

    Dumb idea.

  • realitybetraysusall

    History has a funny way of repeating itself.
    Yes but the last depression was caused by over speculation in the stock market this time it will be caused by speculation in the Real Estate Market. I think we should learn a lesson from God and the Jews, he declared a year of Jubilee in which all debts were cancelled every 50 yrs. Depressions are causing by the collapse of the market with expanding wealth and prices but limited capital (chaos theory as it relates to economics). If we automatically did this it would be like a fighter expecting a blow to the face but being prepared for is able to absorb the schock and quickly rebound. Create a constitutional amendment for th USA that all debts public and private be canceled every 50 yrs. Economic wave theory tells us that depressions happen evey 60 yrs like clockwork, so we should accept this as an economic fact of life that can not be avoided, only minimized.

  • Thanks. I’ll give it a shot.

  • My program is archived at http://advocates-wvox.com – rjg

  • You can google me and go to either of my sites anytime- rjg

  • I have no argument with you, Robert, not in essence. And I’m definitely not going to dispute your stand on FDR.

    I just happen to think you’re seeing the modernity through old-fashioned spectacles.

    I’m writing a short piece on this very subject, and I’ll alert you when done.

    Perhaps we can discuss those issues then.

  • I do a radio show, I do not have a newsletter, and therefore I do not peddle it. I lecture and write on FDR and his times, and when I see an article mentioning his name on the internet I am always curious to see what context the reference makes. As to the vast majority of opinion on the “net” and these sites, much is left to be desired. That is one man’s opinion. As to bashing Obama, so what!

    Look at GW Bush: George W. Bush had set new standards for approval gaps. From Eisenhower through Carter had no approval gap of more than 41 points, and the approval gap never exceeded 48 points in any quarter. By contrast, Ronald Reagan had an average approval gap of 52.9 points; Bill Clinton experienced one of 55 points, falling below 50 points in only two quarters. George W. Bush not only has the largest approval gaps ever measured, he is the first president ever to exceed 70 points, which he did during most of the 2004 campaign. Until recently he has enjoyed a 90% approval rating amongst Republicans, making him one of the most popular presidents ever with his own party. Despite Bush’s 2nd term problems, Republicans continue to act as a “floor,” preventing his approval rating from falling below 25%… by the way he had the longest period under 40% approval rate in the history of modern polling. So much for his legacy and his GOP apologists.

    Therefore Obama should know the territory he dwells in. At least he has raised our foreign popularity far above where it was with GW.

    In 1651, writer George Herbert (not a relative of George Herbert Walker Bush) wrote “For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe the horse is lost, for want of a horse the rider is lost.” Of course in our more modern era, Ben Franklin and others added on the extra line that for, “want of a rider the battle and thence the war was lost.” On October 12, 1960, Nikita Khrushchev, the Premier of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party’s First Secretary pounded his shoe on his desk during a debate at the United Nations. This boorish action was universally condemned as conduct not befitting a head of state. Most Americans and our Allies mocked Khrushchev’s crude behavior. His actions, and later statements, that the Soviet Union “would bury us” were widely seen as exacerbating the Cold War. Besides the fact that American no longer makes shoes, the world was “entertained” not long ago by an Iraqi journalist throwing his shoes at George W. Bush, our then lame duck leader. Was there American or worldwide indignation over this “shoe” incident? No! Throwing shoes at someone in the Muslim world is tantamount to a very high-level insult, and not only did the Iraqi people and their Arab brothers applaud this audacious act, but some have offered millions for one of those shoes! How remarkable is it that our former president was the target of “shoe throwing” and no one cared “a fig” here in America. As a result, a “Saturday Night Live” style event had become a world-wide “YouTube” joke, and the Arab-Muslim world found it great theater. Maybe we all have learned a lesson about the calamitous career of George W. Bush, and that his long-awaited departure would only improve our standing abroad.

    Well our standing in the world did improve, In fact, the change was hailed so much, that even the Nobel Committee gave an undeserving recipient(his words also)a Peace Prize.

    Richard J. Garfunkel
    Host of The Advocates

  • Well, I am glad you clarified that, Robert. It would have helped to know you were addressing Braden without mentioning his name. Perhaps you ought to try to get on his radio show so you could debate these issues in depth.

    In the future, however, you might try selling subscriptions to your newsletter. It would be a more honest way of going about peddling your ideas.

  • I respond to the initial article which catches my attention. The rest of the corresponding remarks, unless they are in depth, are meaningless to my responses unless they are directed at my points. Obama is not a bad person. He is not a bad president. He uses the “bully pulpit” quite well. His popularity is historically decent, 53%, despite the public’s obvious anger, the Congress is too divided because of the last 30 years, and the country has impoverished itself for the sake of the super wealthy. Everyone has a right to make a living, but recognizing that this a very expensive place to run, especially with two unfunded wars, is essential. Bush II relied on Chinese money to fund our debt, never vetoed a spending bill and had a GOP Congress for six years. In 2006 and 2008 the people spoke. Is it the Democrats’ fault that he failed miserably? Bush II’s mistakes are legion and almost unprecedented. The public wants quick solutions to problems that have been growing for decades. The elected majority party gets zero cooperation from the other party, so under the rules they are hamstrung. No other country functions with this type of obfuscation, delay, and obstructionism. So the GOP will take over one House or win more seats then they now possess. What will that accomplish? Will there be reform on their terms? I doubt it strongly. Usually majority rules, but here we have to corral 60% of the Senate or an almost universal party line vote. As I recall, Democratic majorities in the Congress in the 1950’s 1970’s and 1980’s, crafted much bi-partisan legislation for Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford and Reagan. Clinton seemed to have a tough time with holding on to his majority after health care reform, crafted in the White House, went down to the Gingrich combine. But Clinton worked hard and parsed the “Contract of America” quite well, and was able to finesse Gingrich even out of Congress.

    Conditions are always changing and the economic or military problems of the past are quite often dissimilar. Therefore, the “old time medicine” won’t always work when it comes to having satisfactory recovery. But, sometimes one must learn from a downward cycle and There is an old saying about Generals using the last war’s tactics to fight the next one. It is a bit of a cliché, but Korea was fought very much like WWII. Maybe some new regulation and some reality about energy and trade will help domestic jobs and the continuing trade imbalance. For sure out budget deficits cannot be solved with our current military budget being sacrosanct, and out debt service obligations.

    The economics of America are challenged because our hegemony in the world has changed. After WWI we had the short-term advantages of feeding and fueling a worn-torn and hungry Europe. Coolidge fell asleep, literally and figuratively, at the switch and Hoover basically believed that a cyclical cure to the Depression would be satisfactory. But, what he failed to perceive was that the Depression was a liquidity crisis of an incredible magnitude, which no one could understand. Europe never economically recovered but turned to totalitarianism of the right and the left. Their economies were mediocre before WWI and were devastated during the long conflict. After the war, three of the ruling European empires: the Romanovs, Hohenzollerns and the Hapsburgs, virtually disappeared. Out of the chaos, came a new collection of small Balkanized European states and the seeds for WWII. America and the Soviet Union benefitted greatly by that war as the only real victors. The US economy was artificially propped up by pent up demand of products and housing that had lagged domestically from 1929 through 1946 and Europe’s need for the Marshall Plan which supplied our food and arms.

