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View Diary: Mr. Roosevelt's Social Insurance (197 comments)

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  •  I think FdR (8+ / 0-)

    would be well familiar with the attacks on Obama.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:29:48 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  FDR learned from his mistakes (11+ / 0-)

      that's what made him a much better president.

      "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

      by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:33:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Could you imagine? (15+ / 0-)

        FDR convening a Cat Food Commission and endorsing its recommendations for cuts to Social Security as a means of paying for Bush tax cuts?  I can't.  

        "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

        by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:36:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No way. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Betty Pinson, shaharazade, seabos84

          And can you imagine FDR putting Alan Cranston or some similar jerk in charge of such a commission?  Ha!

        •  I addressed FDR-Obama comparisons other day (7+ / 0-)

          in this post.  Glass-Steagall, labor legislation, and govt. jobs programs were all major differences.  Plus, FDR had to make it up as he went along, while Obama had a template he could've updated to contemporary challenges.

          One nit to pick in the host diary:  Raymond Haight, the 3d party candidate in the CA gov's race, was anything but a progressive despite his label:

          In the 1934 California gubernatorial election, Haight initially campaigned for the Republican nomination, gaining 85,000 votes. Haight ultimately lost to Frank Merriam, who had recently been installed as governor following the death of James Rolph. Haight continued to pursue the governorship, gaining the crossed Commonwealth-Progressive Party's nomination, running against the right-wing leaning Merriam, and former Socialist and left-wing leaning Democrat author Upton Sinclair. During the campaign, there was discussion during amongst Democratic supporters, including A. P. Giannini, of asking Sinclair to leave the race in favor of Haight, due to belief that Haight's moderate politics and unassociation with socialism would stand better against Merriam's conservatism. Sinclair, however, disapproved.

          That election, as is noted above, was in 1934, not 1936.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:11:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  All true (0+ / 0-)

            it was a good diary.

            Obama is more the antithesis of FDR. Its not much of a secret that he and his supporters despise FDR and his policies.

            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:12:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sybil Liberty, TFinSF, JC from IA

              you have evidence for that?

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:23:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RFK Lives, happymisanthropy

                As I mentioned in an earlier post, can you imagine FDR convening a commission whose aim is to cut Social Security benefits to pay for Bush tax cuts?

                On any given day, you will see Obama supporters here disparaging FDR, some accusing him of racism.  Hardly a week goes by without someone making that claim, often using the internment of Japanese Americans as the reason for their GOP hatred.

                Perhaps these people are GOP disruptors, if not, they're as they claim, supporters of Obama.

                "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:27:13 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Here's an example (0+ / 0-)

                  Some pretty ugly stuff. Well, its offensive to me.

                  Link

                  "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                  by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:32:30 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  no doubt (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TFinSF

                    how offensive that anyone might question the mythologized version of any past presidency

                    'leave our kid's less than informative history books alone dammit!'

                    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                    by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:43:50 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  As DeminCT pointed out (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      happymisanthropy, blueoasis

                      These claims originate from  right wing radicals who opposed all of FDR's programs claiming they were socialism.  

                      "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                      by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:51:38 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  bs betty (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        JC from IA

                        Any number of Dems objected to FDR's less than perfect SS program for the fact that it excluded roughly 1/3 of all Americans at the time.

                        Needless to say that in order to pass it in any form, he had to compromise his own ideology in order to get the requisite votes from dixiecrat-dems.

                        ...there's your "template".

                        In 2011 rhetoric of course, FDR would be charged with "capitulation" & "lacking leadership" by those of you honest enough to admit it.

                        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                        by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:54:21 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  so then let's get this straight... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  TFinSF, JC from IA

                  when anyone points out the flaws of a great, but imperfect dead president, it's proof of vitriolic hatred for FDR and everything he ever stood for

                  but when you all point out the flaws of President Obama it's much-needed "constructive criticism"

                  gotit

                  "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                  by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:35:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  False equivalence (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    happymisanthropy, pot, LarryNM

                    the coin of your realm.

