FDR policies rescued USA

Reader Input
-A +A
Willard Schmehl is entitled to his opinions (“Spending creates deficits,” Reader Input, Aug. 8). However, it would be nice if he ever bothered to do some basic reality testing before passing his opinions off as truth. Such is not the case. Like all the diehard Roosevelt bashers, he tries to tell us that it was not FDR policies but the defense buildup that ended the Great Depression, that Roosevelt only “made everything worse.” Schmehl ought to speak with some of the many millions of people whose only job in the decade of the ’30s was with the WPA, the CCC, or one of the massive public works projects (Hoover Dam, Shasta Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, etc.). Or the millions more who were able to keep from losing their farms or their homes because of the AAA or the FHA/HFC. Or those who did not lose their life savings because of FDR’s bank holiday. He might recall millions more in Appalachia who got electricity for the first time as well as employment because of the TVA, or the elderly who now received a pension to live on. Please explain, Mr. Schmehl, how this was “making everything worse.” Working people at the time considered it a godsend. (Republicans at the time called it “socialism.”) Willard’s ignorance of the historical record is appalling. All of these programs had nothing whatever to do with the later defense buildup. But the many millions of Americans who were truly helped by these policies knew it was FDR who was responsible, which is why he remains one of our most beloved presidents. Schmehl and his government-bashing tea party friends may overlook all this if they wish, but the rest of us should not. LARRY SMITH, Auburn