UNDER THE GUISE OF RECOVERY
BUST THE GOVERNMENT
BLAME THE CAPITALISTS FOR THE FAILURE
JUNK THE CONSTITUTION AND DECLARE A DICTATORSHIP
And that’s what the power-drunk “young pinkies from Harvard and Columbia” are doing in this political cartoon, originally published in the Chicago Tribune on April 21, 1934. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)
Ten months before that, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation which would artificially inflate prices and wages. It was fear of decreasing prices and wages, blame for which was placed squarely on the shoulders of capitalism and the free market, which facilitated Roosevelt’s New Deal policies which, according to UCLA Econonics Department Vice Chair Lee Ohanian, “short-circuited the market’s self-correcting forces.”
In other words, said Ohanian and University of Pennsylvania economist Harold Cole, Roosevelt’s leadership at a time of economic crisis actually may have extended the Great Depression by seven years, an assessment which has since been clouded by the left’s revisionist history.
“Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump,” said Ohanian back in August 2004. “We found that a relapse isn’t likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies.”
The legislation signed by FDR in June of 1933, just ten months before the Chicago Tribune cartoon was run, was called the National Industrial Recovery Act. Fast-forward to 2009 and we have the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — essentially the same name, save for the word “industrial,” likely missing because it brings up the blood pressure of the global socialists masquerading as environmentalists on the left. Since Obama’s own ill-conceived stimulus policy was signed into law, we’ve seen the young pinkos in today’s federal government almost use the “Plan of Action for U.S.” in that Chicago Tribune cartoon as a checklist.
Spend! Spend! Spend! Despite decrying the $1.2 trillion deficit inherited from the similarly free market-averse Bush administration, President Obama and his Democrats spent at a rate of approximately $1 billion per hour for every hour of his first 50 days in office. At first, it was $787 for a so-called stimulus package. Then, it was $410 billion for an appropriations bill. Somewhere after that, I lost count; last I checked, we’re hovering at about $2.5 trillion, and that’s not even including the budget.
Bust the Government! It’s a record budget this year, right in there at about $3.65 trillion, accounting for a yearly $1.75 trillion budget deficit. Some are estimating that Barack Obama will add to the national debt more than has been added by every president from George Washington to George W. Bush . . . combined.
Blame the Capitalists for the Failure! My goodness, where to even begin? We’ve seen protesters load into chartered buses so as to protest in front of houses owned by AIG executives, and heard about how those same executives and their families have received death threats. We watched as the Obama administration instituted salary caps for executives whose companies accept federal bailout funds, and shook our heads as Barney Frank lobbied to extend those salary caps to all employees of such companies. And the list goes on and on.
Junk the Constitution and Declare a Dictatorship! Well, the dictatorship has not necessarily been declared yet, but we’ve certainly turned a blind eye to our Constitution. Among other examples of blatant disregard: Congress violated Article 1, Section 9 by passing ex post facto legislation which would apply a 90 percent punitive tax on executive bonuses such as those previously provided for specifically by Congress to AIG executives. And, of course, there’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner lobbying for unprecedented power and control over private organizations, allowing the federal government to buy and sell assets, a clear violation of the Takings Clause. At this point, hang up your fake parchment reproduction of our Constitution, close your eyes, and throw a dart — you’re likely to hit a clause or provision which has been, or will be, brushed aside by our president and his administration.
History, we’re seeing, is repeating itself.
“The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes,” Cole, the Penn economist, said in 2004. “Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened.”
Today’s Capitol Hill is the very definition of government intervention, which oddly enough even Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned us about at the World Economic Forum in January.
“Excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence is another possible mistake,” Putin said. “True, the state’s increased role in times of crisis is a natural reaction to market setbacks. Instead of streamlining market mechanisms, some are tempted to expand state economic intervention to the greatest possible extent.”
Greatest possible extent? A fortnight ago, the president of the United States essentially constructively terminated a private sector CEO, General Motors’ Rick Wagoner. I’d say our government is intervening a little bit.
Unfortunately, this administration and the Democrats currently holding power in our nation’s capital are ensuring that each and every American man, woman and child bear the consequences and burdens of leadership unable to learn the lessons from history which should have been learned long ago. This Chicago Tribune cartoon, in plain black-and-white, should make that fact painfully obvious. Spread the word.
(NOTE: Economists Cole and Ohanian also penned a more recent op-ed piece for The Wall Street Journal. It can be found by clicking HERE. Many thanks to a reader who e-mailed me with the information — I had read their previous reports, but didn’t notice the WSJ piece back in February. Thank you.)