    The ongoing Cold War and the brushfire wars, all over the planet, helped us create a trading and defense partnership with our NATO, and SEATO allies. The Soviet threat forced us to spend an incredible amount of our treasury on defense. We are still spending a tremendous amount, but it is a far lower percentage of our GNP than the 1950’s. But with the new trade realities, the exportation of manufacturing jobs, the loss of our world leadership in oil production (we were the world’s largest oil exporter up into the late 1960’s) can we afford a military budget larger than the next 20 countries in the world? Can we afford being the policeman of the world without high taxes? Can we afford compensating our executives at 3 to 10 times what our trading partner’s allow? Who is this corporate executive largess for? Fortune 500 compensation in 1970 was 43 times the average salary of their worker ($17K adjusted for inflation $32K). By the year 2000 these same executives increased their income to 1000 times their average workers compensation (Now in year 2000 dollars, $35K). In between in 1986, Reagan lowered the highest tax bracket to 28% from 70% and who was the chief beneficiary of this tax giveaway? Not you or me.

    That action, along with the repeal of Glass-Steagall created much of the mess. Our corporate friends raised their income 1700 percent and had a 60% tax cut. The real income of their workers went from $32K to $35K over 30 years. Well what happened to the budget? Clinton raised taxes selectively, the country did go broke and 22 million jobs were created. Now I would like to hear all of the yells from the yahoos of the right that are screaming about union greed!

    Richard J. Garfunkel
    Host of The Advocates
    wvox 1460 am radio

  • The distinction is simply between talking to someone, on the one hand, and to no one in particular, on the other.

    Of course, the idea may seem nonsensical to you if you find yourself engaged in the practice; that, I’m afraid, I cannot help.

  • Clavos

    I didn’t know it was too complex an idea for you to comprehend.

    That “idea” isn’t an idea at all. It is nonsensical and contradictory, but neither an “idea” nor “complex.”

  • “. . . Conservative with my government.”

    You are going to have to define what you mean by that.

  • Liberal with my mouth, Conservative with my government. I’m the NEW American.

  • Better be careful, Silas. You’re beginning to sound like a liberal.

  • We are not a nation of failures…

    That’s right. We’ve exceeded all expectations in the forging of this Great Society. We all have equal opportunity. There is no gender discrimination. Racial divides and tensions virtually do not exist. We have a robust political process in which the least among us is heavily engaged. We have fulfilled the promise of our forefathers. And Jews have foreskin.

  • I didn’t know it was too complex an idea for you to comprehend.

    In the future, I’ll stick to the kindergarten level. That way can can both recite Lewis Carroll back and forth.

  • Clavos

    Indeed, it would be more helpful if you were to shift into a communication mode rather than using this forum as a mere platform for expounding your ideas to all and sundry.


    “`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:”

    Doesn’t make sense either, but, is at least amusing.

  • Now I’m gonna catch a nap. Later.

  • I read that yesterday, Roger. How funny we should both look to the same words without knowing it…isn’t life strange?

    it was the rankest hypocrisy for owners of slaves to shout for freedom, or, as Johnson put it: “Why is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from the drivers of negroes?”

    oh oh, I better go! and I am happy to hear that you are writing another article.

  • You’re right about being afraid of not being in control (anymore). That’s why the call to freedom holds such an allure to some.

    To quote again from the article I cited earlier,

    Dr. Johnson made the harsh assertion that our Declaration was “the delirious dream of republican fanaticism” that, if sincere, would “put the axe to the roots of all government.” Moreover, he went on, it was the rankest hypocrisy for owners of slaves to shout for freedom, or, as Johnson put it: “Why is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty from the drivers of negroes?”

    Again, here’s the link.

    And BTW, I ain’t shying from a fight, it’s just too early in the day for me to get so distracted. Plus, I am working on another piece.

  • Now if you’ll all excuse me, I am going to go eat a bowl of Wheaties!

    :)I bet you can’t say that without smiling!

  • There should be a maturity test …

  • I’m not trying to pull you in, Roger. I can stand up to these two just fine. I do like the fact that you and I talk again…that’s nice!

  • Roger,

    I think people are afraid that they are no longer in control. That is why letting others into the conversation scares the hell out of many from the deep south. Like it or not, this country belongs to all of us.

    I know you are not against what I or Richard wants.

  • Don’t get me involved here, Jeannie. I’ve had enough of the good-cop/bad-cop routine.

    Just think of me as a sniper on this here thread; that’s the role I cherish the most.

  • Jammison,
    Go for a walk, it will clear those cob-webs. Also, why can’t Braden defend himself? Why does he need you?

  • No, Roger has you beat.

  • A special thanks to Jeannie for making this conservative blog post the most commented on! More attention to conservative thoughts is always good! Jeannie is doing more good for the conservative movement than she could ever have thought. Now, if we can just get her out of her chair to get a whiff of the air outside.

  • Actually, I do agree with Richard, Jeannie, on his many points. I was only saying I’d rather see his communications here directed at some particular respondent rather than at each and everybody in general.

    Where I do disagree with him has to do with his notion of business as usual.

    It ain’t any longer. The Wall Street abuses and the apparent breakdown of our two-party political system are not causes of our present ailments; I see them rather as symptoms of an economic-political system that has reached its end.

    Richard doesn’t. He still believes we can recover from these ailments as though from another hiccup. I wish I could share his sense of optimism and rein in greed through government regulation and wise leadership, but I don’t.

    He talks of times as always changing, and of new realities as always evolving, but in my estimate, we fails to see the radical changes before our very eyes.

    In short, he still talks of the old America and all its presumed virtues (and vices) as though it was recoverable. It isn’t.

  • Richard, You should submit an article here. Roger has a good point there.

  • Don’t discourage Richard, I’m listening to him.

  • Roger,


    That’s what articles are for.

  • Richard,

    This is the whole argument here!

    returning to States’ Rights and bashing the federal government will bring no short or long term solutions. I am waiting for some legitimate answers regarding job creation other than more tax breaks for the wealthy.

    :)This is exactly what I have been saying!

  • Whom are you addressing, Richard? Certainly not me.

    Indeed, it would be more helpful if you were to shift into a communication mode rather than using this forum as a mere platform for expounding your ideas to all and sundry.

    That’s what articles are for.

  • There is no “new” logic. Times are always changing, and new realities are always evolving. But, in fact, few realities have changed since 2007. The lack of regulation on speculation, and the erosion of New Deal safe guards from the Reagan Days created a perfect storm of post Glass-Stegall investment bank over reach. Government entitlements, demographic bubbles, smaller families, greater need for cheap labor, products and labor created a dependency environment of material and celebrity gratification. This dynamic always existed in America before and after FDR. It just grew bigger with credit cards, both personal and governmental. When I was in college, over 40 years ago, no one had a credit card. When my wife and I were working and making a total of $16k forty years ago, when I was working on Wall Street and my wife was teaching, we could not get a credit card. That income was worth probably worth $80K to day, and if one started on Wall Street and in teaching today in NY one would be making close to $150K.

    Debt-swapping, derivatives, REITs, speculative trading on commodities pushing oil to $140 per barrel, and firms like Bear-Stearns, Lehman Brother, gambling with their investor’s money contributed to this recent collapse. Speculation in home-ownership was not caused by prudent small banks. It was encouraged by a President who pushed and bragged about the new ownership society. Liberalism of credit from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac placed at the door step of Senator Dodd and Rep Frank did not cause the housing bubble. Neither of them had anything to do with Countywide Financial and other predatory lenders who deprecated the need for economic bonafides. There had always been subprime mortgages, and there were always bankruptcies, what else is new? That never led to economic implosion. Greed far accelerated the ability to control it, especially without the desire to make an effort. Where was the GOP led SEC with Bernie Madoff and his other clones?

