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FDR Presidential Library and Museum
This past week, I had the pleasure of a visit to FDR's home and library in Hyde Park, NY. The library was featuring a special exhibit on Social Security, which celebrated its 76th anniversary on August 14. The exhibit brought home to me the importance of this keystone of the New Deal, and reminded me why I am a Democrat.

From the Roosevelt Library and Museum exhibition:

The crown jewel of FDR’s New Deal, Social Security is his greatest legacy to the nation. Historians concur on its singular importance. “No other New Deal measure proved more lastingly consequential or more emblematic of the very meaning of the New Deal,” notes Stanford historian David M. Kennedy. Roosevelt would have agreed. “He always regarded the Social Security Act as the cornerstone of his administration,” Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins recalled, “and . . . took greater satisfaction from it than from anything else he achieved on the domestic front.”
FDR Presidential Library and Museum

I come from a union family and I'm a graduate of Roosevelt High School, in Yonkers NY. When I was growing up, Social Security was already an accepted part of American life, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was acknowledged as our greatest President, and no one in my family nor my neighbors nor my classmates could ever imagine his legacy would be threatened the way it is today. But that's not the way it was when the program got started.

Social insurance, as conceived by President Roosevelt, would address the permanent problem of economic security for the elderly by creating a work-related, contributory system in which workers would provide for their own future economic security through taxes paid while employed. Thus it was an alternative both to reliance on welfare and to radical changes in our capitalist system. In the context of its time, it can be seen as a moderately conservative, yet activist, response to the challenges of the Depression...
Social Security Administration graph of Depression years

The Social Security Act did not quite achieve all the aspirations its supporters had hoped by way of providing a "comprehensive package of protection" against the "hazards and vicissitudes of life." Certain features of that package, notably disability coverage and medical benefits, would have to await future developments. But it did provide a wide range of programs to meet the nation's needs. In addition to the program we know think of as Social Security,

In this photo from shortly after passage of the Social Security Act of 1935,
 a Visiting Nurse brings health care services to a poor rural family.
National Archives photo.
it included unemployment insurance, old-age assistance, aid to dependent children and grants to the states to provide various forms of medical care.
The link above is from a brief on line history that can be found at the Social Security Administration, and do click that "various forms of medical care" link. In fact, I'll show it to you as a reminder of the human need that pushed for the passage of Social Security in the first place.
Upton Sinclair's EPIC movement

One of the fascinating things to contemplate is the now-forgotten antecedents of Social Security, including more  radical programs pushed by people like Upton Sinclair (the End Poverty in California plan):

Sinclair's EPIC scheme was a 12-point program to remake the Californian economy. It involved the issuance of scrip currency, the creation of large state-run bartering enterprises, a tax on idle land and floating a large state bond for $300 million. Point 10 of the plan was a proposal to give pensions of $50 a month to all needy persons over 60 who had lived in California for at least three years. There was a state pension plan in operation in California at the time, but its benefits were very low, and the eligibility requirements were so severe that most elderly Californians could not qualify. (This was true of many of the state pension programs around the country.) Sinclair's pension proposal was very popular because in one fell swoop it reduced the minimum age for pensions by 10 years, almost doubled their value, and eliminated restrictive eligibility requirements.
Huey Long button

Huey Long (Every Man a King), the eponymous Townsend and Bigelow plan creators, the General Welfare Federation of America and the Technocracy movement were other pension plans of that era. Sinclair, an avowed Socialist, nearly got himself elected Governor of California in 1936.

When the votes were counted, Upton Sinclair got 37% of the vote, the Republican candidate got 48% and a third-party progressive candidate took another 13%. Had it been a two-man race, Upton Sinclair might have become Governor of California and the EPIC pension plan might well have become the California model.
And if you wonder why I hold third parties and primary challenges at arm's length, there's more than 2000 to ruminate on.
1940 Roosevelt-Willkie race

 They are all summarized here, but imagine today's era and the push for single payer behind Washington's passage of the Affordable Care Act. There were unhappy people in the 30's and they were not shy on taking it out on the Roosevelts.

FDR Presidential Library and Museum
In fact, I was amused to see the contrast between the activist Roosevelt  and the folks who were mad at Roosevelt because he ran a deficit. Works Progress Administration administrator Harry Hopkins famously (and accurately) said in response to those who wanted less action and more patience from government:
People don't eat in the long run; they eat every day.
FDR Presidential Library and Museum

Think about the contrast between then and now. We're not hurting nearly as badly as America was then, and the antecedents to health reform aren't nearly as radical as the ones preceding Social Security. Yet opposition is opposition, and whether it was deficit reduction, ginned up dislike of the First Lady, or class warfare, the attacks are all too familiar.

The knowledgeable guides at the FDR library were all too happy to remind visitors that Social Security hasn't always been there, and without public support, isn't guaranteed to be there in the future.  There was Republican opposition to it then, and there's Republican opposition to it now.

But it is our plain duty (watch the video) to remember where we came from, how we got here, and why we need to protect and preserve Social Security.  This was a Democratic program for all Americans, and it's going to take Democrats to defend it in a meaningful way so that it's there for all Americans in the future.

