The following piece was taken from a comment by Carlos Lumpuy to an article entitled “Obama: Campaigning Like It’s 1936″ by Merrill Matthews, on Forbes.com. The comment stands on its own but read the article for a wonderfully insightful and factual account of the failures of the past and the repeat of same in the present.
“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!” – Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
These words were spoken 72 years ago before the House Ways and Means Committee in May 1939 by Henry Morgenthau, Jr. — close friend, lunch companion, and loyal Secretary of the Treasury until 1945 to President Franklin D. Roosevelt — and key architect of FDR’s New Deal.
With these words, Morgenthau summarized the harsh suffering and protracted misery, the lost decade that was the 1930’s.
When FDR was elected President in 1932 unemployment was 23%. When Morgenthau spoke these words seven years later, just before the start of World War II, unemployment was still 19%.
Private sector investment remained volatile during the period of the 1930′s, in part because of the uncertainty created for business by the radical and shifting policies of the Roosevelt New Deal.
Indeed, with those words, Morgenthau confessed what so many keepers of FDR’s New Deal flame still won’t admit today:
massive public sector spending on public works programs doesn’t erase historic unemployment. It doesn’t produce an economic recovery, it postpones one.
Nearly three generations of Americans later, we just went through another $800 billion “stimulus” last year, this President now proposes yet another $450 billion and there are still some Democrats wanting an even bolder economic stimulus that depends on even more hundreds of billions in new deficit federal government spending to create jobs.
This President’s problem is not messaging, but gambling America’s future on an economic policy that is not only false but a proven failure now as in the 1930’s.
When he agreed to let Congress blow out the deficit through the $800 billion stimulus package, he bet his entire Presidency that Paul Krugman and the Democrats’ Keynesian obsession would be right.
John Maynard Keynes and Paul Krugman have been wrong all along because they think government can spend and spend and spend other people’s money to prosperity.
What needs most of all to be brought to the fore is the folly, the mendacity that public sector government spending can be equated to private sector spending.
Private capital and private resources applied with private risk taking within the private sector are altogether different from public sector government spending other people’s money acquired through taxes extracted from a productive private sector.
Our prosperity comes from the private sector. This is the real world of personal risk taking, privately applied capital and productive resources, the real world struggle of just making a living in the results oriented private sector that does not allow for waste, inefficiencies, bloated bureaucracies, ineffective endeavors, deficit spending, insolvencies, and protracted development.
If the majority of our economy is consumer spending, I’d feel a lot better if those on unemployment compensation, social security, and the now more than 46 million Americans on the SNAP food stamp program were all spending their own money.
But they are not. Consequently we cannot equate this spending with those consumers spending their own hard earned money that comes as a result of productive activity.
Yet in this modern government accounting, it’s all counted the same within the nation’s GDP.
I contend this to be a false and detrimental economic evaluation, a perversion of economic reality, and a highly misleading statement of our well being.
As Ronald Reagan said in October 1964, “For three decades, we’ve sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning, and the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan.” -this from his greatest “A Time for Choosing” rendezvous-with-destiny speech:
It is a road to ruin led by central planners within an unlimited highly intrusive federal government spending public money without essential private sector risk taking that allows for recourse and sustaining concerns providing sustaining employment.
It all ends up in a huge betrayal to the citizens they’re supposed to protect with the wells of Congress and the wells of state and municipal public chambers across this country filled with unpaid bills.
Most sixth graders could understand these words I write. How is it that all these Ivy Leaguers that continue to govern us can’t ?
The debate over the role of the federal government in our lives should never be about being small or big. That has always been a distraction and a folly merely arguing about it size in a debate that can never be won merely arguing about its size.
Unlike our community organizing inexperienced President who so misguided thinks it’s all about him and his collectivist ideals as he continues to create a huge false sense of entitlement in our young people, we seek limited government and free unlimited opportunity, fair play and the rule of law for everyone, as our argument is rooted in something greater than ourselves.
We argue from where the parameters of the federal government and its role in our lives are more easily and clearly defined and restrained.
Provide for a well armored military, coin of the realm, diplomacy, borders, etc.
Limited federal government. This is nothing new.
It was always as written long ago, limited government by charter as described by the father of constitution James Madison in this gem from Federalist 45:
“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the state governments are numerous and indefinite.”
The world may never see again the distinguished and illustrious Philadelphia gathering of 56 noble God fearing men with such integrity and wisdom, but we can always read and learn from them.
It is a creed.
It’s ours, uniquely ours.
It is entirely American.
In governance, it is our very essence.
One year from now we will have won this debate of our lifetime well grounded in the premise that we are not a democracy; we are a constitutional republic. We must never forget that.
But all victory is fleeting.
In the conservative ascendency that begins in January 2013, we must clearly defy and reverse the left’s revisionist history and their hold on our young people. We must assert a new American Renaissance: we must simply define for ourselves and a watchful world just what it truly means to be an American.
We are American citizens, and we are indeed exceptional. A true reading of American history proves this and what I write here to be true.
We must not fail. We cannot fail. We are not citizens of the world.
We are Americans.