"Rep. Steve Austria: FDR caused the Great Depression."
In recent days, conservatives have been trying to block the economic recovery package by arguing that government spending will wreck the American economy. As an example, they point to FDR and the Great Depression. Earlier this month, for instance, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) inaccurately argued that the New Deal “exacerbated the Great Depression.” In a new interview with the Columbus Dispatch, Rep. Steve Austria (R-OH) joined in:
“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.”
The Columbus Dispatch then notes, “Most historians date the beginning of the Great Depression at or shortly after the stock-market crash of 1929; Roosevelt took office in 1933.” As Dean Baker has explained, “Roosevelt’s New Deal Agenda lowered the unemployment rate from 25 percent in 1933 to 10 percent in 1937.” The economy turned bad again when the “Blue Dogs of the Roosevelt era won sway and got Roosevelt to cut spending and raise taxes.”