    Why are all of you anti-government libertarians so afraid of regulation and worried about a fascist takeover. What are you drinking? There will be no fascist takeover because you and I will pay more taxes to service the debt and pay the defense bill. I am not against fighting wars, but they are expensive! Let’s pay for them with a dedicated tax.

    Again, returning to States’ Rights and bashing the federal government will bring no short or long term solutions. I am waiting for some legitimate answers regarding job creation other than more tax breaks for the wealthy. Please remember, Bill Clinton raised the top FIT bracket from a Reagan low of 28%, and a Bush I level of 34% to 39%. We had a surplus of over $200 billion each year for the last three years of his administration, the stock market tripled and 22 million jobs were created. That is with local taxes at virtually the same level as today and higher FIT taxes! Duh! Also remember the affect of the ENRON natural gas manipulation on the California economy and Greenspan’s 17 straight interest rate increases. As I recall that had little to do with the Democrats.

    Logic is logic, and we need strong medicine and biting the bullet when the painkillers wear off.

    Richard J. Garfunkel
    Host of the Advocates

  • I know, Jeannie.

    The sixties, I believe.

  • Do you then necessarily distinguish dialectic from transcendence?

    For your info, I was couching the discussion in popular, readily understandable terms.

  • Mark

    Perhaps Hegel’s idea of thesis, antithesis and synthesis is in order.

    Conflict is built-in, ready-made in this description of change…it reinforces what is and limits possibilities. This dialectic is bankrupt.

  • That was years ago, Jeannie, when it was still possible to believe. Of course, I was younger then and naive.

    No regrets, though. Everyone’s got to experience the West in order to eventually come into their own.

    It was and is a crucible.

  • That’s a song.

  • The times they are a changing…

  • Roger,

    We are not a nation of failures, I believe that was why you moved here, was it not?

  • Richard is smart in the old way. But the times have passed him by.

  • Is this a movie?

    There is no delicate balance to be had between the terms so stated. In fact, they’re irreconcilable.


  • You go Richard! This man is really smart!

  • “We need leadership to maintain the delicate balance of greed versus need.”

    Not any longer. We tried it for two hundred years and we failed. There is no delicate balance to be had between the terms so stated. In fact, they’re irreconcilable.

    Perhaps Hegel’s idea of thesis, antithesis and synthesis is in order.

  • “Don’t forget what I discovered that over ninety percent of all national deficits from 1921 to 1939 were caused by payments for past, present, and future wars.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

  • zingzing

    heh. what we need is a dictator, clavos?

    the message has been confused!

  • Mark

    …yeah, that’s just what we need — The Leader will set it right

    Spare us from ‘strong and decisive leadership’.

  • Clavos

    What we need is strong and decisive leadership…


    Too bad we don’t have it — either from the WH or the Congress.

  • As to my thoughts versus what I read here and other blogs, I see no sensible answers and an air or irrational mental self-abuse.

    Speaking of debt and crazies out there who keep on bashing Obama, the government, his effort to right the ship of state, and his desire (all of ours)to the sail smoothly in the choppy economic waters, I read almost every blog that mentions FDR, and most of them contain vicious anti-Obama and nihilistic anti-government rhetoric. As to the American future, I would suggest that the average citizen worry about his own habits first. The cutback in spending will hurt government treasuries and they will get the message that the credit card must be capped. We are already seeing preemptive strikes by school boards locally. Local debt is much more critical because localities, like people, cannot print money. As to the Feds, our greatest problem is health care overruns affecting Medicaid, Medicare and the defense spending at home and abroad. Local costs go right to the person’s pocketbook. No one is paying off federal debt. That is a non-issue as it was with WWII debt and Reagan-Bush I spending. Where were the pitchforks and torches with Reagan?

    Those are the realities. In the short run, the Bush II tax cuts must lapse and a greater burden must be initially placed on upper income brackets and capital gains. Real federal taxes are not a great burden and no one in their right mind will recommend giving up SSI or Medicare for themselves or their parents, plain and simple. We need to curb local and personal spending first to send a direct message to those who provide essential services. Union rebates, claw backs and guarantied benefits must be adjusted. Again, as to the Feds, changing the direction on imported energy and the trade imbalances with our import partners must be quickly addressed. We need fair trade and an immediate domestic energy policy. Some sort of solution must therefore be reached on health care which is purely a domestic problem. The Dems have created a Christmas tree bill with many adornments to get a super majority, but the GOP cannot continue to reject reform while health care insurance premiums soar, businesses and individuals are suffering with greater co-premiums, larger deductibles, and CEOs in the health care field are paying low FIT on huge incomes. The disparity on income, and equity ownership is not an American virtue. We need a middle class that is viable and zillionaires, paying low taxes do not add to middle class growth. Most writers out there who argue for little or no government are not millionaires and are playing right into the hands of the rich. Take my word for it, I am not poor, have never been poor, and have been an businessman and a licensed financial advisor for over 40 years. I have seen many economic cycles over the years. This one shall pass, but economic and social reform regarding reality-based thinking must be instituted. The folks who write in to these blogs must buy in to reasonable solutions not populist rhetoric of the Tea Party know-nothings. Wall Street, nor business is not inherently evil. On the other hand unions are out to protect their workers also. We need leadership to maintain the delicate balance of greed versus need.

    Richard J. Garfunkel
    Host of the Advocates
    WVOX 1460 radio NY

  • You’re being too moderate to my taste, Richard. Your analysis might have been pertinent one thirty years ago.

    The political and economic realities we’re facing are no longer the same. A reconceptualization is required, a different kind of vision as to where we are and where we are going.

    That’s why I can’t buy into the old terms of analysis you’re employing.

  • Anyone who suggests that this country is heading the way of a communist or Fascist dictatorship is drinking koolaid. Maybe you folks have too much time on your hands, or have been watching too many Nostradamus re-runs on the History Channel. Why don’t you all grow up and realize that any successful president must work hard to balance the excesses of labor and capital. The US has its problems, but the “end of government” is not a solution. What we need is election reform and an end to gerrymandered one-party Congressional districts. We probably should institute the open primary and let anyone run and have an automatic runoff if there is not a clear majority winner.

    As to government spending, we are in an emergency, and let’s face it, conservative Congresses have had the reins for years. Two unfunded wars, dependency on foreign fossil fuel, and Chinese imports haven’t helped either. We are in a demographic bubble where entitlements will be a stretch for years, and we have a shrinking core population. Without immigration, legal and illegal, many scut jobs that the average American won’t do, goes undone. In Europe their populations are shrinking at an alarming rate and they are being inundated by colonial and Mid East immigrants. Personally all of this rhetoric about Obama, his birth certificate, his church, his race, his teleprompter use, beg the issue and are extremely sophomoric and a waste of time. What we need is strong and decisive leadership and cooperation from Congress regarding health care, education, energy, and immigration. In disunity we will fail. I don’t see a lot of ideas out there that smack of alternative solutions to our job’s picture. Job creation takes time, and more give-aways to business and tax cuts for the wealthy will only increase our debt problems. Either way, time heals all wounds, and Americans will have to learn to do with less personally as we get away from the credit card mentality. We would be in much better shape, regardless of public debt, if the average American stopped living on credit, saved more, and lived within their means. This is not a Democratic or a Republican perspective, it is a practical one. The economy has been built on profligate spending by the consumer. Federal debt will not be paid off, and the debt service is a threat, but eventually it can be handled, so chicken little stop worrying about the sky falling.

