Consider for a moment the definition of totolitarian from Dictionary.com:
Of or pertaining to a central government that does not tolerate parties of differing opinion and that exercises dictatorial control over many aspects of life; exercising control over freedom, will, thought of others; authoritarian; autocraticAs we review the history of the progressive movement, we can see that these philosophies call for experts in Washington (preferably liberal experts) to make decisions for the people in a variety of areas. A good example are elected, or non-elected, officials in Washington deciding what all kids will learn. Another example is Obamacare, which forces everyone to buy healthcare for their own good.
Liberals often can't stand to hear the voices of opposing parties, and therefore are always trying to come up with ways to shut up voices they don't agree with, like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the entire Fox News Network. While Conservatives want to hear more of the voices of opposition, liberals want to shut them up (they will deny this, of course).
Progressives also made it so everyone has to go to a public school (unless they can afford the alternative, and most people can't). They made it so no one can pray in a public school, we must all pitch into social security for our own good, when we earn money the government must take some and decide for you how to spend it.
So you can see, progressivism and totolitarianism go hand in hand. And while Woodrow Wilson became a totolitarian ruler during WWI, and Obama has made a gallant effort to become one recently, FDR is a quentisential example of a U.S. President who had obtained totalitarian control.
FDR, in a sense, was a kinder version of the fascist dictators of Europe: Hitler, Stalin and Mousolini. He took over teh office and became Amercas totalitarian dictator. Yet while Europe's fascit dictators had complete totolitarian control, a U.S. President has the U.S. Constitution in his way.
Like Hitler, he was charismatic and a great speaker (So is Obama), and even while he was harming America, and even though most Americans were stunned and surprised at the direction he was taking this country, he convinced Americans to vote for him.
Rather, one might say he started government programs for the "betterment of the people," and he used these programs at his will to buy voters and to punish those who opposed him. Lest, if you didn't support his agenda, you didn't get government money.
He, like Hitler and Mussolini and Stalin, was a totalitarian dictator. Allow me to provide proof. You decide for yourself.
- Father McLaughlin supported FDR ardently during his initial campaign in 1932. Although he thought FDR was not liberal enough, and started to talk bad about FDR on his radio program. Because FDR disagreed with what Father was saying, he called him a fascist and forced his radio program off the air. this was unconstitutional, but FDR did it anyway. This is similar to what progressives want to do with Conservative radio and Fox News today.
- Huey Long was another ardent supporter of FDR, but then he spoke out against FDRs Agricultural Adjustment Act and his National Recovery Act as being too socialist. FDR used the IRS to destroy Huey Long. Long was also a threat to run as a third party, which would have split the democratic vote and allowed a republican to win. So FDR had no choice but to ruin Huey Long.
- Joseph McCarthy was correct in noting FDR had over 30 Soviet supporters on his staff. FDR knew McCarthy was close to the truth, and so he used his popularity to discredid McCarthy. The Venona accords released in 1992 proved McCarthy was right all along, but it was too late. McCarthy was ridiculed so much he died an early death.
- FDR raised the highest tax rate to 90% so he could have access to all the profits, and he could decide what to do with the people's money. He basically took from the haves and gave to the poor, and thus redistributed wealth just as Stalin, Hitler and Mousolini did.
- On April 27, 1942, he signed an executive order taxing all personal income over $25,000 at 100%. Congress balked at this and made it 90% at the top level, and started taxing those who made $500 at 20% rate. Clearly he had forgotten the benefits of the 1920s tax cuts and capitalism. All excess income should go to win the war.
- On July 1941 he proposed a 99.5% tax rate on all income over $100,000. He defended it by saying, "Why now? None of us is ever going to make $100,000 a year."
- Via the 1933 Emergency Banking Act FDR forced all people with gold to turn their gold over to the government in exchange for paper money. Those who refused to do so were fined and or imprisoned. Likewise, all previous contracts with Gold were null and void.
- He forced Japanese Americans to live in Concentration camps during WWII. Sure they weren't treated as poorly as the Jewish in Germany, but he still used one of Hitlers mothods.
- He forced Americans to ration for food during WWII.
- Many of his own economic advisors advised him to cut taxes to stimulate the economy by encouraging people to invest, and he refused because he blamed Andrew Mellon, and Calvin Coolidge and Warren G. Harding's capitalistic tax cuts for the depression.
- The Reciprical Trade Agreement of 1934 gave FDR unprecidented power to determine Tariffs on a country by country basis. He used this to coerce businessmen and industries to cooperate with him or risk increased tariffs on their goods and services which would increase prices and decrease demand. This is also one of his methods for buying votes.
- Pilot Eddie Richenbacher predicted FDRs new Air Mail Act would result in the deaths of Army Corp men now forced to deliver air mail, and when he planned to criticize FDR on NBC, orders came from Washington to take him off the air.
