by Steve Finefrock, founder Hollywood Conservative Forum
“Justice Department attorneys and Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau refused to accept good intentions as an excuse from a target when it came to tax return accuracy,” notes Amity Shlaes in her revised history of the Great Depression and FDR’s claim to have cured it with his confiscatory policies. This came to mind one week last fall, of the rise of The People’s Republic of Wall Street – to cite a gleeful lefty analyst of the bailout, which then was predicted to possibly reach a trillion smackers of taxpayer money. Since then, it’s likely to exceed that figure.
As lefty economists and commentariatists harp that it’s again “like the Great Depression” and similar screeds, considering Amity’s revisiting that era is worthy of spreading to the general public. Harsh were the New Dealers then, and their associates today. Notably, most firmly, in view of the easy pass, with accompanying wet-kiss, for Treasury nominee Geithner. Consider a slightly fuzzy photocopy of a personal query letter from FDR to the IRS, as included in Amity’s examination, “The Forgotten Man”:
March 15, 1938
My dear Commissioner Helvering:-
I am enclosing my income tax return for the calendar year 1937, together with my check for $15,000.
I am wholly unable to figure out the amount of the tax for the following reasons:
The first twenty days of January, 1937, were part of my first term of office and to those twenty days the income tax rate of March 4, 1933 apply. To the other 345 days of the year 1937, the income tax rates as they existed on January 30, 1937 apply.
As this is a problem in higher mathematics, may I ask that the Bureau let me know the amount of the balance due? The payment of $15,000 doubtless represents a good deal more than half of what the eventual tax will be.
Very sincerely yours,
Amity notes in the book-caption: “In this letter, which accompanied the president’s 1937 return, Roosevelt suggests that good intentions suffice in his own case.” The letter was signed by the New Deal schemer himself, admitting that he, with an Ivy League education and stacks of family lawyers and accountants, couldn’t figure his own tax liability.
And so it goes: DIFFERENT RULES FOR DIFFERENT FOOLS.
Then, and now, and forever more – IF YOU’RE A DEMOCRAT.
As the libs rant about this era being worse economically than any time “since the Great Depression” then let us nominate a substitute rallying cry:
Since Jimmy Carter!
And as to FDR ‘solving’ the Depression, the commentariat on the right might arm themselves with some disarming data, assembled sequentially by Shlaes. Chapter by chapter, she opens with the key economic indicators of the period, as follows, starting before the economy collapsed:
Avg unemployment (UI) for year: 3.3%
Dow Jones Industrials (DJI) listed: 155
UI avg for year: 3.3%
UI: Heading toward 5%
DJI (Oct.1): 343
UI: 17.4% for month
UI: 23.2% and heading down
November 1, 1934
August 27, 1937
Some ‘honest’ liberal theologians of their version of ‘history’ admit that it took WW2 to ‘fix the Depression’ – but say so only to use that as an excuse to accelerate spending as if we were in a war against worldwide fascism. And also ignore another piece of data: the Dow Jones struggled to finally reach its pre-crash number in the second year of the EISENHOWER ADMINISTRATION. Not even WW2 could fix the mess that FDR enhanced with confiscatory taxes and punitive regulations.
It took WW2 and the early phase of the Cold War to ‘fix’ the economy, if in fact that is what did the trick. And what was the ‘worse’ month of the Depression? Another little fact ignored by ‘history’ professionals: December of 1937, a full year after FDR’s re-election, achieved on the claim that we’d turned the corner, there was light at the end of the tunnel, Happy Days Are Here Again.
FDR lied, businesses died – as he hiked taxes, ever more and often, finding ever new ways to advance his ‘capitolism: centralizing power in the nation’s capitol city of Washington, D.C. And added burrocrats, and rules over the economy that would have made Stalin smile in a broad commie grin. Some were so ridiculous that when SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] heard one case, the Justices actually laughed! The temerity of the gummint telling butchers what to charge for dressing a chicken went beyond black humor; it brought sit-down comedy to the highest tribunal.
Then and now, them and us, one rule for thee, one for me – that’s the liberal creed. And for OTO, who claims the mantle of FDR, JFK and Lincoln, it is his own capitolism. As Lincoln centralized power, justified by liberal historians as it was to free the slaves and subjugate the South, and FDR further enhanced an Imperial Presidency [as had Wilson, incidentally], so JFK and LBJ sought more capitol-centered power, as tried Carter and Clinton.
And so will OTO – false claiming that this is worse than the Depression, when in fact we have to go only back to Carter’s extension of lengthy stagflation to find the worse economic setting than what we’ve seen. But that would put the onus where the anus of the democrats resides. Their anus ain’t getting any sodomy lunges by the media – they buy into the claim [unchallenged by ‘spokesmen’ and women of the right, at least to date] that things are worse than any time Since The Depression.
Lies, damned lies, and damnable liars on the left, and in the media, and among the ‘historians’ who put this execrable muck into children’s minds in classrooms. Will SCOTUS have another occasion to unanimously laugh at a successor to FDR’s regulatory monster?
Among your required-reading, Dear Conservatives, are Amity’s two books, one on the history of taxes [“The Greedy Hand”] and her more recent “The Forgotten Man.” Add P.J. O’Rourke’s two useful books – “Eat the Rich” and “Wealth of Nations” – and you’re on your way to understanding how the lies have built up for decades. Then consider Thomas Fleming’s “The New Dealers’ War” for some leavening on the larger issues, both economic and political, surrounding the Jekyll of Hyde Park.
Then you’ll appreciate how this Geithner double-standard is nuttin’ new. It’s the same ole crap, pure sewage in new skins, offered up with perfume and flowers, and a new racial shield that prevents almost any criticism of the socialist from Chicago. From Hyde Park of FDR’s upbringing to Hyde Park of Chicago politics. From 1938’s different rules for FDR, to 2008’s continuation of the pattern: seventy years and counting, as rules shift according to who is in power.
Nuttin’ new…. It is true, that “not since the Depression” have we had so much blarney per square ego from the DNC. Question is: When will our advocates get some learnin’ and get to tearing down these lies?
Uh, oh – can ya hear the capitolists’ bidding? Now approaching TWO TRILLION…
copyright 2009 Steve Finefrock
Finefrock is founder of Hollywood Forum, a speaker-bureau and panel-discussion vehicle to “Bring the Potomac to the Palisades” on issues that overlap politics and culture with the Hollywood film-TV influence on such national concerns. His scripts have addressed politics [including a TV series pilot/bible package about state political combat, called “A State of the Union”], hazardous materials [from twelve years in emergency management, including six years managing FEMA’s Superfund curriculum for hazmat], terrorism, equestrian reincarnation, serial murderer killing journalists in the nation’s capitol, and fantasy about time-wasters. Finefrock is proprietor of PhoneBooth: The Smallest Space in Hollywood…