    Richard J. Garfunkel
    Host of The Advocates
    wvox 1460 am radio in NY

  • Good point, John Wilson (#74). FDR, being an aristocrat, was above the fray in a sense; at least, he wasn’t a populist by birth.

    But he did understand the need for balancing business interests with the interests of the people – for the good of the country.

    In fact, the most severe criticism of Obama thus far didn’t come from the Right but from the extreme, radical Left.

    Perhaps he’s in the business of shifting gears right now, but many have felt that until now he’s been caving in.

  • “When even one American – who has done nothing wrong – is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth – then all Americans are in peril.” -Harry S. Truman

  • is the same CBO that stated the Senate Health Bill Would Cut Deficit By $118 Billion over a decade?

  • Revenues certainly increased in the Reagan Years with the largest peacetime deficits in history, including the New Deal when even adjusted for inflation. Reagan’s tax cut for the highest bracket, 70% to 28%, created zillionaires of his friends and supporters, and caused Bush I to raise the marginal rate from 28 to 34%.

    Unfortunately that satisfied no one. The Bush I years were also large deficit years, and he promised his acolytes and the country at large, no new taxes, Therefore he lost with a much lower than any incumbent since Martin Van Buren.

    With regards to GOP history, let’s look at the history: When Taft failed, the progressive Theodore Roosevelt got into the 1912 race and the country elected the reform minded- Woodrow Wilson., but were the irreconcilables led by Henry Cabot Lodge happy with Wilson over the Fourteen Points, the World Court, The League of Nations, the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, the Brandeis appointment, the Federal Reserve, and other progressive legislation? No way! So what were we left with the know-nothings; Harding and Coolidge and Hoover who was over his head. Now in the wake of the New Deal, the conservative revisionists accuse FDR of not signing on to Hoover’s last minute, 11th hour actions in the lame-duck period! If only Hoover had another 6 months his market cycle ideas would have cured the whole mess, In fact, according to Newsmax and the Tea Party geniuses it was FDR who turned the 1929 recession into the Depression. But are we finished? It must have been those few Democrats in Congress in the 1920’s that steered Hoover into the crash!

    But what of Eisenhower and his three recessions, the farm collapse, U-2, the collapse and embarrassment at Geneva, the sell-out to Joe McCarthy of General Marshall, Nixon’s great triumph in South America where he was pelted by fruit, the over thrown of Batista, the civil rights inactivity, (he stated that his worse mistake was the appointment of Earl Warren), the CIA bungling over the Bay of Pigs, our non-support of Hungary’s freedom fighters, and the abandonment of Britain, France and the Israelis over the Suez Crisis? It must have been LBJ and the Democratic Congress that caused the GOP meltdown in 1958! But what about Nixon and his activities that led to Watergate, enemies’ lists, domestic spying, the extension of the Vietnam War with more casualties than LBJ, the oil embargo and a slew of other mistakes? It must have been the Democrats? But how about that clown Gerald Ford, and his WIN button? He couldn’t walk or chew gum at the same time. Blame it on Congress for that incompetent! In fact, because he was so weak, we got a rank outsider and unknown Jimmy Carter, who barely beat him with 50.06 of the vote.

    But all is not lost we then inherited the biggest fraud of them all, Ronald Reagan, who gave us 70% tax cuts for the rich, unemployment of 8% for eight years, record deficits, Iran-Contra, 250 dead marines in Lebanon, Bittburg, the $1 trillion savings & loan boondoggle, the 600 ship navy, star wars and the wave of spending without cutting expenses that led to the Bush II disaster. Do we have star wars or the 600 ship navy? Funny thing is that we do have Daniel Ortega! But it was big government in Washington!

    Let’s not forget Bush I, who squandered his post Gulf War popularity of 95%, stated “no new taxes,” and almost caused the country to go bankrupt. That is why in 1992 his vote as an incumbent was lower than Hoover’s and maybe Martin Van Buren’s.

    Now we are again in another mess. It is all because Dodd and Frank wanted easier mortgages. They must have created the derivatives, debt-swapping, Country Wide Financial, Enron, and all of the de-regulation fathered by Reagan-Bush! They must have sponsored the Dubai Ports, Katrina, two unfunded wars, the 8 year failure in Afghanistan, the blurring of the “establishment clause,” the faith based initiatives, the porous borders, the migration of jobs, the petro dollar outflow, the disappearance of our manufacturing base, the drug and energy giveaway legislation and the collapse of our banking system, the auto industry and the stock market. They must have forced Bush to not veto a GOP sponsored bill for six years. They must have sent GW Bush to Crawford to cut brush during those eight months before 9/11. In fact it was on their watch, not his! He was only guilty of reading a book upside down on 9/11!

    So you are all right, it isn’t all Bush II fault and blame the Democrats, because they are really pinkos!

    Richard J. Garfunkel
    Host of the Advocates

  • Baronius

    Year Federal Revenues ($B), adjusted by CPI to 1989 dollars:
    1980 778.2
    1981 817.5
    1982 793.8
    1983 747.7
    1984 795.4
    1985 846.0
    1986 870.2
    1987 932.5
    1988 953.0
    1989 991.1

    Sources: CBO, BLS

  • Baronius @ #68:

    Adjusted for inflation?

  • Baronius,

    I didn’t mean you! Really, I better push away from this computer for a while. I just started thinking about my dad, he worked so hard and died so young(54). FDR was a great President for so many people.

    I’ll see you later.

  • Jeannie,

    I’m sorry that my comment is a bit long, but isn’t being for or against a skeleton is a little silly, don’t you think?

    I recognize the good that FDR did. My mother got a job with Home Relief in NYC because of Roosevelt, and this job turned into a stable job with the NYC Welfare Department. I benefited from the Social Security Act when I was a young man, and my parents didn’t starve in their old age because they too, had Social Security pensions.

    Whatever its faults, the TVA was a good thing, not a bad one, and the strict regulation of banks and equity sellers was an excellent thing in an economy built on greed.

    Roosevelt’s makework policies built the elementary school I went to, the junior high school I went to, as well as the high school I went to, the community school my sons went to in St. Paul (which had been a high school until 1968 or 1969), and allowed for the expansion of CUNY and probably SUNY as well. Additionally, there are scores of other good things that came from the Roosevelt administrations.


    Roosevelt did what he did to prevent a communist revolution, he successfully stanched the flow of voters to socialist parties, he did not bring America out of recession. These points also need to be understood as well. In addition, while Roosevelt was president, the intercity trolley lines were torn down and the oil companies cemented their hold over transportation in the United States. this stranglehold over transport allowed them to concentrate wealth in a few hands.

    That is a balanced view, not a condemnation or a hagiography.

    By contrast, Obama, even in the year you have suffered under him, has been a disaster – for you.

  • John Wilson

    FDR was a pretty good president. he saved the country (and capitalism) from violent revolution in the 30s, kept the unemployment from growing, saved us from invasion by Japan AND Germany (a two front war) by promoting the best general, not the most popular and kept a fitful alliance of egoists together to do it.

    If a lesser man than FDR had ruled we’d be speaking a different language now: maybe Japanese, Russian or German. And we’d have some variation of feudalism and communism. Entrepreneurship would be dead. Various (former) population centers around the world would be smoking radioactive ruins in the wake of war.

    Carter was low-key, but he built the only lasting peace in the mideast (Egypt/Israel), which none of the subsequent blowhards have been able to approach.

