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Boudreaux: FDR's Policies Put the 'Great' in Great Depression
Posted By Rob Bluey On February 10, 2009 @ 3:02 pm In Scribe | Comments Disabled
George Mason University economics professor Don Boudreaux offered a grim assessment of the economic stimulus package that’s making its way through Capitol Hill, questioning President Barack Obama’s contention that government must do something.
“Conventional wisdom in Washington is that we must do something regardless of how wise or prudent it is,” said Boudreaux, the keynote speaker at an economic recovery event cosponsored by Heritage and the Club for Growth . “It’s taken as a matter of course that we must spend wildly.”
Instead, Boudreaux said, history offers a lesson that shows massive spending programs, such as those advocated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as part of the New Deal, do not work.
“FDR’s policies put the ‘great’ in Great Depression,” Boudreaux said. He cited unemployment, which never dipped below 14% , and comments made by FDR’s own treasury secretary, Henry Morgenthau, who lamented that spending didn’t work .
Should the United States fall into a deeper recession or depression, Boudreaux said, it would be the result of economic policies like those Obama is pursuing as part of his stimulus proposal.
Boudreaux, a popular economics blogger at Cafe Hayek , asked attendees to put the current fiscal problems in perspective. He reminded them that unemployment was 7.6% in 1992  — the same as today. And he joked that he had food in his refrigerator that was older than when the current recession began in December 2007.
Boudreaux outlined these three objectives:
For more coverage of the event, see these Foundry posts from earlier today:
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/02/10/boudreaux-fdrs-policies-put-the-great-in-great-depression/
URLs in this post:
 economic recovery event cosponsored by Heritage and the Club for Growth: http://www.clubforgrowth.org/2009/02/attention_congressional_staffe.php
 which never dipped below 14%: http://www.redstate.com/bluey/2009/01/15/new-deal-was-a-raw-deal-for-america/
 lamented that spending didn’t work: http://www.foundry.org/2009/01/14/were-spending-more-than-ever-and-it-doesnt-work/
 Cafe Hayek: http://www.cafehayek.com/
 unemployment was 7.6% in 1992: http://www.bls.gov/
 The Raw Deal: http://www.foundry.org/2009/02/10/why-the-stimulus-wont-work-the-raw-deal/
 A 12-Gauge Tax Hike: http://www.foundry.org/2009/02/10/why-the-stimulus-wont-work-a-12-gauge-tax-hike/
 Thugs Ransacking My House: http://www.foundry.org/2009/02/10/why-the-stimulus-wont-work-thugs-ransanking-my-house/
 Resource Allocation Key: http://www.foundry.org/2009/02/10/market-based-solutions-resource-allocation-key/
 The 20% Zip Code Housing Plan: http://www.foundry.org/2009/02/10/market-solutions-the-20-zip-code-housing-plan/
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