Read up on its history and  the era in which it came from. Think about ways the program can be strengthened and defended. And watch this video and reflect on a great American's legacy that was part of getting this great country moving again.

FDR is quite literally why I am a Democrat today, and why I'll likely always be one. It's a tradition worth remembering for more reasons than one.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Social Security Defenders.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yonker, eh? Won't hold that against you (20+ / 0-)

    since you write so well

    Mamaroneck HS here

    eligible for Social Security but going to wait until the end of this school year when I am 66, can draw it and still earn an income without penalty.

    Social Security may not be enough, but without it many would be in trouble.

    Far better to describe it as a social safety net rather than as an entitlement.

    "what the best and wisest parent wants for his child is what we should want for all the children of the community" - John Dewey

    by teacherken on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:06:05 AM PDT

    •  I am without power (13+ / 0-)

      and iPhone limited, but entitlement is a perfectly reasonable and apt word.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:09:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tipped, and Rec'd. See below. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare, mainely49

        "You can't always get what you want; but if you try sometimes...." - Rolling Stones

        by LamontCranston on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:35:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FDR had a congress behind him, the majority of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mainely49

          which would (in my humble opinion) make current Democrats look like right wingers

          Single Payer: Healthcare Privately Delivered, Publically Funded http://www.healthcare-now.org & http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org

          by ca democrat on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:48:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  and so too is "reform" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Egalitare

        This diary's a keeper.

        Thanks DFCT, be safe, y'hear?

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:41:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  FlimFlam Grifter 101: (5+ / 0-)

          Q: What is the easiest way to rob a bank?

          A: Convince the rube the money is already gone.

          Rich fatcats on Wall Street like Pete Peterson are investing millions of dollars to foster propaganda to grease the wheels to the biggest heist in the history of the world. They want to steal the working classes 2.2 trillion dollar trust fund. And the method they have chosen is to try and convince the uneducated that the money is already gone. Or they want to pretend we "loaned the money to ourselves" and we now have to "pay ourselves back." This is crap. The US government borrowed money from the trust fund and spent it on tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefited the rich. They spent it on a bunch of wars, one based on a complete pack of lies. They spent it on a prescription drug bill that mainly benefited stinking rich pharmaceutical companies. They spent it on corrupt defense contractors like Halliburton.

          Sure the government borrowed the money, but average working people were not the beneficiaries of the loan. The money went to corrupt cronies and corporations. These rich people are the ones who need to pay back the trust fund.

          We loaned money to ourselves?!!! What a piece of nasty propaganda. Rich people are trying to pull a nasty Texas two-step on us. They are hoping enough of us are ignorant as hell.

          Everything I write is within a margin of error of precisely 100%.

          by Bailey Savings and Loan on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:01:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it's a big club... (4+ / 0-)

            "...and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this fucking place! Its a big club, and you ain’t in it!" –george carlin

            "Morality is doing what's right, regardless of what you're told. Religion is doing what you're told, regardless of what's right." –Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

            by mellowjohn on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:18:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  there are political battles (32+ / 0-)

    we sometimes take for granted as having been permanently won- the social safety net, reproductive choice, voting rights, science over faith, etc.- that their opponents will never ever stop trying to undermine and destroy. we must never take anything for granted. we must be always vigilant in protecting our political and social gains.

    great post.

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam (The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers)

    by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:09:40 AM PDT

  •  Exceptions (9+ / 0-)

    Notice on the poster where those in the field of Agriculture and Domestic service DO NOT qualify for Social Security. The large two things those fields had in common? Both jobs were predominately staffed with African Americans.  

    •  and that was conscious and deliberate (16+ / 0-)

      in order to win southern votes. and it took a couple decades for the democratic party to stop appeasing its racist wing. but even despite that bargain with the devil, the new deal transformed the economy, and immediately launched the racial realignment of the parties. before fdr, black voters routinely supported the party of lincoln. after the new deal, they never went back.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam (The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers)

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:17:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Amazing how we've come full circle (12+ / 0-)

        Our Dem Party leaders have now returned to appeasing racist, regressive, reactionary southern right wingers.

        FDR must be weeping.

        "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

        by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:17:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes indeed, Betty. The KKK has become the rrr (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jimreyn

          right wingers that you describe, and having a black President has driven them to new heights of hatred and intolerance.  The rethugs drag down the nation's class average.

          •  Obama seeks common ground with Tea Party (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Ghost of NY, jimreyn, mainely49, blueoasis

            Republicans in Congress.  Who can explain that?  I can't.

            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:35:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Obama is confused about the consensus approach (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              judyms9, Ghost of NY

              The heart of the democratic process is in consensus decision making. The best decisions are reached that way because they represent a total membership approach.
              Everyone collaborates to discover the best possible solutions to the problem.
              Obama seems to have gone the accommodation route where agreement is reached through yielding to the positions of others in an effort to create harmony even at the expense of ideas and values.This might be socially tactful but it is destructive to the ideals of our democracy.
              To come to his defense, Obama was battered from day one of his presidency by those on the right. Maybe he didn't realize that we had his back.Others have different explanations.