                    "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                    by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:37:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Still waiting (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Sybil Liberty
                      Its not much of a secret that he and his supporters despise FDR and his policies.

                      for evidence that Obama despises FDR....  And, for that matter, evidence that Obama supporters do, since your link above doesn't demonstrate your assertion either.

                      ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                      by TFinSF on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:41:36 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  she's got nothin' (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        TFinSF, JC from IA

                        as usual

                        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                        by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:45:33 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Proof is in his policies, plus Jared Bernstein (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        RFK Lives

                        quote.

                        We've already discussed Obama's policies on jobs and support for the middle class.  Cuts to SS, trickle down economics, aversion to government funded jobs programs.

                        He's entitled to his opinion about FDR, certainly.  But Democrats don't have to agree with it.

                        Also, recall Jared Bernstein's commLink about the WH rejection of WPA-style jobs creation programs

                        Link

                        "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                        by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:45:59 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Direct quote (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          RFK Lives, aliasalias

                          from link above

                          But then there’s this: There will be no WPA-type programs in our near future.  There was no appetite for them in the Obama admin in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression and there’s a lot less now.  The reasons for that are interesting and I’ll speak to them another day.  But it ain’t happening.

                          The people in Obama's WH view themselves as something they call "political realists".  They've always maintained FDR style jobs and stimulus are "politically unpopular", despite evidence to the contrary.

                          "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                          by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:49:24 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  wrong again, sunshine (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TFinSF, JC from IA

                            EPA Specifically Hiring Unemployed for Great Lakes Restoration

                            at some point you're really going to have to give up this vendetta of yours

                            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                            by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:02:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Good for them! (0+ / 0-)

                            Saw that earlier.  But that's the EPA, not Obama.

                            If Obama supported that kind of job creation, we'd be seeing much, much more of it.  Sadly, we aren't.  

                            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:03:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  divorced from reality (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JC from IA
                            The Obama administration moved forward on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and passed over 475 million dollars in Great Lakes restoration funding for 2011 with a plan to spend at least that much every year for five years. That money has been reduced to 300 million for 2012, as one of the items on the budget cut chopping block. I'm not going to complain TOO much.

                            by your reasoning:

                            The WPA and the CCC had no place in FDR's New Deal    ✓

                            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                            by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:10:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Not even going to try? (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Sybil Liberty
                          Its not much of a secret that he and his supporters despise FDR and his policies.

                          Please provide evidence that Obama despises FDR, as you promised.  You haven't even cited evidence that Obama somewhat dislikes or is even mildly annoyed with FDR.

                          ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                          by TFinSF on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:50:32 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Already have (0+ / 0-)

                            Just because you disagree with the policy position, doesn't mean the evidence doesn't exist.

                            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:53:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There are none so blind (0+ / 0-)

                            as those who refuse to see.

                            Go bug someone else.  You folks are growing very boring and dreadfully predictable.  

                            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:56:39 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Awww (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sybil Liberty

                            Can't win on the facts so you have to resort to personal insults.  So sad.

                            ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                            by TFinSF on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:01:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'll give you a hint, (0+ / 0-)

                            as I am in a charitable mood today.  "No appetite for new WPA-style program" doesn't mean "has contempt for the original WPA" much less "loathes the creator of the WPA".  So, again, please present evidence that PBO despises FDR.

                            ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                            by TFinSF on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:57:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  Obama's disdain for FDR's economic approach (6+ / 0-)

                        has become increasingly apparent over the past 2 years.   I didn't fully buy the Harper's cover story "Barack Hoover Obama" then, but I've undergone a painful reassessment since that time.  Back when the Dems, flush w/ consecutive electoral trimuphs, dominated both houses, Baker wrote:

                        Speeches almost as powerful have followed, always linking these ideas together. But, like Hoover, Obama has been unable to make his actions live up to his words. Health care is being gummed to death on Capitol Hill. Obama has done nothing to pass “card check” provisions that would facilitate union organization and quietly announced that he would not seek stronger labor and environmental protections in NAFTA. He has capitulated on cap-and-trade in the budget outline and never even bothered to push for an actual carbon tax. Only minuscule portions of the stimulus bill or his budget proposals were dedicated to mass transit, and his indifference to the issue—what must be a major component of any serious effort to go green—was reflected in his appointment of a mediocre Republican time-server, Ray LaHood, as his transportation secretary.

