Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Republican stupidity continues....

I found this Matt Yglesias posting on how U.S. Rep. Steve Austria blames Franklin Delano Roosevelt for causing the Great Depression by....wait for economic stimulus package:

U.S. Rep. Steve Austria said he supports a scaled-down federal economic-stimulus proposal, but the Beavercreek Republican told The Dispatch editorial board that the huge influx of money into the economy could have a negative effect.

"When (President Franklin) Roosevelt did this, he put our country into a Great Depression," Austria said. "He tried to borrow and spend, he tried to use the Keynesian approach, and our country ended up in a Great Depression. That's just history."

Most historians date the beginning of the Great Depression at or shortly after the stock-market crash of 1929; Roosevelt took office in 1933.

Rep. Austria then backtracked on his claim that Roosevelt started the Great Depression. In an email today, Austria wrote, ""I did not mean to imply in any way that President Roosevelt was responsible for putting us into the Depression, but rather was trying to make the point that Roosevelt's attempt to use significant spending to get us out of the Depression did not have the desired effect. Roosevelt did not put us into the Depression, but rather his policies could not pull the nation out of the recession."

In one sense, Austria is right. It was not FDR's New Deal policies that ended the Great Depression. It was the U.S. entry into the Second World War that ended the Great Depression, bringing the U.S. economy back into full production. And what did the Roosevelt administration do to bring the U.S. economy back into production after the U.S. entered the war? The Roosevelt administration spent billions of dollars building tanks, bombs, aircraft, warships, guns, bullets, while drafting millions of American men into the military. The U.S. government borrowed the money--by selling war bonds--to spend on all the war equipment, and the labor costs in paying for the U.S. soldiers and sailors. It was one, huge, economic stimulus package that brought the U.S. out of the Great Depression! That is some significant spending here! And FDR presided over that economic stimulus package. Then again, maybe Rep. Steve Austria doesn't realize how much of a fool he is.

Stupid is as stupid does.

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