all years | 1929 | 1939

 1936  Buy the Election

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President: Roosevelt (D); Senate: Robinson (D-AR); House: Byrns (D-TN).

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In 1935 the federal government spent $9.2 billion with a deficit of 5.5 percent of GDP. In 1936, the presidential election year, the federal government would spend $10.2 billion, 14 percent more, and run a deficit of 6.6 percent of GDP. President Roosevelt was running for reelection and he meant to win. Roosevelt had programs for farmers, for labor, for pensioners, for veterans. He passed a Rural Electrification Act to bring power to rural areas. He had programs for building schools, swimming pools, courthouses, and libraries in every community in the country. And it seemed to be working. Within a year unemployment dropped from 22 percent to 14 percent. Just to make sure that the voters were getting the message the president advanced a plan to increase taxes on savings and undistributed corporate earnings, and sent form ISC9 to every voter to remind them that they "would have something to live on" after they were too old to work. The president was stringing the sinews of patronage that would bind working Americans to the Democratic Party for the next 45 years.

In the presidential election campaign, President Roosevelt swept the election in a landslide of 46 states to 2 and a popular vote of 61 to 37 percent over Kansas Governor Alf Landon. In the Senate elections the Democrats picked up 5 net seats, and in the House elections an additional 12 seats. In the new 75th Congress the Democrats reached a high water mark, controlling the Senate with 76-16 seats, and in the House with 334-88 seats.


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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