              •  To come to his defense (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ghost of NY, jimreyn

                Obama wasn't qualified or adequately experienced to handle the job of POTUS at this time, I'll give him that.

                But one would expect a good leader to learn from his mistakes and avoid repeating them.  

                The job of POTUS always comes with criticism and people who let that interfere with their performance shouldn't run for president.

                As HST said, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen".

                "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:08:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  In regard to Agriculture, African (16+ / 0-)

      Americans were disproportionately represented but not  the majority of workers.

      The Sharecropper System, which millions of African Americans and whites were part of, and the migrant labor system, which millions of people of all ethnicities were part of, were entirely excluded from SS because of the interests of land owners (farmers, cough).

      Western lettuce producers were just as against having to chip in as southern cotton growers.  And they had pull.

      "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

      by JesseCW on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:50:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and women and small farmers (7+ / 0-)

      like my grandparents who were not AA.

      It changed, everyone was added, per FDR's wishes.  By the time my grandparents were eligible for SS, those exclusions were gone.

      Real Democrats don't try to accuse FDR of racism.  Just sayin'.

      "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

      by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:00:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's fair, however, to argue that he didn't (4+ / 0-)

        do enough to confront it.

        He faced some very, very hard choices.  For example: Segregated CCC, or no CCC.

        I don't think it's unfair to question the choice he made, but it does require looking at the issue in it totality.

        "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

        by JesseCW on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:41:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the CCC WAS integrated at first (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jimreyn, JesseCW, tardis10, blueoasis
          As with all Civilian Conservation Corps members, black CCC enrollees contributed to the protection, conservation and development of the country's environmental resources. Enrollees planted trees, fought fires, and took part in pest eradication projects. They built and improved park and recreation areas, constructed roads, built lookout towers, and strung telephone and electric wires. Money sent home by CCC enrollees assisted families hard-hit by the depression. CCC camps provided enrollees with educational, recreational and job training opportunities.
          African American CCC members performed their duties in a society divided by race, and often in the presence of officially sanctioned racism...

          In the early years of the CCC some camps were integrated, but prompted by local complaints and the views of the US Army and CCC administrators, integrated CCC camps were disbanded in July, 1935, when CCC Director Robert Fechner issued a directive ordering the "complete segregation of colored and white enrollees." While the law establishing the CCC contained a clause outlawing discrimination based upon race; the CCC held that "segregation is not discrimination" (see Fechner's letter to NAACP leader Thomas Griffith). Although the CCC's Jim Crow policy prompted complaints from black and white civil rights activists, segregation remained the rule throughout the life of the CCC

          http://newdeal.feri.org/...

          I remember a guy writing a book about the CCC came to our house to interview my father because he had worked with the CCC in Colorado , and I remember my father talking about AA people in the camp. I remember it because he talked about people "getting along well, even with the "Black" people".
          My father said there were a couple of white guys that had a problem with it, but as the writer seemed to be fishing for some hot story of conflict my father said those two white guys eventually "got along OK with them".

          My father didn't live long after that interview so he wasn't in shape to talk a lot but when he talked about it he smiled and made sure he pointed out that there wasn't anything else..."nothing else, no money and no work anywhere" and that he has no idea what would've happened without it. He repeated that a few times.

          So with the dustbowl driving him off the farm to a city with no jobs, he found out about the CCC and left Texas to work with the CCC in Colorado.

          without the ants the rainforest dies

          by aliasalias on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:27:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In California, at least, the "segregation" (4+ / 0-)

            was pretty technical.

            Only the bunkhouses, and only after lights out.  Everyone was still mixed on the work crews, in the class room, in the chow hall, and even used the same showers at some camps.

            There was a rope about a foot off the ground that marked off the "Colored Bunkhouse", to satisfy federal inspectors.

            I had the chance to meet quite a few of them when I was in the California Conservation Corp in the 90's.  We frequently worked on restoring projects they'd originally done, and they'd either be asked to come give us talks...or they'd just show up.

            "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

            by JesseCW on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 03:41:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  When you see the old newsreels of FDR (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        there are hundreds of people, both black and white, lining the borders of the tracks as the train carrying his body from D.C. to N.Y goes by.
          "As the cortege drew into the drive and halted, the sad strains of an accordion played 'Going Home.' It was Graham Jackson, a Negro, who had played many times for F.D.R. and the hundreds of others there. Bareheaded and with tears running down both sides of his face, he stood in front of the group and paid his last homage. And as the cars started again slowly, driving around the semicircular drive and on toward the station, Jackson swung into one of the President's favorite hymns, 'Nearer, My God, To Thee'."

        Wouldn't you think President Obama would want to be such a president as FDR was?

        "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

        by slouching on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 01:47:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not in the North (21+ / 0-)

      Certainly there were some explicitly racist deals going on but the explicit scare was that every housewife who had even weekly domestic help, which in the days before washer-dryers was just about everyone , and every farmer who had a hired hand or two, who might very well be mostly 'paid' by room and board would have to file paperwork and pay taxes.