                        Still worse is Obama’s decision to leave the reordering of the financial world solely to Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, both of whom played such a major role in deregulating Wall Street and bringing on the disaster in the first place. It’s as if, after winning election in 1932, FDR had brought Andrew Mellon back to the Treasury. Just as Herbert Hoover could not, in the end, break away from the best economic advice of the 1920s, Barack Obama is sticking with the “key men” of the 1990s. The predictable result is that, even as he claims to recognize the interlocking nature of the problems facing us and vows to solve them as a whole, the president is in fact abandoning most of his program, at least for the time being.

                        No doubt, President Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, would claim that by practicing “the art of the possible,” they are ensuring that “the perfect does not become the enemy of the good.” But by not even proposing the relevant legislation, Obama has ceded a key part of the process—so much so that his retreat seems not so much tactical as a reversion to his core political beliefs.

                        In terms of domestic economic policy in response to an historic systemic trauma, there is no comparison between FDR and Obama.  The former consciously chose Keynes, while the latter has visibly leaned towards Friedman.  I guess that you can take the POTUS out of U Chicago, but you can't take the U Chicago out of the POTUS.

                        Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                        by RFK Lives on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:55:18 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Obama follows Reaganomics (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          RFK Lives, Tyree, happymisanthropy

                          he doesn't follow FDR's policies. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find any instance where he's promoted economic policy anywhere close to FDR's.

                          Perhaps the defenders of Obama's alleged FDR-like policies can provide us with some examples.  I can't think of any to date.

                          I still believe in redemption, though. Its still possible for Obama to learn some substantive lessons and change course to support more evidence based economic policy.  Let's hope he does.

                          "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                          by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:00:46 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Roosevelt didn't "consciously" choose Keynes (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          JC from IA, Sybil Liberty

                          In fact, as historian William Leuchtenberg writes, even after the Roosevelt Recession:

                          While Roosevelt had broken with the budget-balancers and resumed spending, he still had not embarked on the kind of massive spending which the Keynseians called for.  He seems to have been even less impressed with Keynes than the British economist was with the President’s grasp of economics, and at no point did he, in fact, embrace Keynesianism.  “It is not clear,” reflected Keynes’s official biographer, “that he acted on the principle that it was the deficit, rather than the public works themselves, that was the potent agency in reducing unemployment.”  Roosevelt trusted in common sense and in finding a middle way between extremes.  (Leuchtenberg, Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940, 264)

                          Not only that, Paul Krugman concurs with this view:

                          Now, you might say that the incomplete recovery shows that “pump-priming”, Keynesian fiscal policy doesn’t work. Except that the New Deal didn’t pursue Keynesian policies. Properly measured, that is, by using the cyclically adjusted deficit, fiscal policy was only modestly expansionary, at least compared with the depth of the slump.

                          "In the long run, Americans will always do the right thing — after exploring all other alternatives." - Winston Churchill

                          by puakev on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:40:33 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  FDR was making it up as he went along (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            blueoasis

                            Glass-Steagall, SS, Wagner Act, WPA, PWA, CCC, and TVA were all radical departures from anything that had ever been previously considered, much less tried.  Obama as I noted above, is more akin to Hoover, a point that I don't see anyone disputing here.  Over 2.5 years into the worst slump since the 1930's, this WH is just now just considering a paltry few hundred million in EPA funding fo direct job creation while spending $700bn on the Pentagon and after throwing >$1tn at Wall Street.

                            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                            by RFK Lives on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:15:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't dispute (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sybil Liberty

                            that what FDR did was much bigger than anything Obama has done or anything that came before him.  But your own words were that Roosevelt "consciously chose Keynes" when he did no such thing.