  • Baronius

    Jeannie, my comment was directed at Richard, who erroneously said that governmental revenue didn’t increase in the Reagan years. That in no way implies that money is all that matters.

  • Ruvy,

    Are you for or against FDR? This comment is not readable.

  • Baronius,

    71 wasn’t directed to you. I don’t know what your comment is, I’m just mad about the insinuation here, that money rules and the hell with the rest of us.

  • There’s a lot more to this life besides budgets.

  • My father went to work for the CCC when he was eighteen, because he certainly couldn’t afford a college degree, something most take for granted today. If it weren’t for FDR most of us wouldn’t be here today, in the land of the spoiled brats…

  • That’s sad, no wonder you hate ours.

  • Baronius

    “Did this increase revenue to the Treasury? No!”

    Year Federal Revenues ($B)
    1980 517.1
    1981 599.3
    1982 617.8
    1983 600.6
    1984 666.4
    1985 734.0
    1986 769.2
    1987 854.3
    1988 909.2
    1989 991.1

    Source: Congressional Budget Office

  • “Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.” – John Adams

  • Ruvy, do you like YOUR President?…just asking

    Shim’on Peres, the State President, is a murderer and a sadist who has done some good things for this country – but not many.

    Essentially, it is a good idea to stay far away from him and his hit squad.

  • Reagan and the real fall of the Soviet Union

    In the wake of the public mourning of Ronald Reagan, our 40th President of the United States, his supporters made certain claims. One of these claims was that he was responsible for the collapse of the Soviet Union. As an avid student of history and a witness to those events I must beg to disagree. The process that led to its welcomed collapse was in the works long before he was elected. In a sense it was a result of the confluence of disparate events and circumstances. In 1982 after 13 years of litigation against ATT by the Justice Department, the case was settled, and ATT agreed to give up their 22 Bell Systems and their subsequent monopoly over technology. This “breakup” began a “golden age” of communication that eventually resulted in fax machines, cable television, cell phones and the Internet. Meanwhile in Poland, after 2 months of labor turmoil at the Lenin Shipyards, Gdansk, in 1980 that had paralyzed the country, the Polish government gave into the demands of the workers. This of course was before Ronald Reagan was elected. Over the next few years, Poland, in need for “hard” foreign currency was starting to invite Polish-American retirees from the steel industry to come back and live in Poland. With their large union pensions they were able to buy “dachas”, or country houses and live like princes. This reality was not lost on Walesa, who saw his workers starving, as opposed to American steel workers who were “rich” and now “landed gentry.”

    Others soon became aware of this reality and eventually through the lowering of phone rates, and the development of the fax machines, etc, communication between citizens of the Eastern Bloc and the West opened up. Hungary started to liberalize in 1989 and a flow of East German citizens started to circumvent the Berlin Wall as they traveled through Hungary to West Germany. So the proverbial “flood-gate” was opened, and it could not be shut. By 1991 the old Warsaw Pact countries had removed their Communist bosses and Soviet troops finally went home. Without their client states, the Soviet system was finally exposed as the economic “basket case” it was, and they shut down the whole bankrupt operation. All in all, his real credit should be for the following; the useless and expensive 600 ship navy, the invasion of tiny Grenada, SDI, the Strategic Defense Imitative (Star Wars), Iran-Contra scandal, the death of 240+ Marines in Beirut, the stock market collapse of 1987, and the tripling of the National Debt, vetoing sanctions against South Africa, the speech at the SS cemetery in Bitburg, backing military dictatorships in Argentina, Chile, and the Philippines, arming Sadaam Hussein, voodoo economics (George Bush’s phrase), inaction against the AIDS epidemic, the nearly 200 members of his administration that faced indictment and prosecution, his appointment of Antonin Scalia to the Supreme Court, the S & L scandal that stuck the taxpayers with a bill approaching a trillion dollars, his relentless attacks on affirmative action, his deregulation of broadcasting gave rise to today’s monopolistic media industry, and a host of other wonderful accomplishments. Ronald Reagan got the last laugh in the end. He is still fooling the impotent media with his “teflon” image that was carefully crafted by his handlers, apologists and sycophants.

    So we have seen what has happened. The GOP/Right has encouraged the lowering of taxes, the conglomeration of industry, the exporting of jobs overseas, the deregulation of industry, and the accumulation of greater money in fewer hands. Now, as in 1929, less people own more of America! In the midst of this incredible increase in executive compensation, Ronald Reagan’s administration lowered the highest tax brackets by more than 60% from 71% to 28% in 1986, while raising the bottom tax rate from 11 to 15%. In reality the Reagan Administration created two tax brackets. The poorest earners paid up to 15% and multi-millionaires paid a little more than double? Did this increase revenue to the Treasury? No! No wonder we experienced record deficits. Did it increase wealth to the wealthiest? Yes! Recent articles have debunked the “urban myth” promulgated by the flat-taxer’s and other anti-tax groups that tax cuts increase revenues. In fact, tax cuts without expense reductions create greater deficits. With that in mind, the Reagan years offered some of the biggest deficits, (tripling the National Debt), continued high unemployment, averaging over 7% in his tenure, and great private sector increases in wealth.

    Richard J. Garfunkel
    Host of The Advocates
    WVOX 1460 am radio

  • Ruvy,

    Do you like YOUR President?…just asking

  • Hi all,

    This comment was originally addressed to a fellow named Jamison, who apparently is a colleague or friend of the author, Braden.

    I’m dragging it over here from this article (with changes) because I think it is relevant.

    Braden would like to have us join the revisionist crowd and paint FDR as a bad news president. This comment offers some additional data on FDR, and why he did what he did.

    Braden is correct – Franklin Roosevelt campaigned on a platform of smaller government and lower taxes, and then proceeded to do what Hoover ought to have done, but didn’t quite have the cojones to do. And now for the original comment, with modifications.

    Glenn and I have argued over this (whether the United States could afford universal health care) for quite some time. Going back to Glenn’s comment #66….

    On Reagan making government smaller. I checked your reference…and found this quote: “Federal spending more than doubled, growing from almost $591 billion in 1980 to $1.25 trillion in 1990. In constant inflation-adjusted dollars, this was an increase of 35.8 percent.”

    So, um, no…Reagan didn’t make for smaller government. He grew it. Furthermore, if you’ll check the year-by-year growth of the federal debt, Republican and Democratic presidents were ALWAYS fairly fiscally conservative and kept our deficit down to a manageable level (except during WWII of course)…until Reagan came along. Our national debt had NEVER ballooned in peacetime until Reagan allowed it to happen.

    And here’s my favorite quote from Dick Cheney: “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.”

    Think about that sentence and what it implies about what Reagan, Bush, and Bush have done. Clinton tried to get it back under control and got us a really nice surplus…but you can see above what Vice President Cheney thought about having a surplus.

    We see Glenn setting up Republicans for the charge of irresponsible spending.

    From reading this, one would think that Glenn would want to rein in federal spending in your country to get a surplus, no? Fat chance!! Around 35 comments later he talks about how FDR had to go into deficit spending – supposedly to bring the country out of depression.

    Guess what! That’s not what happened. FDR did prevent a revolution in the United States. I still remember my own father and mother (may they rest in peace) talking about how folks were ready to overthrow the government in 1933. My dad, the doctrinaire socialist, wanted that to happen, even though he was doing good, making money, even in the Depression. My mom (who was supporting her own mom by selling pencils on the street corners), was moving from apartment to apartment every three months to get away from the landlord that she could never pay.