      That is while today only the wealthy would have servants in the thirties lots of households would have a 'girl' come in once or twice a week for the heavy cleaning and have their clothes cleaned by a 'washerwoman', and outside the South at least the 'girl' would be more likely to be a white ethnic immigrant.

      Same for farm hands. Eighty years ago most farms, once again outside the large scale commodity farms of the South, were family affairs with added weekly or seasonal help as the ag cycle turned, and millions of those workers were displaced from the Dust Bowl, which is why they were generically called Okies. (Some of you might have heard of a book and movie called "The Grapes of Wrath").

      Frankly this whole "FDR was really a racist" sub-text derives from that same strain of thought represented by Amity Schlaes and "FDR prolonged the Depression" and in too many cases swallowed whole by progressives.

      If someone would care to explain how you would actually have implemented a Social Security system covering domestic and ag workers under Depression conditions then fine. But I haven't seen it.

      Besides what we know as Social Security today, the payroll tax insurance based system, was only Title 2 of the 1935 Act. Along with later Titles that set up such things as Unemployment Insurance, there was also Title 1, which was a straight out federal financed, state run welfare plan targetted at the elderly poor. This program as late as 1950 covered more beneficiaries and paid out more aggregate dollars than the Title 2 plan. And as far as I know neither domestic workers or ag workers were excluded under Title 1 (though there don't seem to be detailed studies).

      Which means that just about everything we know about the functioning of Social Security in its first fifteen from who was covered to worker retiree ratios is distorted by the invisible (now) program that was set up by Title 1.

      So sorry, I am not buying the overall argument here which to me seems in origin pure anti-FDR propaganda unfortunately adopted by too many progressives too eager to embrace the "pox on both their houses" framing too typical of today.

      Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

      by Bruce Webb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:05:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IIRC, federal workers were not allowed to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, blueoasis

      participate in Social Security initially, and for a long time after its inception.  One of the things SS opponents whined about was the potential for federal workers to abuse the system, so they had to be kept out.  A separate retirement program had to be established.

      And, not just for department heads, managers, administrators, etc.; this included the lowliest clerk at the Post Office.

      It is really no small coincidence, BTW, that one of the tenets of the Paul Ryan Republican Budget is to reduce the top federal tax rate to the same level that Treasury Secretary Mellon had managed just prior to the Great Depression.  Even with the results of their folly quite apparent in historical record, the Republicans have never once abandoned their dogma;  there is no reason to expect they ever will.

      So, yes, indeed, Democrats must be prepared to wage a perpetual battle for their vision of government and society.  Their opposition will always be there.  Substantial majorities in Congress must never be taken for granted, but must always be fought for and maintained, and treasured and nurtured by wise use and husbandry.

      Excellent diary.

  •  Great post! (8+ / 0-)

    I didn't know FDR was as much a sellout as BHO! <--sarcasm

    This is a terrific post. The politics of the New Deal era are fascinating.

    "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

    by Inventor on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:13:22 AM PDT

    •  the left of fdr's era (15+ / 0-)

      would not be allowed in any door or at any table today. fdr would be considered a dfh today.

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam (The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers)

      by Laurence Lewis on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:20:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The left (6+ / 0-)

        The left of FDR's era was the real radical left of the Socialists, Communists, and anarchists.  

        fdr would be considered a dfh today.

        That may be so, but I believe he would clean everyone's clock who's running today, including Obama.  Some truths last through the ages.  The New Deal and FDR's "economic royalists" are some of those truths.  

        I also thank the one who rearranged deck chairs on the Titanic so those on board ship could get a better view of the iceberg.

        by NyteByrd1954 on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:36:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, a few decades of persistent marketing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10

        by the opposition, combined with perceived abuse of power in office, will tend to do that to a party.

        Starting in the fifties, Dems allowed themselves to be redefined by their opposition.  To the point where it took two decades and considerable compromise to pass MediCare, a major compromise from Truman's original concept.

    •  He was as much a sellout as this prez. (5+ / 0-)

      My parents, strong FDR Democrats, were horribly disappointed in the compromise for SS eligibility and nearly left him over the incarceration of Japanese-Americans into internment camps.

      But in the end of course, they did not.

      RIP, parents, President Obama now has a healthcare program on the books and we will keep on it.

      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

      by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:51:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "For all have sinned, and fallen short...." n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sybil Liberty, JC from IA

        The so-called "rising tide" is lifting only yachts.

        by Egalitare on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:48:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  "health" "care" "reform" = social security? (5+ / 0-)
        RIP, parents, President Obama now has a healthcare program on the books and we will keep on it.

        no sentient, rational, honest person would ever equate a backstop against old-age starvation with an inherently immoral for-profit industry acting outside antitrust laws, intruding on doctor-patient relationships, and condemning hundreds of thousands to death by spreadsheet.

        "I'm all for pragmatism just as long as it's not just a slight pitstop on the road to hell." - TJ, 11.30.10

        by output on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:44:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  clearly you missed my point entirely... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JC from IA
          no sentient, rational, honest person would ever equate a backstop against old-age starvation with an inherently immoral for-profit industry acting outside antitrust laws, intruding on doctor-patient relationships, and condemning hundreds of thousands to death by spreadsheet.

