In this critical and uncertain time we are living in, it is imperative we must stand behind President Obama’s Stimulus Plan that will slowly but surely bring our country back to economic recovery. It is now time to reject the Republican rhetoric and ideologies of the past 8 years and move in a direction that embraces a diversity of people and perspectives versus the interest of only a wealthy few. If we fail to act now, economic hardship is surely on the horizon and as history has already shown this will certainly happen.
We are engaged on a double task, Recovery and Reform; recovery from the recession and the passage of those business and social reforms which are long overdue in America. It is not unlike the great challenges that faced Americans 75 years ago.
It is the same fight, the same rhetoric and a same repeat of history that we find ourselves in today.
It is the good fight of the American worker and the common people.
We shall overcome... again.
Historians look back on the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), and they are split as a community over his Presidency and governing ideologies, depending on their own personal beliefs and opinions. As a Republican, Coolidge believed in small-government, lower taxes, and a free market with little oversight and regulation. He felt that the government should stay completely out of economic affairs and that things would eventually work themselves out for the good rather than being tied down by costly government programs and intervention. Conservative historians view his time in office a success and he is attributed to supporting free market capitalism and small government. There was a rebirth of his school of thought during the Reagan years and later the Bush eras, as his economic approach is considered to be the foundation of what is now called trickle down economics or Reaganomics. Liberal historians look at his Presidency more in a negative tone and they criticize him for supporting irresponsible laissez-faire capitalism, which led to the huge crash of the financial markets in 1929 due to the lack of government oversight. His Commerce Secretary,Herbert Hoover, would go on to be his Republican successor of which Coolidge felt many of the country's financial mistakes were of his Secretary’s ignorance and legacy. Nevertheless, under the 31st President of Herbert Hoover (1929-1933), the stock market and US economy crashed to the lowest levels on historical record.
Hoover was popular and elected for his economic views as Commerce Secretary during the 1920’s, of which now people criticized him for and it would later cost him the Presidency. Hoover has been said by some to be a supporter of government regulation but many economists and historians disagree and they say he was just like his predecessor who firmly believed in laissez-faire capitalism in which the political processes should keeps its hands out and away from the economy. As a Republican, Hoover felt that government intervention would be more detrimental than doing nothing at all. He declined to pursue legislative action that was so critical to common Americans at this time. As a result, under his Presidency the markets continued to spiral downward out of control. Prior to the start of the Depression, Hoover's first Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon, had proposed, and saw enacted, numerous tax cuts, which cut the top income tax rate from 73% to 24%. When combined with the sharp decline in incomes during the early depression, the result was a serious deficit in the federal budget. Congress, desperate to increase federal revenue, enacted the Revenue Act of 1932. The Act increased taxes across the board, and the percentage increased with income, to near pre-1928 levels for top income earners. It also implemented a 13.75% tax on corporations.
The election of 1932 was a disaster for Hoover as FDR accused him of poor past policies that failed to bring about effective change for the country and it set the stage for his New Deal programs. FDR ran successfully four terms in a row and his New Deal was specifically aimed at the financial crisis in the early 1930’s. Unemployment was 25%, home foreclosures were at record levels, GDP and GNP was way down, and most all banks had been closed by the State and Government Officials. His New Deal was about Relief for unemployment, Reform of businesses and banks, and Recovery from the Great Depression. Wall Street and big business did not support FDR’s New Deal as it catered more to working Americans. The era of Ronald Regan was a time when many of the New Deal policies were lifted and the country went back to the ideas of deregulating the economy. Conservatives criticized FDR and his New Deal programs for being too big government, over regulating industry and banking, wasteful social spending, and not cutting enough taxes. Some conservatives today even say the economy did not come out of its slump until after WWII when FDR was well out of office. Liberals counteract and say look at the depression statistics and how when FDR came into office the GNP and unemployment were at its lowest recorded levels and how only in a few years the country went from depression to recession status. By 1940 the GNP was above 1929 levels and unemployment was half of what it was in 1933 when he took office. It might not have been a comeback overnight but there was a great benefit of this program that supported massive social spending and as the facts show the economy began to slowly improve. Liberals accuse conservatives of failing to see who and what got us into the situation that FDR had to dig the country out of and many people think it was he that caused the Great Depression. That could not be further from the truth and one thing that is certain amongst accredited scholars is that with out the New Deal programs of the 1930’s the country would have been in a worst economic situation than if nothing was done at all, as such was advocated under the previous Republican administrations and obviously did not work. After WWII the country had an economic engine to rebound back from but not because nothing was done by the government but because of the New Deal efforts of Relief, Reform, and Recovery. With out the New Deal programs of the 1930’s the economy would not have made such a rebound back after WWII.
The Roaring 2000's
Today we are still making history and what is even more haunting and horrifying are the nostalgic parallels of the past redefining the present and future moments. What is disconcerting though, is how people, media and government officials fail to see the truth and history of this country for what it really is. We want to believe and be informed by ideological rhetoric and headline news catch phrases versus critically thinking for ourselves. People and Representatives... NOW is the time to act in support of the Stimulus Plan brought before our country in this desperate time we are in. Unemployment is high, foreclosures are rampant, GNP is low, and banks continue to be shutdown daily. Lets not forget and make the same mistakes of the Depression past by following Republican ideological rhetoric that has put our country into the current financial situation that is has been thwarted into and what caused the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Laissez-faire capitalism and tax cuts are not the answer because it wages class warfare between wealthy executives and the middle class and poor. We need capitalism with socialistic principals. Those who disagree are contemporary classists who believed in giving political and financial favoritism to those based upon how much income they earn. The more income you get the more favoritism you receive and to be honest that way of thinking is unethical, wrong, of the past, and from those who assault civil order by waging classism and class warfare.
It is sad that the Republicans have again financially ruined the country and now they refuse to cooperate with the Democrats in Congress to get us out of this huge mess they put us into. Tax cuts will not work if people have no income coming in and again it will only help the rich make more money and more powerful. This is highly unethical in these harsh economic times and the majority of Americans right now agree with the previous statement. If our country is going to have a possible economic rebound in the future we need a stimulus plan now that can prevent our country from falling into a depression era status. To not act and be obstructionists like Republicans are calling for and have done so in the past will surely drive the American Dream for future generations to prosper into the ground.
My son asked me if his generation and the millions of young people in this country’s future could pay for the destruction of Bush, Reagan, Hoover and Coolidge policies that have been shown throughout history to harm, not help this country.
I told him that history was on our side.