    I shudder to think what a revolution breaking out in 1933 would have done to her and my grandma.

    So let’s go over what FDR did and what he accomplished, and what he didn’t accomplish. He stopped a communist revolution and a likely civil war. He got enough people working to get some food on the table, and restore some sense of dignity to people who were losing hope – like my mother.

    He accomplished this by changing the price of gold from around $16/ounce to $35/ounce, decreasing the dollar to half of its previous value. Then he minted money to beat the band. When you are a creditor nation you can do that kind of thing with impunity, and everybody owed the United States from the debts they had run up fighting the Great War. Also, Roosevelt introduced Social Security, a minimum wage, a 40 ( I may be wrong on the number) hour week, welfare, etc., etc. In other words he got the bare bones of a safety net going so the little guy did not slide under the ice if he skated on thin ice. And everybody was skating on thin ice in those days.

    But terrible things happened in the decade of the Thirties. Google up Dust Bowl, “Grapes of Wrath”, Route 66, and you will see the terrible things that happened – even under the supposedly successful administration of Roosevelt. The United States did not come out of recession in the 1930’s. Business remained slow, production was low, salaries were low.

    You don’t spend yourself out of a recession – you produce your way out!!!

    And here is the thing you need to understand – very clearly. When Roosevelt was minting money to beat the band, he was trying to re-inflate prices, as the US had been in a four year deflationary period during the Hoover administration, and at the time, it didn’t matter if Roosevelt spent like a drunken sailor. The United States was a creditor nation!!!

    The United States produced the weapons that kept the British Empire afloat while it was the sole power fighting Hitler. The United States produced uniforms, tanks and on and on and on – and after Tojo screwed up by attacking Pearl Harbor in 1941, and after Hitler declared war a couple of days later, the United States production capacity went into full gear.

    The government slapped on price controls, rationing (we still have some of the ration cards my father-in-law gave us), and my dad made a fortune selling food on the black market.

    And when the United States came out of WWII, it was a powerful colossus. And everybody still owed the United States money.

    Every time there was a recession after WWII, the heat was on to prime the pump and spend money, and this was especially true during the Kennedy administration when JFK told Americans, “a rising tide lifts all boats” to soothe them over possible inflation.

    The Baby Boom guaranteed twenty years of prosperity – and the corporate thugs in America grew fat, kicked and got greedy.

    And from 1957 onwards they bled the American economy of money in many, many ways – until in 1973, they pulled off the coup of coups, and used a war to triple the price of oil. And don’t get this wrong. The tripling of the price of oil was not a consequence of the Yom Kippur war. The war was the cover for the tripling of the price of oil.

    If only we had known and understood. But we didn’t. And most people still don’t know and still don’t want to understand.

    Once the price of oil went up, the living standards in the States dropped rapidly and in most households both spouses had to work to make ends meet. The “feminist revolution” was thus made to serve the ends of corporate thugs who were able to keep wages down by temporarily increasing the size of the workforce.

    Having done that, they (the corporate thugs) then started increasing unemployment by closing the factories that had provided the basis for the war production in WWII, and for the subsequent post-war prosperity, and the middle class it created. The rust-belt came into being as millions of factory workers lost the well paying jobs they had to foreigners overseas. In 1976, the federal budget was 372 billion dollars. By 1980, the government was spending $590 billion. This was the effect of the inflation of the Carter administration, nearly doubling the budget over 5 years. And by 1980, Ronald Reagan was able to kick Carter out using two tools – Carter’s miserable failure in dealing with Iran, and the “misery index”, the inflation rate added to the interest rate.

    What had effectively happened was that corporate thugs destroyed the productive capacity of much of the American economy.

    Now back to comment #66.

    “Federal spending more than doubled, growing from almost $591 billion in 1980 to $1.25 trillion in 1990. In constant inflation-adjusted dollars, this was an increase of 35.8 percent.”

    After 1981, the United States was no longer a creditor nation.

    And there was a terrible recession in 1981-82. The recession was supposedly combated with deficit spending, the kind of wild spending with numbers made up out of nothing – but in reality, it was computers and production of computers that got the economy going.

    In 1987, the stock market crashed for just a bit, creating a recession. While the government used deficit spending to try to get out of the second Reagan Recession, what really got the economy out were computer applications – production. When the economy slowed again at the end of the first Bush administration, and Clinton was talking about “the economy, stupid”, it was computer applications again production that pulled the economy out of the fire. These applications led to the dot.com investment boom, which soon became a bubble – and investors, not understanding that information technology is a winner that requires time to win, burst their bubble – and killed the economy. That was 2000.

    Are you getting the picture? In 1990, when Bush decided to go to war with Iraq, he held out the cup like a beggar, trying to get foreign nations to pay for the first Gulf War. His son did not have that kind of intelligence, and could not get foreigners to cough up the cash. So, since then, the USA has been getting by on borrowing off future generations, effectively making the Chinese, Japanese, Russians, and Arabs owners of America.

    And the crack-up came in 2008 – and because the United States is a debtor nation in hock up to its neck, it is far more vulnerable to foreign control than it was in 1933.

    This article is not about health care. But we need to see clearly what the deal is so we can all understand. I honestly think that “conservatives” like Braden do not really want to understand because they have been backing the rights of the corporate thugs to rape America. They backed the right of the bankers and the stock equity sellers to get together once again to turn Wall Street into a wild casino on speed. For them to comprehend what went wrong in the first decade of the 21st century would require them to admit that the so-called “free enterprise” legislation of Reagan and Clinton was wrong.

    Because in addition to whatever problems FDR may have introduced into the 1930’s economy, he also introduced a stabilizing factor – strong regulation of banks and equity sellers. And by doing this, he prevented the United States from falling into a fascist economic system.

    What happened in September 2008 was the introduction of a fascist system of economics by George Bush – and Barack Obama, by spending the dollar into meaninglessness and attempting to take over a third of the economy, has deepened this fascism and made it impossible to shake off.

    I do not care what “ism” Obama pretends to – or what “ism” his critics accuse him of practicing. He is introducing fascism.

    I would remind the readers here that Benito Mussolini took control of Italy in 1922. It was not until 1925 that he has his system in place. Roman Fascism was not built in a day.

    Today, America is on its way to being a fascist dictatorship.


    Obama cannot produce a birth certificate and has spent over a million dollars to suppress his personal data and fight off challenges to his legitimacy.

    He attacked Fox News as an illegitimate news medium. He stopped when Fox Media stopped backing up World Net Daily in its attacks on Obama.

    But as if this weren’t enough, we now see that Fox News reversed itself on Geert Wilders while its leading critics called him a fascist – following the politically correct policies of Obama’s best buds overseas, the Wahhabi Arabs who have so much control over so much of the media in the United States.
    You do not need formal censorship to do your work for you. Obama, the bankers’ boy toy, had an investor do the dirty work for him.

    This is the slow road to fascism you travel. And every day that Obama retains power is one more day you draw closer to becoming a fascist dictatorship.

  • I wouldn’t worry about it, doug. They’re twins as best I can surmise.

    Get the approval of one, and you’ll get a green light from the other.

    Easy does it.

  • Baronius

    The Forbes article makes a reasonable argument. But it only addresses two Bush policies, mark-to-market and short selling. In both those cases, FDR ended policies that Bush reenacted and Obama has continued. However, Braden’s article is a bit unclear in its depiction of those two financial regulations as economic policies. The bulk of Obama’s economic policies are in line with those of FDR.