                            "In the long run, Americans will always do the right thing — after exploring all other alternatives." - Winston Churchill

                            by puakev on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:33:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Yes FDR learned from his mistakes... (5+ / 0-)

        three terms as president didn't hurt.

        I was born during his second term, in the middle of FDR's Great Recession. Lest we forget, FDR's initial stimulus wasn't extensive enough either.

        btw, how's that primary challenge going?

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:05:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agree (6+ / 0-)

          FDR learned from his mistakes.  He was willing to consider something better when his first plan didn't create enough jobs/stimulus.

          Members of FDR's own party (and his wife) raised hell and pushed him to create a bigger, better jobs program.  It worked.  We should all be grateful they did so.

          Kind of like today, only Obama is no FDR and Michelle is no Eleanor. He doesn't acknowledge mistakes, therefore can't learn from them. His supporters attack and disparage the same kind of Dems who pushed FDR for a better plan.   So, no, Obama will not experience the same level of success as FDR.

          "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

          by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:11:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The "something better" he considered? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fayea, TFinSF

            He implemented during his second term.

            The same kind of Dems who disparage and attack Obama are the same kind of Dems who disparaged and attacked FDR.

            difference today being these 'courageous patriots' attack and disparage prolifically & anonymously from behind the safety of their keyboards

            a real commendation to the frustrati

            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

            by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:25:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obama has the benefit of FDR's experience (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tyree

              Obama doesn't have to craft a new solution from scratch, he already has a template to work from that has been a proven success.  

              See RFKLives' comment above with link to his previous diary on the topic.

              "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

              by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:40:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  FDR told his uncle "I am a "bumblebee" I am (0+ / 0-)

            going to keep on bumbling".
            He was continually getting reports on how to reform this, or improve that, and took criticism for his 'alphabet soup' of programs.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/...

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:02:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Four terms, actually. But, who's counting? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sybil Liberty

          FDR just didn't finish his fourth, it all.

          It is also good to remember that FDR did not face the same filibuster rules in the Senate or their recent abuse, and the Dems managed considerably more substantial majorities in Congress as a result of the Great Depression.

          While there are similarities, there are also major differences between the two presidencies.  Different times, different country.  First AA POTUS, ever as opposed to lordly white patrician of European descent, with famous family name instead of vaguely Muslim-sounding one.  Etc., etc., etc.

          •  well sure, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JC from IA

            but now you'll be accuse of "attacking" their sacred cow, the romanticized version of perhaps our greatest president ever.

            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

            by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:13:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, I know. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sybil Liberty, Stuart Heady

              I am constantly amazed, though, how many times I see these false equivalencies posted here between two administrations decades removed from one another.  And, by Really Serious Front Pagers.

              I was born many years after Roosevelt passed, but I gather he was maybe the best politician of the past century.  I do not believe he made a move that he did not calculate out thoroughly.  Hell, he manged to use the Soviet Army to defeat the Germans and took over top-dog spot from the British Empire at the same time!  That's some politics, right there!

              OTOH, Barack Obama may well be the best politician I've seen in my lifetime; but, on top of dealing with an incredible economic disaster, he is having to do it with a dysfunctional Legislative Branch, and I do not mean just the more recent Congress.  Even in the first two years, he did not have unassailable majorities in either house, not even close.  Yet, he managed to get a great deal done.

              As to the current Congress, FDR never dealt with opposition that put their dogma above all else, up to and including self-inflicted global economic meltdown.  He simply did not have to contend with politicians who refused to be frightened even by armageddon; many of them, in fact, welcome it.

              Well, the POTUS can make all the pretty speeches and issue all the challenges and use every trick at his disposal, but I cannot think of an effective counter to a politician who puts dogma over his own political future.  

              And, I do not think FDR would have had any easier time with this particular problem that Obama is contending with.

          •  don't forget there was a planned coup of FDR (0+ / 0-)

            without the ants the rainforest dies

            by aliasalias on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:04:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10

      FDR, a progressive Democrat, was attacked by communists and socialists in the same way that Obama is attacked by progressive democrats.

      Politics is the art of changing what's possible.

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:47:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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