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Let’s do the numbers

Reader Input
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Re: “Obama, show us you’re the man,” (Reader Input, July 11). History lesson: Like the precursor to 2008, low tax rates and an unregulated Wall Street contributed to the Great Depression, under a Republican president. 1932: GNP drops 31 percent, unemployment climbs from 3.3 percent to 15.9 percent, tax rates raised to 63 percent, Roosevelt elected. 1933: Unemployment 24.9 percent, the Glass-Steagall Act regulated Wall Street, Congress creates the Civilian Conservation Corps, FDIC, Public Works Administration, the Tennessee Valley Authority and U.S. goes off the gold standard. 1934: GDP rises 7.1 percent; unemployment drops to 21.7 percent. Sweden recovers from the Great Depression following a policy of Keynesian deficit spending. 1935: GNP up 8.1 percent, unemployment drops to 20.1 percent. 1936: Tax rate increased to 79 percent, GNP grows 14.1 percent, unemployment drops to 16.9 percent. 1937: GNP rises 5 percent, unemployment drops to 14.3 percent, a Republican Congress and Supreme Court stops all programs created in 1933 and makes massive budget cuts. 1938: GNP drops 4.5 percent, unemployment rises to 19 percent under Republican control of Congress and the courts. 1939: Massive government spending for war increases GNP and lowers unemployment. Average economic growth under Roosevelt: 5.2 percent. Average growth under Reagan: 3.7 percent. Let’s not forget that unemployment was at 10.1 percent at this point in Reagan’s first term. Gary L. Vogt, Auburn