Monday, February 09, 2009

Lies and Damn Lies

Devilstower has a necessary read over at the Great Satan but here are the guts. There is more there. In a nutshell, it is a damn lie that the New Deal didn't work and that it, in fact, made the depression worse. You have read it and heard it everywhere including in the comments on this very blog. Read the whole thing.

Where was the stimulus? Just take a look. From the moment FDR began to enact the programs of the New Deal, the economy began its recovery. After four years of steady declines, Roosevelt's programs brought on an immediate improvement in the national fortune. Within three years, the national GDP exceeded the level in 1929. By the time the bombs fell at Pearl Harbor, the GDP had been up every year but one since 1933, and that one downward tick in 1937 marks the exact point at which budget hawks forced cuts in the New Deal programs.

That's the story the numbers tell. The New Deal worked, worked well, and worked quickly. These days, we define recessions as two consecutive quarters of declining gross domestic product. By that measure, when did the Great Depression end? One quarter after Roosevelt took office, that's when. Yes, it took years to repair the damage of the anything goes marketeers, but the recovery started the moment the New Deal started.

But even clamping their hands over their eyes and refusing to look at the numbers isn't the strangest part of the Republican Myth of FDR Failure. The oddest idea is that "putting the nation on a war footing" was the cure that finally ended the depression when the New Deal couldn't get the job done. It's something that gets repeated every time this tall tale is told, because even Republicans realize that the Great Depression did end. They just have to think of some way to give credit to something other than Democrats.

edited to fix the link

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