Friday, March 12, 2010

We Wanted another FDR. Did we get another Hoover?

Yes, we wanted another FDR but I am afraid we got another Hoover.

When I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 I was hoping that he would initiate another 100 day miracle just as FDR did in 1933. FDR closed the banks for a "bank holiday". While the economy then was somewhat less complicated than today this action did bailout the banks and stop a run on cash withdrawals. Obama's solution was to bail out the banks by lending them billions of dollars without immediately demanding a return to the pre-Bush banking system of tighter credit and a ban on speculation with the depositor's money. There we no banker or Wallstreet bonuses in 1933. The public would have rioted.

FDR stimulated the economy by printing lots of money by "borrowing" and by creating a gigantic jobs program to repair and build upon the American infrastructure. This was a long-term investment in American production and transportation systems which in a very short time got millions of people to work. This gave a psychological and financial boost to the nation. FDR created a social safety net with a modest Social Security Administration and unemployment insurance and a host of other proactive national programs.

In 2009 we got "cash for clunkers" and stimulus as Congressional pork. I think the money could have been better spent.

It's the economy stupid!

FDR brought America out of the Great Depression by entering a World War. Everyone could contribute to the cause and earn a living wage through working to free the world from a great evil. Everyone could contribute to metal scrap and paper drives....not to mention saving through savings and war bonds. Yes, they were all in it together. Nothing to fear but fear itself.

In 2010 two unpopular wars are still draining our national treasury and costing thousands of lives. We get a renewal of the Patriot Act.

FDR was not afraid to take off the gloves and get the country moving. It took only great leadership. Obama's great failure at this point is to let a dysfunctional Congress take the lead in trying to solve the problems we face. His greatest mistake was in trying to offer the hand of compromise to a political party out of power and unwilling to assist in setting a national agenda. They want him to fail. Obama should have remembered that this is the party that brought us the Great Depression and then opposed all of FDR's attempts to correct the wrongs of 50 years of Republican misrule. You name it ... they opposed it. Sound familiar? In addition the U.S. Supreme Court was packed with Republican appointments and overruled much of the New Deal programs.....but not before America was started on the road to economic recovery.

While attempting to recover from Polio in 1922 a very depressed FDR asked Eleanor "what if I should try and fail?. She responded "Don't!!" "Don't Try?", he replied in a worried tone. "No....don't fail". She insisted.

Obama ............ it is time to take off the silk gloves and put on the boxing gloves!!