  • doug m

    I apologize in advance for not checking with Jamison to see if he approved of the time I posted. The site’s clock appears to be set to Pacific time.

  • doug m

    I don’t see how the author has made his case. Anyone can cite a single item to prove their point. And how is Steve Forbes an authority on anything other than winning the birth lottery?

    Braden should be thankful partisan hackery has so a low bar on the Internet

  • Well, it worked.

  • No, I didn’t roger, I had no idea..you know the spell checker doesn’t see the context. If it’s a word, then it doesn’t flag.

  • I have an inkling you’ve done it on purpose.

  • I have to go eat a bowl of oatmeal now!

  • Did I misspell that word! OMG! I’m sooo embarrassed!

    well, everyone makes mistakes, even ME.:(

  • That’s why Braden and the sidekick were shocked, zing.

    They objected to the profanity.

  • Well, not really, Clavos. Nothing human is strange to me.

    From the sublime to the trite is but one step. And I can equally relish in both.

  • zingzing

    jesus. i didn’t notice that typo. classic. i love that shit. dammit.

  • Clavos

    Disgusting thought, ain’t it, Roger?

  • Shoot.

    We are diminishing the status of this article from utmost profundity to utter banality.

    The authors will be mad.

  • Have a bowel’s full!

  • Clavos

    I have to go eat a bowel of oatmeal.


  • I was looking at one of these comments…and for the record, I have a good job already and I am not looking anywhere else right now, but thanks!:)

  • 9 O clock ? I’ll be there!

  • Hi Jeannie. Come see me tonight!

    I have to go eat a bowel of oatmeal.

    Oatmeal is good for the bowels, good for lowering cholesterol and CHEAPER than statin drugs which prematurely age a person over time. But the drug companies don’t want you to know that. They need to sell their Lipitor so they can finance Congressional campaigns and provide lunches to doctor’s offices.

  • Well, I don’t know. I don’t know whether Braden should love you or hate you.

    I suppose it all depends on whether his filter-spam is working, and whether he’s not bothered anymore with obscene emails from you and me.

  • Roger,

    We will keep it going, anyway.

  • I did?

  • Silas, I was right, your comment was right on target…we are stupid. Strong, but really really stupid. 🙁

  • Now you killed this thread for good.

    What a shame!!!

  • BRADEN & Jammison,

    This is BC, there are no borders here. We are free to express, expound, rant, rave, jest, write poetry, site quotes, make up our own, write articles, wander around and comment, bitch, complain, spout-off, declare wisdom and stupidity.However, what we say and when we say it is really out of both of your hands. My suggestion is that you guys either get used to it, join in the fun, or leave. I am staying right where I am.

    :)I’ll be back later…

  • My take on the newbies is, they’ll either learn the ropes, and soon, or they’ll simply fade into the twilight.

    It takes guts to be a blogcritic, Jeannie, as you have surely found out.

  • clavos,

    The standards haven’t been passed yet because of Dave’s State and Alaska.

    What a strange assertion! The school system in this country is among the worst in the developed world, it is dwarfed by the educational systems of virtually every European country, not to mention such others as Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

    read it first, OK?

  • Wait! I have to read that one first! WHAT are you saying Silas?

  • And everyone of you should read what Silas has to say! Hi Silas.:)

  • I see why Dave from Texas pipped in here, and it’s obvious that Clavos just can’t resist getting in on the action,thank you Zing…I think,Joanne should try watching some TV to round out her views, but what are the two newbies complaining about? Jammison should write an article here and see how many comments he gets, and Braden…well he should go drink a cup of tea and study his history…southern history.

    Roger, thanks! 🙂

  • Just like FDR, Obama is prolonging our recession.

    I disagree. At least in FDR’s time we could manufacture durable goods which were in demand in the marketplace. We don’t manufacture anything but paper and plastic these days to buy the manufactured goods which are produced outside our shores. Our entire economic structure is built on paper, folks. And paper burns — fast.

    Now personally, I think Barack Obama is more like Jimmy Carter: a miserable failure of a president that needed to be ousted after 4 years of dreadful economic policies.

    Differences between Carter and Obama are black and white. Carter had the moral courage to stand before his people and tell them the truth about themselves. Barack Obama does not. He’s been assimilated into the Washington culture of greed, corruption and power.

    But perhaps like Carter, the American people will find themselves repeating history by voting Obama out in 2012. Only time will tell.

    That’s because we Americans refuse to accept the truth about ourselves. When a leader tell us we’re self-indulgent, wasteful, lazy, fat and uneducated we throw them out of office because there’s always a politician who’s got the cash to generate a campaign telling us how good we are because well, we’re Americans!

    So in 2012, if Barack Obama tells us we’re still in deep shit, we’ll elect Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush to replace him. Because Mitt will tell us Jesus will save the day and Jeb is a Bush. And don’t slam me and say there is no way Jeb Bush will ever be President. I guarantee you that by November the MSM will feed us the Bush nostalgia line and we’ll take the bait. That’s because we’re, well, stupid.

  • zingzing

    what’s wrong with haggis? y’all should try this chinese specialty called “stinky tofu.” it smells like a diseased fart, but tastes delicious.

  • Hey, Dave,

    Jeannie is just communicating.

  • I have to go eat a bowel of oatmeal.

    I didn’t know you liked haggis.


  • Clavos

    We are the government that we sent to Washington. It is for the people, of the people, and by the people.

    This was the ideal promulgated by the Founders. It may have been true then, but it hasn’t been true now for decades.

    The 20th and 21st century versions of the US government are clearly bent on augmenting their control of the people and oppressing them.

    Their latest gambit in that area is the proposed “Obamacare” plan, which if adopted as proposed, will give the government never before seen, unprecedented control of all citizens.

    That control, of course, is the real purpose of the bill.

    The reason we have a federal government is so that we can bring some consistency to this nation.

    A really good modern example for you is the standardization of school curriculum.

    What a strange assertion! The school system in this country is among the worst in the developed world, it is dwarfed by the educational systems of virtually every European country, not to mention such others as Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.

    A “really good example?”

    I think not.

  • Why? Is there any reason why it ought to be?

  • A really good modern example for you is the standardization of school curriculum.

    This would be a really good example of how meddling mandates from the federal government have helped to destroy the school systems by limiting local control and applying a cookie-cutter approach to education which is proven not to work.


  • Seems Braden’s blog is not number 1 for comments. Special thanks to Jeannie? Well done!

  • I think the jury is still out whether Obama is the WORST president since FDR. He’s only been in a year, and it’s hard to gauge with only a quarter of his time in. Ask me in about a year and a half.

    And FDR? I wasn’t alive then, but I was for Carter and I voted for him. His intentions might have been pure and honorable, but he was a terrible president.

  • I had to use an earlier comment, I’m busy today…bye

  • Who runs around looking @ all of my comments?

    Perhaps somebody that cares? Thanks, Jammison!

    And FWI, I will get up anytime I want, because this is a free country.

  • Jammison you are incorrect about Carter and me:

    “Carter was the country we would’ve had, and the business sector knew it; he answered questions directly and made bold decisive decisions regarding energy, consumption, and terrorism. Therefore, they shamed him with the hostage situation in Iran in order to make him appear weak. if you look at who followed you see it all.

    I did agree with your idea to introduce more than two choices of politics to this country because it was the answer; remember?

    Funny, the shelves in our stores are overflowing with too many choices of every product imaginable; ironically, Washington has been effectively reduced to two that are almost one.

