Monday, September 20, 2010

FDR v. Obama

Two years in, and FDR was more popular than ever.

Two years in, and Obama is tanking.

Both were elected in the midst of a great economic crisis. The two took office in the middle of a banking crisis. The Democrats became President with large Congressional majorities. Both American Presidents embraced Keynesian economics. Each initially had the ability to connect with voters. Both reached out to, and capitalized, on the minority vote.

Why was FDR a success in the public’s eye and Obama a failure?

From the beginning, even in the midst of his famous 100 Days, FDR’s constant goal was Jobs, Jobs, and more Jobs – put people back to work. The public instinctively knew that Roosevelt was with them, that he was fighting for them, that he would lead them to a recovery.

WPA, PWA, CCC, CWA, NYA, FDR put millions of Americans to work.

Obama’s goal early became clear – the radical transformation of America. Almost a year was spent pushing a government health plan through Congress over the opposition of the American people. That was not a jobs bill, but will be a jobs killer.

Obama’s Administration has killed millions of jobs, raising the poverty rate in America to one in seven, 14.3%, the highest since 1959 a half century ago. In short, he took a bad economic situation and made it worst – unless you work for the federal government.

Didn’t Congress pass a Stimulus Bill and other measures to promote jobs? No, and that is the problem. Only 12.5% of the $787 billion stimulus bill was for infrastructure, and much of that has not yet been spent. The rest was for transfer payments and the salaries of public employees, especially in education.

The following infrastructure projects were undertaken during the Great Depression by FDR, his predecessors Hoover and Coolidge, state and local governments, and private parties:
Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
Triborough Bridge
Bonneville Dam
Grand Coulee Dam
Parker Dam
Shasta Dam
Washington National Airport
Merritt Parkway
Griffith Observatory
Empire State Building
Rockefeller Center
Tennessee Valley Authority
Rural Electrification Administration
Oregon State capitol
Kansas City City Hall

The overall list includes thousands of schools, hospitals, medical canters, government buildings, dams, libraries,parks, golf courses, and roads.

These are the major infrastructure projects of the Obama Administration:

Zero, nada, zilch, squat, zippo, none, nil

Just a few jobs were created by the Stimulus Act, mostly high paid union jobs. We just learned that $111 million in stimulus funds to Los Angeles saved or created just 55 jobs. That’s roughly $2 million per job.

There were precious few "shovel ready" projects funded under The Stimulus Bill, although we were led to believe there were.

President Roosevelt invested in the future of America. President Obama invested in the past.

President Roosevelt enacted the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage statute, but President Obama and the Democratic Congress extended to most Stimilus projects. FDR's emphasis was always on Jobs.

President Roosevelt gave Americans the Administrative Branch of government, but the changes he brought, Social Security, FDIC, NLRB, SEC, Wagner Act, et al, were embraced by the American people.

President Obama’s great enactment, Healthcare” Reform,” is rejected by the majority of Americans.

Both the health care bill and the financial reform act create scores of new administrative agencies and increase the powers of others.

Some of President Roosevelt’s programs were viewed as radical at the time, but he wanted to save capitalism. Thus, under the National Industrial Recovery Act and the NRA (National Recovery Administration) businesses were encouraged to fix prices and control output until the Supreme Court ruled the statute unconstitutional.

President Obama goes out of his way to demonize business.

Finally, President Roosevelt ended prohibition. Let's drink to FDR.

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