Last Updated 29 Mar 2021

Franklin D. Roosevelt vs. Barack Obama

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The economy of the 1930s was a devastating financial situation that the American public will never forget. However, this doesn’t mean that history will cease to repeat itself. The political policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt are often acknowledged for the relief of our country’s depression and some of which are still in effect today. To avoid our current recession, will Barack Obama choose to base his policies off of FDR’s in hopes that the same plan will work twice?

There are some similarities and differences between the political action today and the action during the Great Depression. Within just the first 99 days of his election as President, Roosevelt’s New Deal was put into action with the support of Congress. The New Deal was proposed to help relieve those who were unemployed or in danger of losing their homes and recover agriculture and business. Programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, Social Security, and Medicare were created because of Roosevelt’s action in the Great Depression.

Herbert Hoover, the preceding president, did not feel that government spending should be given directly to citizens. He believed that ‘helping’ the American people in this way would actually hurt their morale and cause them to become more like a socialist nation. Certain ideas such as enforcing fixed pricing, controlling businesses, and manipulating the value of currency were suggested and quickly declined by Hoover who believed all were Socialist ideas. Though many people saw Hoover as an evil man that refused to give away federal money, he was actually quite accurate with his predictions.

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For example, Welfare, which is a program used today that was created in the New Deal, is often misused today by people who are capable of working, but are too lazy to actually make their own income source. I believe that a lot of Americans today are spoon fed because of the government ‘help’ that they receive. Though Roosevelt did help in the Great Depression, his temporary ideas were turned into permanent solutions that have caused new damages today. Now our current President is forced with the decision to either help the public with temporary ideas like Roosevelt’s or look out for what is best for our future like Hoover.

It’s not an easy decision. Barack Obama has made an impact in our economy in areas similar to Franklin Roosevelt. He has created jobs and packages, like Obamacare, that he believes will help American citizens. Obama helped bail out the auto industries similar to how Roosevelt helped bail out the banks during the depression. However, Barack passed the Wall Street Reform (which helped the American financial system be less confusing and more apparent) to make sure that we would never have to bail out the banks again.

Barack has also eliminated tax breaks for companies who ship overseas to try and promote American companies to create more jobs for the citizens who are here. In his term, Obama has added over 479,000 jobs which is the most growth we’ve had in a decade. He has spoken many times on how he plans to build “from the middle class out” rather than from the top down. Our middle class is of high importance to Barack and because of this, he has gained a tremendous support from the public.

It seems that our current president has taken a few ideas from Roosevelt with the added caution of the foreseeable future. Our country looks like it’s headed in the right direction, but we may never know whether the help provided will be temporary until we live through it. As citizens, it would be the best for us to learn how to live on our own without the help of our government. If we were to become too dependent on our welfare checks or social security, then we could end up being controlled instead of governing ourselves.

The best solution would to be to save our money and work hard at what we do. Though it may seem that there are no jobs available to us at the moment, we do have to trust that the companies around us will see it better to provide domestic jobs rather than sending them overseas. Though I don’t entirely agree with how Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to solve the Great Depression, I have to admit that what he did he thought he was doing for the best. Great presidents like Obama, Roosevelt, and even Hoover are great because they think of us and not themselves.

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