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Guns or Butter

WWII War Bonds PosterWe've all heard the conservative revisionism of the Great Depression's cause and ultimate cure. Contrary to historical fact and data, the popular talking point is that the New Deal actually extended the depression, while the data shows that it was actually exasperated and prolonged when FDR got weak-kneed and scaled back spending programs, thus, sending more workers to the unemployment line. We covered this line of nonsense in January but it's picked up steam as conservatives wig out over President Obama's budget proposals and spending agenda.

What's interesting is that this story ends with conservatives claiming that the Great Depression ends at the start of World War II. That's true, but what is it about the start of WWII that ended our economic death spiral? Don't think too hard; it was increased federal spending for the war effort. People WENT TO WORK on the federal dime. Some joined the military, others were employed by defense contractors, still others filled jobs vacated by those serving overseas.

So, are conservatives who balk at Obama's plans only interested in federal spending that feeds a war machine? With two waging now, do we really need another to get these guys on board?



also, there was the gi bill that provided benefits for all of those who served during the war. added spending and an opportunity for advancement through a social benefit created a bigger middle class and a stronger economy.

even eisenhower held on to the policies of the new deal and rejected cutting taxes to foster a stable economy. he rejected the short term allure of tax cuts to and unneeded military spending to fuel the economy. this is the man who should be held up as the ideal of a conservative leader, not reagan.

Sound interesting. I can think of a GI joe cartoon.

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