    You don’t want to hear this, yet I’ll tell you anyway, I see glimpses of Carter in Obama; the way he answers questions directly, the way he invites all to have a voice, and his audacity to fight for us. We desperately need social programs for those that they disenfranchised in this country for the last thirty years.

    I like an elected official who will say what they think without first looking for their handlers’ approval.” Jeannie 🙂

  • “Carter was a good President”. Wow.

    Creating more public sector jobs does not help the economy. At all. It helps the individual and their family, sure, and that is good, but if anyone says it is good for the economy is wrong. Think about it. I will simplify it. Let us say a government gives a worker $10,000 a year for a job. Of that $10,000 the government takes, say, $2,000 for taxes. Now the worker has $8,000 to spend as they see fit.

    Let us say they spend it ALL in one year, bringing in 10% in sales tax. That is $800 the government got back. So of the $10,000 the government gave to this worker, it got back $2,800. Not a great return. Now, had the government lowered restrictions on businesses, lowered their tax burden (not eliminating taxes on them of course), and did a host of other things that would allow businesses to hire more people, then the government would get tax revenue without putting out more than it expects to get in return.

    And what I still can’t understand about some on the left who stand by their man no matter which of the 32 campaign promises he broke (yes, I kept a list, I am sick too), they never seem to know where we will get the money to pay for all the wonderful, Utopian things they want other people to give away. People, we have no money. Zero. While the Feds can write checks left and right, my state has to WAIT for things as simple as state tax refunds until the money is there. How backwards is that? If you write a check and you have over a trillion dollars dept in your bank account, you go to jail. The government can do it without batting an eye. “Well, raise taxes!. Well, our debt increases almost 4 billion dollars a day (Since Sept of 2007, yea, I blame Bush too). I don’t care who you want to tax the feces out of, no matter how evil and rich they are, there is no way you can get your head above water when our federal government spends that much money and expects to give away so much STUFF!

    I would also submit to you (since I am on a random rambling) to consider why America was formed. Was it formed so leaders in DC could wear $5,000 suits, get paid to be a senator or congressman as their main career, have limos and limo drivers. Get private jets, and tell people how much water their toilet can have in it? It is fine if you want America to be what it has become, but please admit that what it is today is in no way what the founding fathers intended. Men literally died, left their homes, left their jobs, and families, because their old government was taxing them too much and telling them how to live their life. Pretty much every Amendment is a founding father thumbing his nose at King George. Sorry, but as a fan of American history, I really don’t see this as being the same country. Thank God in some ways (Andrew Jackson was a punk for treating the Cherokee the way he did, and slavery is no longer with out, thankfully, etc.) but think about it. Everything you want, we can’t afford. We used to take care of our fellow man on our own accord. Now Americans are so greedy and selfish that we expect others to perform our moral duties for us with their money. Thank God the church I go to gives me and our members so many opportunities to help our members in need and those outside our church. THAT is what feels good, not a tax increase.

    I dont expect to check back here every 3 seconds like Jeannie does. For one, she has no intentions of seeing anything my way. Fair enough. I don’t plan on seeing things much differently my way. I have changed my view on many things politically in my years, minor sure. But I came upon it on my own experience and study… not through a blog comment (Or in Jeannies case, 7 comments in 3 hours starting at 3am…. dear Lord, who is up at 3:11am?)

  • zingzing

    (and raw links are against the comment policy…)

  • Mark

    (Thanks Braden. You probably could get your editor to get that link into the article proper.)

  • Mark

    As for the comparison of FDR and Obama, FDR was able to subvert a revolution in the US…we’ll see if Obama can provide enough sop to the unemployed to do the same.

  • Mark

    If you’re going to base your thesis on Ohanian and Cole’s research you might provide a link to their paper.

    The main problem with their work imo is that it assumes sensitive and effective ‘self-correcting’ mechanisms in the economy.

  • I have to go eat a bowel of oatmeal. 🙂 I’ll be back!

  • Nothing is wrong with any conversation. I just want to keep my own mind focused here. I didn’t mean you, roger.

  • This is ridiculous, and what is going to replace them, inexperience?

    Throw out the lobby if the lobby is corrupt.

    Braden, not all lobby is corrupt.

  • BTW, you should check Richard’s weblog, interesting.

    But here I go again, contaminating Braden’s mail box. I hope his spam filter is working.

  • I’ve noticed. You’ve learned the way of the blogcritics.

    There’s a time to put in a zinger and a time for strategic withdrawal. Just keep your opponent off balance, that’s the main rule.

  • What’s wrong with a side conversation?

  • Good morning Roger, I am very polite these days…:)

  • Richard J. Garfunkel,

    I disagree, Carter was a good President, and he should not be included in that list.

    However, right now I don’t want to change this author’s subject.

  • There you go, Jeannie the blogcritic.

    Just don’t contaminate his mailbox lest he go berserk.

  • #2,

    Oh, my goodness.

  • Let’s both get on the same page here, Braden.

    Haha, Jeannie I have absolutely no idea where you got that the idea for the comment on my latest post. You make me sound like an anarchist, lol.

    No, Braden, an Anarchist is actually for all of the people.

    I don’t see Anarchy as a solution because I think we have to fix what we have already built. and I disagree with your politics because you refuse to be inclusive.

    This is the way I see it:

    The Conservative/Republican/Dino is for them and the Democrat/Liberal/Rino is for everyone, no matter how much it costs them and everyone else. Now, you can say no, but I don’t see any sign of a turn around or even one inch of compromise here and we have been compromising and giving in my entire life.

    We were on a great road in this country until they assassinated all of the leaders that walked in that direction. this will always break many people’s Hearts and it is also why I want to learn how to write.

    What really gets to me is the fact that most of us would rather talk about sports or Hollywood than our country and the world.

    I see this as real common ground for you and me. We both really want to make a difference in this world, and I admire you for that, even if I don’t like the way you are going about it.

    🙂 Braden, thanks for commenting directly! I was worried that you would never ever speak to me again. Bye for now, I’m a blogcritic and you’ll hear from me again and again … lol

    and probably a lot sooner now!

  • This article is moronic. HL Mencken stated once, “no one in this world, so far as I know…has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.” This piece defies logic, history and just good sense. FDR did not prolong the Depression. The collapse in the economy ended in 43 months, which meant that the economy’s decline reversed in June of 1933. Unfortunately revisionists like Amity Schlaes seem to forget the unique depth of the Depression. As to President Obama, please do not forget that the recession began in December of 2007. Did any one expect it to be reversed over night? I am sure that an overwhelming percentage of most historians, who rate FDR as one of the great and pivotal leaders of the millennium, would disagree with this silly premise. As to “poor” presidents, the last one surely will top the list along with his father, Nixon, Carter, and even Eisenhower, who had three ugly recessions in his eight years.

    Richard J. Garfunkel
    Host of the Advocates
    WVOX 1460 am radio

  • Braden,

    We are the government that we sent to Washington. It is for the people, of the people, and by the people.

    “Do you know why we have a federal Government?”

    The reason we have a federal government is so that we can bring some consistency to this nation.

    A really good modern example for you is the standardization of school curriculum.

    Right now, it is being held up by the States of Texas and Alaska. This program is not, “no child left behind”, rather it is designed to get all of our children to the same page and prepare them to compete in the world after graduation with as much resource as would be possible.

    Now, why do you suppose two States would oppose this?

    An older example for you

    Even after the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, the Southern States refused suffrage to the black male citizens of this country.

    Yes, Braden we need our Government for many reasons…

    :)Have a nice day!