Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts (Now and a Long Time Ago)

by Anita on March 4, 2011

Often in our history, presidents have been uncomfortable with the facts. Seventy years ago this week, columnists in the New York Times charged President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration with inflating the number of unemployed in America in early 1941.  Why?  Because FDR wanted to continue government programs such as the WPA, the NYA, and the CCC. Such programs gave Roosevelt and his party the funds to attract millions of swing voters into the Democratic Party.  As long as FDR claimed that the unemployment emergency was still a threat, his supporters in Congress would vote for the appropriations. Actually, unemployment rates were falling rapidly because of growth in armament industries and the peacetime draft.

President Obama doesn’t have to inflate the current unemployment rates, which are the highest in years.  However, he is copying FDR’s political tactics by ignoring the facts of the effectiveness of his programs.  Like Roosevelt, Obama pushed for massive spending on the 2008 stimulus package—much of which was targeted for programs to increase the Democratic vote in key cities and states.  Now, Obama’s administration must claim that the stimulus package was effective, when all it really did was grow the number of government employees and push the country deeper into debt. Also, President Obama’s bloated budget proposal for 2012 continues the large deficit spending for key Democratic groups—teachers (82 programs for teacher training, for example) and the unemployed (47 programs, many of which overlap, for job training).

Today, with the rise of the internet and the instant reporting of accurate economic data, the public is much more aware of propaganda strategies from the White House. FDR, unlike Obama, never had to face a tea party.  Thus, President Obama is finding out that most of the American public will not readily support government spending that is being wasted on more government programs to employ more government workers. The majority of Americans want a shrinking U. S. government, and smart politicians would do well to heed that trend.

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