Missouri's 7th District, U.S. House of Representatives




Congressional Issues 2012
The New Deal

Congress should:
  • Repudiate the philosophy of "The New Deal"
  • Repudiate the alleged "laissez-faire policies" of Herbert Hoover
  • Promote true laissez-fare capitalism.

"New Deal" -- New God
On January 6, 1941, [FDR] gave his famous "Four Freedoms" speech, promising citizens freedom of speech, freedom of worship -- and then he got creative: "The third [freedom] is freedom from want ... everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear ... anywhere in the world." Proclaiming a goal of freedom from fear meant that the government henceforth must fill the role in daily life previously filled by God and religion. His list was clearly intended as a "replacement set" of freedoms, since otherwise there would have been no reason to mention freedom of speech and worship, already protected by the First Amendment.
Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms" Fraud by James Bovard

Freedom from want and freedom from fear are essential parts of the Biblical doctrine of salvation. "The New Deal" makes the State our Savior. It is a form of idolatry. The Bible says God punishes idolatry with poverty, not blessing. The policies of The New Deal actually lowered America's standard of living from what it would have been under capitalism.

America's educational system has a supreme myth that serves as the foundation of American statism: "Franklin Roosevelt got America out of the Great Depression. He saved capitalism from itself."

Until wartime orders from Great Britain in 1940 began to stimulate domestic production in America, the American economy remained in depression.

In 1941, the American economy was still weak. Our entry into World War II, which Roosevelt had promised voters in his 1940 campaign would not happen, justified the Federal Reserve System's policy of mass inflation. Wartime wage controls kept wages from rising. This lowered real wages, creating demand for workers. Then the draft boards pulled 12 million men into the military. Most were shipped overseas. Full employment at home was restored!

War was Roosevelt's tool of economic recovery: inflation, controls, and the draft.

The New Deal consummated the revolution in centralism launched by Abraham Lincoln in 1861–65 and extended by Woodrow Wilson, 1913–21.

Until the New Deal is exposed as a conspiracy against Constitutional liberties, liberalism will carry on without much resistance. Conservatives will uncritically accept the New Deal, as Reagan did and as Newt Gingrich does. As long as FDR is seen as a liberator and not as a conspirator against liberty, citizens will remain captives of the worldview which FDR represented: statist to the core.

Gary North, whom we have been quoting thus far, describes The Book on FDR We Don't Have:

The story of the United States that is told in high school textbooks, college textbooks, and virtually all monographs is that the New Deal was necessary to overcome the Great Depression and overthrow Nazi and Japanese tyranny.

The story assumes that what Roosevelt did was constitutional, or, if it wasn't (sometimes grudgingly admitted by the textbook's author), then the Constitution had to be scrapped by him in the twin emergencies of depression and war.

There is no book that targets college graduates which tells the story of the New Deal as an illegitimate revolution against the Constitution. No well-documented book shows that the New Deal's domestic economic policy was a failure and also that its foreign policy was a conspiracy against the public and the opposite of Roosevelt's explicit political assurances of peace in the 1940 Presidential campaign. There are a few academic books that admit even one thesis; none asserts both.

Until the New Deal is exposed as a conspiracy against Constitutional liberties, liberalism will carry on without much resistance. Conservatives will uncritically accept the New Deal, as Reagan did and as Newt Gingrich does. As long as FDR is seen as a liberator and not as a conspirator against liberty, citizens will remain captives of the worldview which FDR represented: statist to the core.


The study should discuss the New Deal as an extension of the political centralization of the early Republican Party and also an extension of Progressivism, which captured the Democrats in the campaign of 1896: Bryan's.

It should show that the Great Depression was caused by Federal Reserve monetary inflation, 1924–29. It should show that the FED inflated after 1930, but to no effect. It should treat the depression in terms of Mises' monetary theory of the business cycle.

It should discuss Hoover's economic policies as precursors to Roosevelt's. It should also show that both Hoover and Roosevelt had been employed in the early 1920's by American corporate interests that sought favors from the Federal government.

