Just Plain Stealing?
My hunch is that the political rhetoric in late summer, 2008, is going to sound eerily like the campaign jawboning of 1932. The Democrats are going to hammer Republicans because of a sluggish economy, among other things. They'll promise to put the economy back on track and get happy times rolling again.
We'll hear endless reminders about those balanced budgets of the Clinton Administration of the '90s. That was one of the platform planks FDR campaigned on, too. He promised, over and over, balanced budgets, a cut in federal government, and an end to the proliferation of government bureaus that President Hoover had created in a frantic effort to get the wobbly economy out of the ditch.
The Democrats will also exploit the anxiety Americans feel about the long-running military operation in Iraq and will pledge to "protect" the Social Security system from privatization as well as create a health insurance scheme that will subsidize sickness care whether people want it or not.
Harry Truman will probably come down from Heaven when the election returns are in to play "Happy Days Are Here Again" on an upright piano.
But even people inclined toward socialism can be shocked by liberal politics every now and then.
Sen. Thos. P. Gore, 1870-1
Sen. Thomas P Gore of Oklahoma went along with his party's ideas but began to question some of the more reckless actions the new president took after his inauguration in March, 1933.
Although totally blind, Senator Gore served many years in the U.S. Senate. (His surname became the first name of his grandson, the author Gore Vidal.) He was not blind, however, to some of Franklin Roosevelt's underhandedness. In June of 1933 when Congress, at Roosevelt's behest, declared invalid the clauses in all private and government contracts calling for payment in gold, Senator Gore said to the president, "Why, that's just plain stealing, isn't it Mr. President?"
It was stealing! Prior to FDR's brash move to take gold out of the hands of the people a person could go into a bank, swap a gold eagle coin for a $10.00 paper note and know that he could later exchange that note for a gold eagle any time he wished. The promise to redeem was plainly written on the note. That was ended June 5th, 1933. The United States government flatly declined to honor its solemn promises.
So, it is well established that political parties lie in their campaigns. It is further established that government will steal from the people if it must to keep expanding its operations. It's too early to guess exactly which theme will resonate with the voters a year from now, but it's a safe bet the Democrats will run some variation of the 1932 platform which promised to get the country out from under a wobbly economy and on the road to prosperity. Taxing the rich more heavily will be one of the planks. Although lauded for trying, Mr. Roosevelt couldn't get the country out from under the Great Depression until he took us to war and uncorked the inflation monster.
The present cycle of price inflation began in 1940. Whoever promises to get us out from under THAT money destroyer gets my vote!
October 10, 2007
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