(Thomas Mitchell/4TH ST8) Does President Obama have no grasp of history? At one point in the debate this week, he accused Mitt Romney of being a throwback.
“But Governor, when it comes to our foreign policy, you seem to want to import the foreign policies of the 1980s, just like the social policies of the 1950s and the economic policies of the 1920s.”
The foreign policies of the 1980s were those of Ronald Reagan, which resulted in the fall of the Soviet Union. Not an insignificant accomplishment.
Not sure what the presidency has to do with social policies, but some of the social mores of the 1950s –including self-reliance, two-parent families, disdain for promiscuity, beginning of the civil rights movement, movies and novels in which the good guys won — might be worthy of importing.
But the biggest flub was his slight for the economic policies of the 1920s. In response to the Depression of 1921 President Harding cut taxes and spending. Lest anyone forget, there is a reason they were called the Roarin’ ’20s and unemployment fell to 1.8 percent, the lowest ever recorded. Worthy of importing?
Now, if he wishes to talk about the economic policies of the 1930s, that’s another matter. Thomas Sowell points out:
“There was a stock market crash in October 1929 and unemployment shot up to 9 percent — for one month. Then unemployment started drifting back down until it was 6.3 percent in June 1930, when the first major federal intervention took place.
“That was the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill, which more than a thousand economists across the country pleaded with Congress and President Hoover not to enact. But then, as now, politicians decided that they had to ‘do something.’
“Within 6 months, unemployment hit double digits. Then, as now, when ‘doing something’ made things worse, many felt that the answer was to do something more.”
Obama keeps wanting to “do something” and import the economic policies of the 1930s rather those of the 1920s — the ones that actually worked.