It should show that Roosevelt campaigned on a limited government platform in 1932, yet immediately adopted an anti-Constitutional grab for power during the first hundred days. He immediately closed the banks, which had been Hoover's idea. On his own authority, he signed an executive order confiscating Americans' gold. This was only the beginning.

It should show that Roosevelt adopted policies in 1941 that were calculated to provoke Japan into an attack. It should show that he knew the attack was imminent on the weekend of December 6.

It should show that wartime inflation, the military draft, and price and wage controls were what got the economy out of the depression, at a terrible price.

The New Deal began with Herbert Hoover, as Murray Rothbard shows in his book, America's Great Depression:

The New Deal and the 2008 Bailout


Too much of what the politicians are currently doing rhymes too well with what the politicians did during the Great Depression.

Then, as now, the politicians blamed the economic downturn on the free market. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now.

The government caused the Great Depression.

Predictably, government schools [and the media] don't teach this view. Instead, they teach that . . .

The depression became Great because President Hoover was an advocate of laissez-faire economics who did nothing to intervene. In fact, Hoover was the first president to ever make major interventions in the economy.

Roosevelt aid Rexford Guy Tugwell was to say years later . . .

“We didn’t admit it at the time, but practically the whole New Deal was extrapolated from programs that Hoover started.” (Source: Paul Johnson, A History of the American People -- New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997, p. 741)

Even FDR himself agreed that Hoover had intervened, he just disagreed with the interventions. During the 1932 presidential campaign Roosevelt repudiated Hoover's meddling, saying . . ."The doctrine of regulation and legislation by 'masterminds' ... has been too glaringly apparent at Washington during the [Republican administrations]."

And during the 1932 presidential campaign Roosevelt constantly criticized Hoover for his huge deficits, promising instead . . .

* "immediate and drastic reductions of all public expenditures"
* "abolishing useless commissions and offices, consolidating bureaus and eliminating extravagances"
* "reductions in bureaucracy"
* Implied tax cuts
* And a "sound currency to be maintained at all hazards."

We aren't taught that Roosevelt promised these things. Instead, we're taught that FDR's heroic interventions saved the free market from itself.

But what did his interventions actually achieve?

* The depression became Great under FDR's guidance.
* It lasted more than a decade.
* Prosperity never returned while he was President.
* The economy only recovered after Roosevelt was dead and buried

Even FDR's own economic team knew that his New Deal interventions had been a complete failure. Here's what FDR's Treasury Secretary, Henry Morganthau, admitted to Congress in May, 1939 . . .

"We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong ... somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises ... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... And an enormous debt to boot!" 

It's significant that Hoover and Roosevelt were the first to intervene in the economy. Previous downturns had always been allowed to run their course, lasting from a few months to a couple of years. But the first one the politicians tried to stop is the one that lasted more than a decade, and that really hit hard.

If government intervention worked, then why did the 1929 depression become Great, when none had before?

It ought to make you angry. The injustice is so clear. The politicians caused the problem, blamed it on the free market, and then benefited from the disaster they had created by grabbing vast amounts of power and money.

And now it's happening again. History, sadly, is rhyming.

We're being told that the economic downturn resulting from the housing bubble is a market failure, and that massive government intervention is needed in all directions. But the truth is this . . .

In short, the politicians should stop pursuing policies that rhyme with those pursued during the Great Depression.

In addition, the advocates of Big Government should be asked . . .

  • Why, precisely, was the first economic downturn in which the government intervened the only one that became so bad that it earned the name of the Great Depression?
  • And why is it, precisely, that the major areas of American life where the government has intervened to make things more affordable -- such as health care, higher education, and housing -- are exactly those areas where costs have risen the most?

Government intervention does not work. It does not make things more affordable, it makes them more expensive. It does not prevent economic downturns, it causes them, and deepens them.

next: Campaign Finance, Corruption and the Oath of Office