Returing to Roosevelt's tenure as Governor of the State of New York, Reed found Roosevelt stating as late as 1930 that Washington, DC, in the 1920s had involved too much "regulation and legislation by 'master minds'" (aka, "The Wizards of Smart"). Roosevelt added:
Were it possible to find 'master minds' so unselfish, so willing to decide
unhesitatingly against their own personal interests or private prejudices,
men almost godlike in their ability to hold the scales of justice with an
even hand, such a government might be to the interests of the country;
but there are none such on our political horizon, and we cannot expect
a complete reversal of all the teachings of history.
In 1932, Roosevelt continued to express these sentiments while campaigning for President. According to Reed, during the campaign Roosevelt:
- called for reducing federal spending by 25% and balancing the nation's budget;
- wanted to reduce the role of the federal government in agriculture; and,
- criticized President Herbert Hoover for increasing federal spending, raising federal taxes, and increasing tariffs on imports.
Roosevelt's running mate in 1932, John Nance Gardner, went so far as to claim that Hoover--the conservative Republican candidate--was "leading America down the road to socialism."
Now, isn't that all very interesting?
Yet, Roosevelt's rhetoric was nothing more than a chameleon-like charade. Once he took office in January, 1933, FDR proceeded to raise taxes, increase spending, and undertook what became the largest experiment in central planning in the history of the United States. Of course, as history teaches, Roosevelt aimed all of these efforts of centralizing the federal goverment at "raising the nation out of the Great Depression."
Reed cites UCLA economists Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian who argue that FDR's policies actually had the effect of extending the length of the Great Depression an additional 7 years.
Now, who is it that has engaged in revisionist history?
Let the discussion begin...
To read Lawrence W. Reed's article, click on the following link:
"Cliches of Progressivism No. 32: FDR Was Elected in 1932 on a Progressive Platform to Plan the Economy."