Thursday, March 26, 2020

Reading "The Roosevelt Myth" - Part One

It's from the category of improving my mind reading, found in this list (towards the bottom).

I've just started, and already learned something new. Pelosi's "you have to pass the bill to find out what's in it" is not a new thing. Roosevelt started it.
The bill was not ready. But the swift-moving processes of legislation could not wait in this new order for a bill to be prepared. A folded newspaper was tossed into the hopper to serve as a bill until the document could be completed. The bill was then sent to Congress by the President. Congress passed it instantly and gave the President full powers over foreign exchange.
 One of the first things that Roosevelt railed against was deficits - yes, DEFICITS. Then, after declaring them bad, he proceeded to run one up with alacrity.
He declared "the credit of the national government is imperiled." And then he asserted: "The first step is to save it. Recovery defends on that" The first step was a measure to cut government payroll expenditures 25 per cent. The second step, incredible as it may sound, was to authorize a bill providing in effect for the biggest deficit of all—$3,300,000,000.
 Trump's government-cutting doesn't sound so radical now, does it?

Roosevelt wasn't content to just send the legislation to Congress. He also meant to blacken the reputation of his opponents - Gee, why does that sound familiar?
...committees were in session investigating the crimes of the past—the sins of big business, of the bankers, the railroads, of Wall Street and of the power barons. Washington had become a headline-writer's paradise.
 The media of that time colluded happily to put a rosy shine on Roosevelt's actions. The distance between rosy dreams and harsh reality was gigantic.
The "spendthrift" Hoover was in California at his Palo Alto home putting his own affairs in order, while the great Economizer who had denounced Hoover's deficits had now produced in in days a deficit larger than Hoover had produced in two years.
 I'm only 25 pages in - I'll continue this in later installments.

1 comment:

Paul in Boston said...

You might want to read Amity Shlaes book, “The Forgotten Man” as well. “ We taxed and spent, and taxed and spent but nothing worked” the Sec. of Treasury. They were dopes who persisted with bad policy long after they saw that it didn’t work. The first, but not last, massive failure of Kensyian economics.