          Right. No more than FDR's initial SS program would equate to an authentic program that would alleviate the suffering for all demographics of Americans. The safety-net as it was written in 1933 excluded roughly 1/3 of Americans.

          No more than HST's failed attempt NHI program would have achieved what you demand.

          Obama is the first president to successfully pass an imperfect bill and get it on the books. The rest is up to us.

          That would include you.

          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

          by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:42:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf. first of all, i don't buy your premise, i.e. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            blueoasis
            The rest is up to us.

            That would include you.

            that the HCR law is a good start. it's not. it is a huge step in the wrong direction, enshrining into law the deeply flawed and immoral status quo on health care financing. and by now it should be obvious that Obama didn't think that it was a good start towards a progressive policy. the proof is in the pudding: what has he done to try to improve the bill since its passage? or to garner support for future progressive changes to HCR? if he didn't really want that corrupt bill to pass, if he actually favored something progressive like Medicare for all, he and his followers at OFA have been doing a great job hiding it.

            but ssecond, and more importantly, how dare you tell me what i have to do. this is a representative democracy. i helped to get this guy elected, and all i got for my trouble was one neoliberal-flavored shit sandwich after another. we would not be in this fix if Obama and the dems actually represented democrats (and the republicans and independents who make up the 60-70% of americans who wanted single payer.

            "I'm all for pragmatism just as long as it's not just a slight pitstop on the road to hell." - TJ, 11.30.10

            by output on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 04:22:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a red diaper baby, Dem, and the red part of (13+ / 0-)

    it started from the Depression.  My Dad was forced out of school into a random jobs for 10 years.  It forced him to look for other political systems which did not put those people in those shanties.

    We are going through a similar period of ten years of pain for the poor.  Instead of people caring for those who have lost everything, now we vilify them for "taking out a mortgage when they couldn't afford it".  And instead working people worry about their 401k performance.

    We need to decide which side we are on.

    "Don't dream it, be it" - Brad, Janet and Frank

    by captainlaser on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:15:53 AM PDT

  •  Great diary! (7+ / 0-)

    Thanks for providing the young folks some real examples of what the Democratic Party stands for.

    I'm sure there will be many angry and disappointed Obama fans, though. They don't like facts to interfere with their revisionist history on FDR.

    "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

    by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:16:55 AM PDT

    •  I think FdR (8+ / 0-)

      would be well familiar with the attacks on Obama.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:29:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  FDR learned from his mistakes (11+ / 0-)

        that's what made him a much better president.

        "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

        by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:33:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Could you imagine? (15+ / 0-)

          FDR convening a Cat Food Commission and endorsing its recommendations for cuts to Social Security as a means of paying for Bush tax cuts?  I can't.  

          "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

          by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:36:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No way. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Betty Pinson, shaharazade, seabos84

            And can you imagine FDR putting Alan Cranston or some similar jerk in charge of such a commission?  Ha!

          •  I addressed FDR-Obama comparisons other day (7+ / 0-)

            in this post.  Glass-Steagall, labor legislation, and govt. jobs programs were all major differences.  Plus, FDR had to make it up as he went along, while Obama had a template he could've updated to contemporary challenges.

            One nit to pick in the host diary:  Raymond Haight, the 3d party candidate in the CA gov's race, was anything but a progressive despite his label:

            In the 1934 California gubernatorial election, Haight initially campaigned for the Republican nomination, gaining 85,000 votes. Haight ultimately lost to Frank Merriam, who had recently been installed as governor following the death of James Rolph. Haight continued to pursue the governorship, gaining the crossed Commonwealth-Progressive Party's nomination, running against the right-wing leaning Merriam, and former Socialist and left-wing leaning Democrat author Upton Sinclair. During the campaign, there was discussion during amongst Democratic supporters, including A. P. Giannini, of asking Sinclair to leave the race in favor of Haight, due to belief that Haight's moderate politics and unassociation with socialism would stand better against Merriam's conservatism. Sinclair, however, disapproved.

            That election, as is noted above, was in 1934, not 1936.

            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

            by RFK Lives on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:11:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  All true (0+ / 0-)

              it was a good diary.

              Obama is more the antithesis of FDR. Its not much of a secret that he and his supporters despise FDR and his policies.

              "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

              by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:12:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sybil Liberty, TFinSF, JC from IA

                you have evidence for that?

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:23:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RFK Lives, happymisanthropy

                  As I mentioned in an earlier post, can you imagine FDR convening a commission whose aim is to cut Social Security benefits to pay for Bush tax cuts?

                  On any given day, you will see Obama supporters here disparaging FDR, some accusing him of racism.  Hardly a week goes by without someone making that claim, often using the internment of Japanese Americans as the reason for their GOP hatred.

                  Perhaps these people are GOP disruptors, if not, they're as they claim, supporters of Obama.

                  "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                  by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:27:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's an example (0+ / 0-)

                    Some pretty ugly stuff. Well, its offensive to me.

