I agree with Pete that Paul Krugman seems to be losing it entirely. His column this morning essentially accuses Republicans of not caring about the country, only about their own political advantage, as though a wrecked economy would be in the party’s interest.
Pete quotes Krugman, quoting Obama as follows:
“We [the Obama administration] didn’t actually, I think, do what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did, which was basically wait for six months until the thing had gotten so bad that it became an easier sell politically because we thought that was irresponsible. We had to act quickly.”
According to Krugman, “this is a right-wing smear,” and Mr. Obama, it turns out, “buys the right-wing smear.”
I am not a fan of President Obama, heaven knows, but could he possibly have so little knowledge of American history, not to mention his great predecessor in the White House, as to not know when presidents were inaugurated prior to 1936, and to have never heard of the Hundred Days? Things couldn’t have been any worse on March 4, 1933. Banks in 38 states were already closed. The stock exchange had announced it would not open that day and did not know when it would. Between March 4 and June 16, FDR signed into law the Emergency Banking Relief Act, created the Civilian Conservation Corps, took the country off the gold standard, signed the Federal Emergency Relief Act, the Agricultural Adjustment Act, established the Tennessee Valley Authority, signed the Federal Securities Act, got Congress to cancel gold clauses in contracts, signed the National Employment Act, the Homeowners Refinancing Act, the Banking Act of 1933, the Farm Credit Act, the Emergency Railroad Transportation Act, and the National Industrial Recovery Act.
An easier sell? The Emergency Banking Relief Act passed both houses of Congress in less than a day (no, they didn’t read it). Roosevelt was, essentially, the dictator of the United States (in the sense that all power was placed in his hands for a limited time to meet the emergency, a la the old Roman Republic) for three months.
As for a right-wing smear, I had never heard this tale before. It would be interesting to track it down.