The similarities of US Government actions now and in the beginning of the Great Depression are frightening. We are talking Friday the 13th scary here. How many times must they unlock the door to the basement? Here is a clue: Jason's still down there. (Not coincidentally, Jason returns this Friday--the first Friday the 13th of 2009.)
Hold onto your armrests as we review the Great Depression Script and see how the Obama Production compares (co-produced with the Fourth Estate). I include the Fourth Estate in this because it is the mouthpiece of the Democratic party. Disagree? Write or call your favorite reporter and ask them "What will the GDP be with and without this plan? Especially over the long term?" You will be answered with stunned silence.
Lets go to the score card:
Great Depression: Massive increase in government (which did not help the economy.)
Obama/Fourth Estate: Massive increase in government that will not help the economy either.
Great Depression: Smoot-Hawley Tarriffs wreck economy
Obama/Fourth Estate: Buy American, carbon caps/tax
Great Depression: The administration prosecuted those that had profited on Wall Street during the roaring 20's. (Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression (2007), Chapter 7)
Obama/Fourth Estate: Obama targets Wall Street excess
Great Depression: Over One Thousand Economists Publish Letter Opposing Government Proposals. (Shlaes, Page 96)
Obama/Fourth Estate: Hundreds of Economists Write Letter Opposing Government Proposals.
Great Depression: Administration Experiments with Economy (Shlaes, Chapter 5)
Obama/Fourth Estate: House Appropriations Chairman Dave Obey, D-Wis., said the goal is to act now and address problems later. During the Depression, he said, President Franklin Roosevelt "tried lots of things. We'll do the same thing."
Great Depression: Americans elect a charismatic politician to the White House with the primary skill of giving fireside chats and little real knowledge of the economy.
Obama/Fourth Estate: Americans elect a politician to the White House with the primary skill of good 30 second sound bites and little real knowledge of the economy.
Score: And the Oscar Goes to. . .BO-44!!!
Great Depression: Roosevelt is elected on a platform to abolish useless commissions, reduce government spending and then did exactly the opposite.
Obama/Fourth Estate: Obama pledges to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and now is doing exactly the opposite.
I have to hand it to BO-44, his "spend wisely" rhetoric sounds great, but is unpersuasive and not applied to the present plan. Likewise, the only thing that historians can agree upon about Roosevelt is that his fireside chats were comforting while they distracted from the sub-rosa goal of turning the country towards socialism.
So, the conditions precedent to a re-release of the original horror from the '30s would be:
- Wage/price controls,
- To see the Supreme Court throw out the "Stimulus Bill" as unconstitutional, as was Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration, and
- Have Obama threaten to pack the Supreme Court, though it doesn't appear as if threats will be required this time.
Friends, when the title of the movie starts with "Halloween ..." or "Friday the ...", we don't need to see the picture to know what is in it or how it ends. As far as making government bigger, well we've seen that movie before. No thank you.
See Greg Mankiw's "It’s No Time for Protectionism" in Saturday's New York Times.