                    Link

                    "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                    by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:32:30 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  no doubt (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      TFinSF

                      how offensive that anyone might question the mythologized version of any past presidency

                      'leave our kid's less than informative history books alone dammit!'

                      "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                      by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:43:50 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  As DeminCT pointed out (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        happymisanthropy, blueoasis

                        These claims originate from  right wing radicals who opposed all of FDR's programs claiming they were socialism.  

                        "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                        by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:51:38 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  bs betty (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          JC from IA

                          Any number of Dems objected to FDR's less than perfect SS program for the fact that it excluded roughly 1/3 of all Americans at the time.

                          Needless to say that in order to pass it in any form, he had to compromise his own ideology in order to get the requisite votes from dixiecrat-dems.

                          ...there's your "template".

                          In 2011 rhetoric of course, FDR would be charged with "capitulation" & "lacking leadership" by those of you honest enough to admit it.

                          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                          by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:54:21 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                  •  so then let's get this straight... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    TFinSF, JC from IA

                    when anyone points out the flaws of a great, but imperfect dead president, it's proof of vitriolic hatred for FDR and everything he ever stood for

                    but when you all point out the flaws of President Obama it's much-needed "constructive criticism"

                    gotit

                    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                    by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:35:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  False equivalence (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      happymisanthropy, pot, LarryNM

                      the coin of your realm.

                      "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                      by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:37:31 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Still waiting (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Sybil Liberty
                        Its not much of a secret that he and his supporters despise FDR and his policies.

                        for evidence that Obama despises FDR....  And, for that matter, evidence that Obama supporters do, since your link above doesn't demonstrate your assertion either.

                        ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                        by TFinSF on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:41:36 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  she's got nothin' (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TFinSF, JC from IA

                          as usual

                          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                          by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:45:33 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Proof is in his policies, plus Jared Bernstein (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          RFK Lives

                          quote.

                          We've already discussed Obama's policies on jobs and support for the middle class.  Cuts to SS, trickle down economics, aversion to government funded jobs programs.

                          He's entitled to his opinion about FDR, certainly.  But Democrats don't have to agree with it.

                          Also, recall Jared Bernstein's commLink about the WH rejection of WPA-style jobs creation programs

                          Link

                          "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                          by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:45:59 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Direct quote (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RFK Lives, aliasalias

                            from link above

                            But then there’s this: There will be no WPA-type programs in our near future.  There was no appetite for them in the Obama admin in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression and there’s a lot less now.  The reasons for that are interesting and I’ll speak to them another day.  But it ain’t happening.

                            The people in Obama's WH view themselves as something they call "political realists".  They've always maintained FDR style jobs and stimulus are "politically unpopular", despite evidence to the contrary.

                            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:49:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  wrong again, sunshine (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            TFinSF, JC from IA

                            EPA Specifically Hiring Unemployed for Great Lakes Restoration

                            at some point you're really going to have to give up this vendetta of yours

                            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                            by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:02:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Good for them! (0+ / 0-)

                            Saw that earlier.  But that's the EPA, not Obama.

                            If Obama supported that kind of job creation, we'd be seeing much, much more of it.  Sadly, we aren't.  

                            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:03:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  divorced from reality (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JC from IA
                            The Obama administration moved forward on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and passed over 475 million dollars in Great Lakes restoration funding for 2011 with a plan to spend at least that much every year for five years. That money has been reduced to 300 million for 2012, as one of the items on the budget cut chopping block. I'm not going to complain TOO much.

                            by your reasoning:

                            The WPA and the CCC had no place in FDR's New Deal    ✓

                            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                            by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:10:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not even going to try? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sybil Liberty
                            Its not much of a secret that he and his supporters despise FDR and his policies.

                            Please provide evidence that Obama despises FDR, as you promised.  You haven't even cited evidence that Obama somewhat dislikes or is even mildly annoyed with FDR.

                            ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                            by TFinSF on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:50:32 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Already have (0+ / 0-)

                            Just because you disagree with the policy position, doesn't mean the evidence doesn't exist.

                            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:53:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There are none so blind (0+ / 0-)

                            as those who refuse to see.

                            Go bug someone else.  You folks are growing very boring and dreadfully predictable.  

                            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:56:39 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Awww (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sybil Liberty

                            Can't win on the facts so you have to resort to personal insults.  So sad.

                            ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                            by TFinSF on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:01:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I'll give you a hint, (0+ / 0-)

                            as I am in a charitable mood today.  "No appetite for new WPA-style program" doesn't mean "has contempt for the original WPA" much less "loathes the creator of the WPA".  So, again, please present evidence that PBO despises FDR.

                            ....no longer in SF.... -9.00, -7.38

                            by TFinSF on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:57:53 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Obama's disdain for FDR's economic approach (6+ / 0-)

                          has become increasingly apparent over the past 2 years.   I didn't fully buy the Harper's cover story "Barack Hoover Obama" then, but I've undergone a painful reassessment since that time.  Back when the Dems, flush w/ consecutive electoral trimuphs, dominated both houses, Baker wrote:

                          Speeches almost as powerful have followed, always linking these ideas together. But, like Hoover, Obama has been unable to make his actions live up to his words. Health care is being gummed to death on Capitol Hill. Obama has done nothing to pass “card check” provisions that would facilitate union organization and quietly announced that he would not seek stronger labor and environmental protections in NAFTA. He has capitulated on cap-and-trade in the budget outline and never even bothered to push for an actual carbon tax. Only minuscule portions of the stimulus bill or his budget proposals were dedicated to mass transit, and his indifference to the issue—what must be a major component of any serious effort to go green—was reflected in his appointment of a mediocre Republican time-server, Ray LaHood, as his transportation secretary.

