Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) compared Obama favorably to Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) after the SOTU speech last night. She might want to reconsider. To get elected, FDR promised he would be a fiscal conservative in 1932 after the liberal Hoover set the stage for really big government intervention in the economy after the crash of 1929 creating many new programs. But FDR made things worse and kept the country mired in a Great Depression that lasted over 10 years. Our grandparents kept reelecting him—just like today’s know nothings reelected Obama last November despite his failures to turn the economy around.
Eleanor, his wife, was actually unhappy when things started to turn around during WWII because all the men and many of the women were employed in the war effort. (Even her most love-struck biographers acknowledge this.) She wasn't done planning every detail of citizens' lives yet. And like Obama, FDR hurt the little guy first with new excise taxes on everything from gum to movie tickets. In 2009, Obama raised cigarette taxes, even though it was long ago proven that the poor do not respond to punishments in order to improve their health, and in 2013, he’s raising gasoline taxes 18%, which won’t stop the rich from taking trips, but will certainly hurt the middle class and low income driving to work.