all years | 1929 | 1939

 1932  Will It Never End?

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President: Hoover (R); Senate: Watson (R-IN); House: Garner (D-TX).

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The depression continued in 1932 and President Herbert Hoover actively intervened to reverse it. Congress passed and the president signed the Reconstruction Finance Act. It authorized the establishment of a Reconstruction Finance Corporation, modeled after the War Finance Corporation of World War I, and loaned money to banks, railroads, and agricultural organizations. The RFC also extended aid to state and local governments. In 1932, it dispersed a total of $1.5 billion. By 1932 the federal government’s budget balance was seriously in deficit and President Hoover pushed the Revenue Act of 1932 through Congress. It raised individual tax rates with the top rate increasing from 25 percent to 67 percent, doubled inheritance taxes, and raised corporate income taxes by 15 percent.

In the November presidential election campaign, Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt of New York criticized the incumbent President Hoover for increasing government spending, blocking trade, and putting millions of Americans on the dole. Governor Roosevelt won the election in a landslide of 42 states to 6 and a popular vote of 57 to 40 percent over President Hoover. In the Senate elections the Democrats picked up 12 seats, and in the House elections an additional 97 seats. In the new 73rd Congress the Democrats controlled the Senate with 59-36 seats, and in the House with 313-117 seats.

Bailing Out Businesses with the RFC

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Intention: intentLiberal Line: lib
Outcome: outcomeConservative Line: con

Raising Tax Rates in the Middle of a Depression

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Intention: intentLiberal Line: lib
Outcome: outcomeConservative Line: con

all years | 1929 | 1939

1929-1939: “A Decade that will live — in stupidity.”

Why Stuck on Stupid?

Seventy years ago the leaders of both US political parties turned away from the policies that had created an economic powerhouse we call the Roaring Twenties. For ten long years Americans suffered through wrenching economic dislocations: deflation, inflation, a four-year economic contraction, endless unemployment, mindless political experiments, and ruthless attacks on businessmen for political gain as their leaders stayed Stuck on Stupid.

Today, after a twenty-five year economic boom, Americans are once more faced with a political elite that wants to monkey with success. It wants to raise tax rates. It wants to restrict trade. It wants to increase government power.

It’s time to look back and remind ourselves how it came to be, starting in 1929, that America got itself Stuck on Stupid. Otherwise it could happen again.

 — Christopher Chantrill

 

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presented by Christopher Chantrill
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