According to the following policies and methods, can you name this U.S. president?
This U.S. president campaigned almost exclusively against the failures of the previous administration. He would make alternating and contradictory promises depending on his campaign audience. On the one hand, he promised to cut the burgeoning deficits of the previous administration and balance the budget. On the other hand, he promised aid to just about every industry and to create public works projects that would guarantee millions of new jobs. He promised to fund the new programs with increased taxes on the wealthy.
Since the American people were severely dissatisfied with the previous administration, the president easily rode into office in his first election. The newly elected president immediately forged ahead with remaking policy by creating all kinds of centralized agencies, including the nationalization of multiple industries.
The legislation written for this authority was so haphazard and cobbled together it is still considered the worst drafted legislation in U.S. history. Not only did the programs create perverse incentives in the midst of a terrible economic downturn, the programs necessitated bloated, burgeoning bureaucracies to carry out the edicts.
As to his campaign promise to balance the budget, the president immediately abandoned the prospect by injecting steroids into the previous administration's policies (plus many newly created programs). When called to account for the increased deficit problems, the president blamed the previous administration for creating a mess that required more spending to keep the government out of the red.
The president surrounded himself with collectivist radicals. When the nature of these radicals was exposed before his eyes, he would ignore the warnings or laugh it off with mocking derision. In fact, he would take it a step further and install radicals in positions of power and agencies that were outside the purview of the constitutionally-limited republican structure.
The president would use his personal charm and gregarious nature to court favorable news coverage and loyalty from the media. He would clog the airwaves with his personal appeals to the American people. He would also use the power of government agencies to threaten and/or shut down political criticism.
Am I speaking of President Obama? No, not directly, this catalogue of policies and tactics were the cornerstone of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration. If one did not know any better, one would swear that the corpses of FDR's administration were dug up to serve in Obama's administration.
FDR's campaign consisted of lampooning Herbert Hoover's explosion of the deficit, the rise in unemployment, and the general economic decline. While promising to cut the deficit by 25% and balance the budget in each year of his presidency, FDR contradictorily promised a host of new programs and government spending that guaranteed a "right to a comfortable living".
Sound familiar to Obama campaigning against Bush's policies, the general economic recession, and Obama's promising to balance the budget while simultaneously promising a chicken in every pot in his nomination speech? How about his soak the rich rhetoric to pay for the chickens? FDR did the same thing, and eventually raised taxes to 90% on those making over $25,000. (I think Obama simply added a zero when promising to raise taxes on those making over $250K.)
When asked to account for the increasing deficits that significantly outstripped Hoover, Roosevelt would blame the Hoover Administration for a "reckless and extravagant past" that led to an emergency — an emergency that justified FDR's increase in spending and deficits explained thusly:
"The only way to keep the Government out of the red is to keep the people out of the red. And so we had to balance the budget of the American people before we could balance the budget of the national Government" (Burton Folsom, New Deal or Raw Deal?, pg 221).Obama, when asked about his own increased spending and deficits and spending via the stimulus bill, likewise stated that the Bush Administration created a “mess” and justified spending by rhetorically stating: "What do you think a stimulus is?".
Or, in one of his most stupid justifications, Vice President Joe Biden instructed:
"Well, people when I say that [the need to increase spending] look at me and say, 'What are you talking about? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?' The answer is yes, I’m telling you."In FDR's haste to remake the U.S. economy, legislation was poorly drafted and purposely vague so as to grant wide latitude for government intervention. The agencies created perverse economic incentives, such as purposely destroying commodities or paying farmers not to produce while people starved.
The bureaucracies became so overwhelming that hordes of new bureaucrats were needed to monitor prices, production levels, what should be produced, and how the producers should be taxed. Any different than energy plans aimed at putting the coal industry out of business or dramatically increasing the cost of electricity amidst a recession?
Or, how about the vague 1000+ page bills that are hastily pushed through Congress without being read, much less debated? How about this type of Byzantine bureaucracy labyrinth that would be imposed under ObamaCare?
FDR surrounded himself with Marxist sympathizers and radicals ready to implement their ideology, including Vice President Henry Wallace and communist spies Alger Hiss and Owen Lattimore.
When FDR was personally warned about Hiss and other communist spies by assistant secretary of state Adolf Berle, FDR laughed and told Berle to go “fuck himself”. (Ann Coulter, Treason, pg 18) For his part, Hiss played a primary role in creating the United Nations, which is now a springboard for leftists undermining the U.S. Constitution and paying heed to despots all over the globe.
The only question remains: what monstrosities will be bequeathed to us by the collectivist radicals Obama has surrounded himself with, including Rahm Emmanuel, Mark Lloyd, Eric Holder, and Van Jones?