                          Still worse is Obama’s decision to leave the reordering of the financial world solely to Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, both of whom played such a major role in deregulating Wall Street and bringing on the disaster in the first place. It’s as if, after winning election in 1932, FDR had brought Andrew Mellon back to the Treasury. Just as Herbert Hoover could not, in the end, break away from the best economic advice of the 1920s, Barack Obama is sticking with the “key men” of the 1990s. The predictable result is that, even as he claims to recognize the interlocking nature of the problems facing us and vows to solve them as a whole, the president is in fact abandoning most of his program, at least for the time being.

                          No doubt, President Obama and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, would claim that by practicing “the art of the possible,” they are ensuring that “the perfect does not become the enemy of the good.” But by not even proposing the relevant legislation, Obama has ceded a key part of the process—so much so that his retreat seems not so much tactical as a reversion to his core political beliefs.

                          In terms of domestic economic policy in response to an historic systemic trauma, there is no comparison between FDR and Obama.  The former consciously chose Keynes, while the latter has visibly leaned towards Friedman.  I guess that you can take the POTUS out of U Chicago, but you can't take the U Chicago out of the POTUS.

                          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                          by RFK Lives on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:55:18 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Obama follows Reaganomics (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            RFK Lives, Tyree, happymisanthropy

                            he doesn't follow FDR's policies. In fact, one would be hard pressed to find any instance where he's promoted economic policy anywhere close to FDR's.

                            Perhaps the defenders of Obama's alleged FDR-like policies can provide us with some examples.  I can't think of any to date.

                            I still believe in redemption, though. Its still possible for Obama to learn some substantive lessons and change course to support more evidence based economic policy.  Let's hope he does.

                            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:00:46 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Roosevelt didn't "consciously" choose Keynes (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            JC from IA, Sybil Liberty

                            In fact, as historian William Leuchtenberg writes, even after the Roosevelt Recession:

                            While Roosevelt had broken with the budget-balancers and resumed spending, he still had not embarked on the kind of massive spending which the Keynseians called for.  He seems to have been even less impressed with Keynes than the British economist was with the President’s grasp of economics, and at no point did he, in fact, embrace Keynesianism.  “It is not clear,” reflected Keynes’s official biographer, “that he acted on the principle that it was the deficit, rather than the public works themselves, that was the potent agency in reducing unemployment.”  Roosevelt trusted in common sense and in finding a middle way between extremes.  (Leuchtenberg, Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940, 264)

                            Not only that, Paul Krugman concurs with this view:

                            Now, you might say that the incomplete recovery shows that “pump-priming”, Keynesian fiscal policy doesn’t work. Except that the New Deal didn’t pursue Keynesian policies. Properly measured, that is, by using the cyclically adjusted deficit, fiscal policy was only modestly expansionary, at least compared with the depth of the slump.

                            "In the long run, Americans will always do the right thing — after exploring all other alternatives." - Winston Churchill

                            by puakev on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:40:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  FDR was making it up as he went along (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            blueoasis

                            Glass-Steagall, SS, Wagner Act, WPA, PWA, CCC, and TVA were all radical departures from anything that had ever been previously considered, much less tried.  Obama as I noted above, is more akin to Hoover, a point that I don't see anyone disputing here.  Over 2.5 years into the worst slump since the 1930's, this WH is just now just considering a paltry few hundred million in EPA funding fo direct job creation while spending $700bn on the Pentagon and after throwing >$1tn at Wall Street.

                            Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

                            by RFK Lives on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:15:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I don't dispute (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Sybil Liberty

                            that what FDR did was much bigger than anything Obama has done or anything that came before him.  But your own words were that Roosevelt "consciously chose Keynes" when he did no such thing.

                            "In the long run, Americans will always do the right thing — after exploring all other alternatives." - Winston Churchill

                            by puakev on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:33:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Yes FDR learned from his mistakes... (5+ / 0-)

          three terms as president didn't hurt.

          I was born during his second term, in the middle of FDR's Great Recession. Lest we forget, FDR's initial stimulus wasn't extensive enough either.

          btw, how's that primary challenge going?

          "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

          by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:05:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agree (6+ / 0-)

            FDR learned from his mistakes.  He was willing to consider something better when his first plan didn't create enough jobs/stimulus.

            Members of FDR's own party (and his wife) raised hell and pushed him to create a bigger, better jobs program.  It worked.  We should all be grateful they did so.

            Kind of like today, only Obama is no FDR and Michelle is no Eleanor. He doesn't acknowledge mistakes, therefore can't learn from them. His supporters attack and disparage the same kind of Dems who pushed FDR for a better plan.   So, no, Obama will not experience the same level of success as FDR.

