Obama: The Worst President Since FDR

March 11, 2010

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. InThe 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 Harold Cole & Lee Ohanian 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.

-Originally posted on BlogCritics.org


Paranoid Presidential Predictions

August 9, 2007

It seems like everyone’s got a paranoid conspiracy theory about what a candidate will do if they are elected to the Oval Office. So I’m going to throw out some of my own theories on certain candidates:

Barack Obama – If elected President, Barack Obama will meet with Castro, Hugo Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong Il, and Vladimir Putin to draw up a treaty in Cuba known as the Havana Accord, stipulating that each nation cannot retaliate against the other’s attacks. Together, they will team up against Pakistan, assassinate Musharraf, and invade the country. Meanwhile, Osama Bin Laden will have traveled to Iran on vacation, unbeknownst to everyone but Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mitt Romney – Mitt Romney will be the first President of the United States ever sworn in with his hand on something other than the Bible. He will order the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to release the golden tablets that Joseph Smith found from the Mormon vault and swear on those. While the country will in fact be run like a well-oiled business machine, all Mormons will be given tax breaks and “Gentiles” will not. The nation’s capital will also be relocated to Independence, Missouri.

John McCain – He will die of natural causes 3 years into office. His accomplishments will include making President Bush the Ambassador to the United Nations, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and an open border with a large welcome sign on the Arizona border. He will be succeeded by Vice President John Kerry.

Hillary Clinton – She will introduce Hillarycare again, this time successfully due to a Democratic majority in Congress. Major supporters will include Vice President Obama, John Kerry, and Christopher Dodd.  The White House will undergo complete renovation, adding on an obscenely large spa, complete with lipo-suction, botox, and of course, the nation’s largest jacuzzi (shaped like the U.S. mainland).

Rudy Giuliani – While the White House will be turned into a museum, the Oval Office will be relocated to a penthouse at the top of the Liberty Tower in New York City. He will support an amendment to the Constitution allowing for civil unions among homosexual couples in every state. For the State of the Union Address, President Giuliani will dress in drag and no one will be allowed to laugh.

Ron Paul – Deeming the current status of America unconstitutional, President Paul will return America to a Confederacy of loosely-connected states. Federal laws will be more like guidelines, but each individual state will be the final authority. As a result, marijuana will be legalized in 36 states. The FBI, CIA, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, the Federal Court System, and the State Department will all be abolished within the first year of his term. When Congress meets, it will be more like a social gathering of philosophers rather than a law-making body.

Mike Huckabee – Speeches from President Huckabee will frequently reference the Andy Griffith Show, which will be shown in every television accross America due to the Wholesome Television Re-Run Act. Although not binding, the state religion will officially become Southern Baptist. Obese Americans will be put on the Presidential diet, resulting in astounding weight loss across America. And the Vice President will be none other than Governor Bob Riley of Alabama.

Fred Thompson – Fred Thompson will have made the official announcement for his candidacy on January 1, 2008, barely edging out Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani for the nomination. Shortly following his inauguration, Fred Thompson would also introduce the Wholesome Television Re-Run Act, except the emphasis would be on Law & Order. The embargo on trade with Cuba will be lifted, resulting in a boost for the American economy due to sales of Cuban cigars. Also, Michael Moore will be labeled an enemy combatant and exiled to France.

John Edwards – All Americans affected by poverty will have the choice of receiving an advanced form of Medicaid or exportation to Europe. Gasoline-powered cars will be outlawed along with any type of oil product, resulting in a greener America although Global Warming will remain relatively unchanged. However, President Edwards will be forced to resign when it is revealed that his haircare products contained a miniscule derivative of crude oil.

Sam Brownback – In a shocking move, President Brownback will announce that his Presidential authority stops at the steps of the Vatican, giving control of America to the Pope. What America had feared with John F. Kennedy will have been realized in President Brownback. Abortion doctors will be executed without trial. Catholic priests will be given the authority to arrest suspected criminals. With President Brownback and Vice President Giuliani, it will be the worst situation of Catholic control over a country since “Bloody Mary” in England. 

Note: This post is purely satirical. If you are offended by it, you probably suffer from lack of a sense of humor. May God have mercy on your soul.