FDR humorously responds to a charge that he "breakfasted every morning on a dish of grilled millionaire" during a speech at the University of North Carolina in December 1938.
For those few of you who still think President Barack Obama is a "socialist," we want to call out an excellent posting by Reuters’s David Cay Johnston.
Johnston reported Thursday on the vast difference of how U.S. government policies treated the 99% under President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the recovery period of the Great Depression vs. under Obama in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
It essentially comes down to this: U.S. policy in the 1930s was aimed at helping the vast majority of Americans through massive government-financed jobs and construction programs, known as the New Deal. But since 1980, government policies have been designed to help the already rich get richer with lower taxes and fewer audits.
Johnston is backed up by analysis of the latest IRS data by economists Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty:
Their chart comes to the same conclusion as indicated in Ed's favorite chart, the vulture chart:
FDR and his New Deal were called all sorts of nasty names by the rich and their minions: communist and socialist to name just a few. But, of course, he and Obama were/are neither.
FDR was, however, very different from Obama in one key area: the kind people he brought into his administration.
Roosevelt, Johnston writes, "brought in trust-busters, reformers and even an expert at Wall Street manipulations to implement policies benefiting the vast majority."
By contrast, Obama has surrounded himself with financial insiders and (has so far) failed to prosecute the central figures in the frauds that created the Great Recession. Consequently, the different tax and economic policies under FDR and Obama.
Johnston says we can change government policy again and for the better, but warns that if we don't, the trends in these charts will extend well into the future.