Friday, June 26, 2009

By Any Other Name???

Before Obama forces us into his version of the New Deal, let’s look at some of the things that he is trying to do that FAILED during the new deal.

Yes, New Deal programs were having an impact on the depression, but it still had a solid grip on the nation. Just like today, to pay for government programs, taxes were raised and money was printed and inflation ensued. Also it began deficit spending to get immediate funding with disregard to the future.

In 1935 the unemployment rate was still 20%, which meant that 10 million Americans were out of work. Also in 1935, the Supreme Court weighed in and began striking down one piece of New Deal legislation after another. The Court decided against the Administration in seven of nine cases that it heard BECAUSE the federal government tried to unconstitutionally seize powers not mandated in the constitution.

In Schechter v. the U.S., the Supreme Court declared the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional because it delegated too much power to the executive branch. It said that the industrial codes could not be legally binding and that the government could not control business in the way that the law called for. Then in U.S. v. Butler (1936), the Court struck down the Agricultural Adjustment Act, declaring that Congress had no power to impose controls on agricultural production. Agriculture was to be regulated by the states since growing crops and livestock did not involve interstate commerce.

These were stinging defeats for a popular Democratic president. Do we have one of those today?

In 1936, Roosevelt was renominated by the
Democrats. The Republicans selected Kansas
Governor Alf Landon as their candidate. Landon
did not call for the dismantling of all New Deal programs. He said that government spending was too high and that some programs were poorly administered. Roosevelt’s popularity meant that Landon’s “me too, just not as much” approach did not resonate with the voters.

Sound familiar? McCain was simply Obama’s “almond joy” without the nuts.

More generally, because of the New Deal, America has been influenced by the legacy of the Federal government continuing to take a more active role than just regulating business.

The Federal government is involved in managing the economy, and Congress passes laws that deal with many aspects of American life. The regulations set by the bureaucracy of the executive branch have the effect of law. It is rare to hear of anyone saying that proposed legislation in Congress is an encroachment on states’ rights and powers or is not an appropriate subject for Federal action.

And in fact, the New Deal did NOT fully accomplish its goal of restoring the American economy. In 1939 unemployment was still at 17%, which meant that nine and a half million people in the labor force were out of work. ONLY THE STIMULUS OF WARTIME PRODUCTION in the early 1940s brought the economy to full recovery.

So, before you really think that Universal, Government-run, single payer healthcare is a good thing. Or that government regulation of energy will save the planet. Remember that a piece of crap by any other name will still stink. It hasn’t worked before, folks. IT WON’T EVER WORK!

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