Will it be a Kyoto-like treaty or cap-and-trade bill, spearheaded by radicals like Van Jones, which will permanently cripple the energy industry? Will U.S. servicemen be dragged into international courts on charges from America’s enemies and tried by America’s critics, as Eric Holder desires?
Will Sunstein’s goal of allowing polar bears to lawyer-up and seek redress for having their habitats destroyed be granted? Besides Van Jones, Obama thus far has either ignored criticism of these individuals or brushed off charges of socialism with the same mocking behavior as FDR did in his day.
In what is perhaps the most ominous of the Obamanous parallels, Obama called for a civilian national security force that is "just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded" as the U.S. military. Let's not forget Obama's use of “disinformation czar” Linda Douglass to ferret out “fishy” information, or Janet Napolitano’s use of the Department of Homeland Security to spy on private individuals, particularly “right wing” subversive groups.
FDR attempted the same tactics by creating the American Protective League — a quasi-secret police used to spy on private individuals. In a radio address, FDR also called on the American Legion to become his private army, stating: "I reserve to myself the right to command you in any phase of the situation which now confronts us." (Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism, pg 151) Insulating one's political regime with a private army is one of the
On cannot help shudder in revulsion at Blue Eagle program that used informants to monitor compliance with New Deal programs. Part of the Blue Eagle program was aimed at indoctrination, which included marches by thousands of schoolchildren that forced them to swear to the following oath: "I promise as a good American citizen to do my part for the NRA. I will buy only where the Blue Eagle flies." (Liberal Fascism, pg 155)
Sound eerily familiar to Obama's speech to the nation's schoolchildren in which they were initially suppose to pledge loyalty to Obama and write an essay on what they could do to “help” the administration?
Just as FDR used his personal charm to cast a spell on the media, Obama is sending a "tingle up the leg" of such media luminaries as Chris Matthews. FDR would clog the radio airwaves with his "fireside chats", while Obama is busy mugging before primetime TV cameras on every policy initiative.
These tactics, however, will only get you so far as dissent grows. To quell opposition, FDR set up the FCC with the express purpose of silencing dissent by granting the FCC the power to grant or revoke radio licenses (with a shortened renewal period from three years to six months), thus giving FDR de facto control over what was said on the radio waves.
Now, we have the prospect of Obama's FCC “diversity czar”, Mark Lloyd, proposing to tax radio stations 100% of their operating budget in order to promote "diversity" of opinion. How does that differ from FDR's chilling of free speech, except in complexity? Control ownership and you control what is said.
Why is it important to highlight these parallels? To expose the intellectual bankruptcy of the policies and the tactics used to implement them. First and foremost, one must be aware of and expose the damaging consequences that arose from these policies--many of which we still live with today, including the alphabet agencies, minimum wage laws, social security, employer-based health insurance, agricultural subsidies, and on and on.
Even a decade after the onset of the economic crisis in 1929, FDR's policies only worsened the crisis as unemployment rates had risen above 20% and industrial production was down 20-25% from a decade earlier. Or, as it was told straight from the horse's mouth, FDR's longtime friend, right-hand man, and secretary of the treasury Henry Morgenthau confessed in 1939 before the House Ways and Means Committee:
"We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, if I am wrong...somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. 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!" (Burton Folsom, New Deal or Raw Deal?, pg. 2).The policies are like the hydra — cut one down and two more will be proposed in its place. Even more important than highlighting the failures of these policies is exposing the methods used to implement the policies. Cut the mortal head of method off the Marxist revolutionary to prevent two more from growing with still bigger fangs.
In the parallels between FDR and Obama, notice the common methods used by collectivist radicals:
- (1) Isolate and target opponents to distract attention from their own policies,
(2) Use vague legislation to seize unprecedented and unconstitutional powers,
(3) Use these powers to nationalize industries,
(4) Insulate one’s power with agencies outside the confines of the constitutionally-limited republican structure, including a private military force,
(5) Silence dissent through government control of media outlets, and
(6) Attack the young and the education system with thinly veiled indoctrination schemes.
After a personal conference with FDR in which he revealed his court-packing scheme, New Dealer and Congressman Hatton Sumners is alleged to have said: "Well, boys, here is where I cash in my chips."
Some otherwise freedom-loving individuals have openly supported Obama. Some advocated for Democrats in 2006, have engaged in relatively muted criticism of Obama, and played the moral equivalence card with the Bush Administration. Even still, some desire to see Obama stay in office in order to promote a "backlash" against his policies. In view of the potentially irreversible havoc that could be wrought, my advice to all those people is: cash in your chips.