- William Randolf Hearst, a newspaper tycoon, found himself under investigation by the IRS when he opposed FDR. FDR longed for a World Court (a first step in obtaining a New World Order), adn Long, Hearst and Father McLaughlin opposed it.
- Boake Carter was another radio commentator who opposed FDRs attempt to pack Supreme Court and he was duly investigated by the IRS. FDR also had his men try to see if Carter was an illegal alien so they could have him deported.
- FDR pushed up his opposition and therefore the people wer eunable to learn about the fact FDRs policies were contrary to improving the economy. He created his programs to buy votes, and used his programs to shut up those who spoke out against him. By doing this, he won re-election three times.
- He also had the FBI and the IRS after Hamilton Fish, the republican Congressman from FDR's home district who kept winning re-election.
- Local political opponents of FDR had to keep quiet lest FDR hunt them down with the IRS or FBI or cut other programs to their liking.
- Like Obama now, his actions were dedicated toward unpopular causes.
- He jailed those who disobeyed the NRA
- He tried to pack the Supreme Court
- He purged democrats who tried to oppose his centralization of political power (an essential ingredient to obtaining totalitarian control and his progressive agenda and similar to Obama's quest to transform America).
- FDR often castigated businessmen and threatened to raise tax rates further if they opposed him.
- U.S. had a whopping 325% increase in excise revenue from 1929 to 1938. These taxes fell mainly on the lower incomes, and may have contributed to the poorer rate of recovery from teh Great Depression
- Corporate taxes increased to a top rate of 7 0% and the U.S. alone passed an undistributed profits tax.
- Businessmen watched the top rate of the Federal Income Tax increase from 24-63% in 1932 under Hoover, and then to 79% in 1935 under FDR.
- He used the IRS to prosecute wealthy Americans, especially republicans (as noted above)
- He created incentives for businessmen to shift their investments into areas of lesser taxation
- In 1929 the U.S. had the lowest unemployment of all nations who would have joined the League of Nations, and dropped to 8th place in 1932, 11th in 1937, and then 13th by 1938. So u nder FDR unemployment got worse and worse and not better.
- He used subsidies and political capital, money and tools to get re-elected. He was first to buy votes with the very programs he created. So, however, unpopular he programs were, he kept getting re-elected.
- He also used political subsidies to punish enemies and reward friends.
- In this way, he controlled taxpayer subsidies.
- Special Interests who lobbied in favor of FDR got special subsidies and were favored for government loans.
- FDR used government expenditures to persuade voters. He was the best at doing this. He caused America to be trapped in the debt spiral of special interest spending
- Spending created fanatic lobying and a never ending cycle of more spending (still going on to this day, as Obama has upped the national debt over the trillion dollar mark).
- In 1936 before the Presidential election, FDR added 300,000 to the work relief program (WPA). In the months following the election, 300,000 were removed from the WPA.
- Work Relief expenditures increased sharply -- 268% increase from fall of 1935 to the fall of 1936 -- the biggest increase of 3,663% was in Pensylvania, a swing state that Hoover had carried in 1932, and FDR specially targed in 1936.
- A plan was in place to make sure the Soil conservation Service checks arrived in Farm households before the election of 1936 to ensure votes for FDR -- 4 farm states were in the balance.
- Alf Landon said "If he (FDR) did not have $5 billion (of WPA money to dole out) his election would be very much in doubt.
- FDR ran on this issue with signs saying, "Relief for Votes," subtitled "will the American people accept the imputation tht their votes can be bought with reief money." Another leaflet said, "If we don't stop the New Deal the nation will go bankrupt.
- Funny thing, Landon tried to win votes by denouncing government programs, but he had to do it without alienating the increasingly large number of voters who had Federal jobs, or hoped to have them. In this sense, republicans couldn't get re-elected even though FDRs programs were unpopular.
As noted by Burton Fulsom Jr in his book New Deal or Raw Deal, "In crafting the Constitution, the founders emphasized process, not results. If we follow the Constitution, we won't have a perfect society, which is unattainable by imperfect humans. But we will provide opportunity for people to use their natural rights to pursue the acquisition of property and their natural rights to pursue their own personal happiness."
All progressive policies were created by ignoring the Constitution, and this resulted in less power to the people, less ability to make decisions how to spend money, less individualism, less freedom of speech, less freedom overal, and an overal worsening of the American dream. Totolitarianism was the result.
All of this totalitarianism created uncertainty, and caused the Great Depresion to extend through the 1930s to the 1940s.
Material for the above posts came from the following sources:
1. New Deal or Raw Deal: How FDRs economic policyhas damaged America, by Burton Fulsom Jr.
2. The Forgotten man: The new history of the Great Depression, by Amity Shlaes