            "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

            by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:11:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The "something better" he considered? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fayea, TFinSF

              He implemented during his second term.

              The same kind of Dems who disparage and attack Obama are the same kind of Dems who disparaged and attacked FDR.

              difference today being these 'courageous patriots' attack and disparage prolifically & anonymously from behind the safety of their keyboards

              a real commendation to the frustrati

              "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

              by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:25:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Obama has the benefit of FDR's experience (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tyree

                Obama doesn't have to craft a new solution from scratch, he already has a template to work from that has been a proven success.  

                See RFKLives' comment above with link to his previous diary on the topic.

                "My father always told me that all businessmen were sons of bitches, but I never believed it until now." - JFK during the 1962 Steel Crisis

                by Betty Pinson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:40:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  FDR told his uncle "I am a "bumblebee" I am (0+ / 0-)

              going to keep on bumbling".
              He was continually getting reports on how to reform this, or improve that, and took criticism for his 'alphabet soup' of programs.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:02:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Four terms, actually. But, who's counting? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sybil Liberty

            FDR just didn't finish his fourth, it all.

            It is also good to remember that FDR did not face the same filibuster rules in the Senate or their recent abuse, and the Dems managed considerably more substantial majorities in Congress as a result of the Great Depression.

            While there are similarities, there are also major differences between the two presidencies.  Different times, different country.  First AA POTUS, ever as opposed to lordly white patrician of European descent, with famous family name instead of vaguely Muslim-sounding one.  Etc., etc., etc.

            •  well sure, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JC from IA

              but now you'll be accuse of "attacking" their sacred cow, the romanticized version of perhaps our greatest president ever.

              "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

              by Sybil Liberty on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:13:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Oh, I know. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sybil Liberty, Stuart Heady

                I am constantly amazed, though, how many times I see these false equivalencies posted here between two administrations decades removed from one another.  And, by Really Serious Front Pagers.

                I was born many years after Roosevelt passed, but I gather he was maybe the best politician of the past century.  I do not believe he made a move that he did not calculate out thoroughly.  Hell, he manged to use the Soviet Army to defeat the Germans and took over top-dog spot from the British Empire at the same time!  That's some politics, right there!

                OTOH, Barack Obama may well be the best politician I've seen in my lifetime; but, on top of dealing with an incredible economic disaster, he is having to do it with a dysfunctional Legislative Branch, and I do not mean just the more recent Congress.  Even in the first two years, he did not have unassailable majorities in either house, not even close.  Yet, he managed to get a great deal done.

                As to the current Congress, FDR never dealt with opposition that put their dogma above all else, up to and including self-inflicted global economic meltdown.  He simply did not have to contend with politicians who refused to be frightened even by armageddon; many of them, in fact, welcome it.

                Well, the POTUS can make all the pretty speeches and issue all the challenges and use every trick at his disposal, but I cannot think of an effective counter to a politician who puts dogma over his own political future.  

                And, I do not think FDR would have had any easier time with this particular problem that Obama is contending with.

            •  don't forget there was a planned coup of FDR (0+ / 0-)

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:04:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tardis10

        FDR, a progressive Democrat, was attacked by communists and socialists in the same way that Obama is attacked by progressive democrats.

        Politics is the art of changing what's possible.

        by happymisanthropy on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:47:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I also highly recommend a visit to (7+ / 0-)

    the "little whitehouse" in Ga.

    little whitehouse

    One of the last places i visited with my dad before he passed away. Altho my folks are labor union republicans (sigh, don't ask) they both also enjoyed the visit, having fond memories of FDR. His march of dimes work started here and the locals loved it when he came to enjoy the hot springs.

    "You've got to stop this war in Afghanistan." final words of R Holbrooke

    by UTvoter on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:17:35 AM PDT

  •  informative, exceptionally good diary (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pundit, commonmass, shaharazade, Egalitare

    thank you

  •  Best thing here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, mayim, Egalitare

    Thank you for the stellar work you put into this post.  I like getting information and this is a great resource.  I have studied FDR in detail myself.  How social security was started and by whom should be required reading for those who claim to be progressive.  FDR received it from both ends just like President Obama has.  He had huge majorities in the Congress to help him, however.  

    Amatoforce mentioned a great point.  Agriculture and Domestic service did not qualify--a compromise to get Southern votes--disgusting but necessary.  It was not long, however, before that was remedied.

    Thanks again for this.  Encouraging to see something helpful on this site on occasion.

    too soon old--too late smart

    by idahospud44 on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:18:38 AM PDT

  •  Yep (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, judyms9

    And if you wonder why I hold third parties and primary challenges at arm's length, there's more than 2000 to ruminate on.

    I would agree but since demodogs are no longer the party of the people I for one have to move on to someone that isn't owned by corp. Amerika.

  •  I Will (12+ / 0-)

    Never vote for any politician who favors cutting Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:24:57 AM PDT

    •  Neither will I (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Bush Bites, TFinSF, judyms9, brook

      but I will vote for politicians who want to slow the rate of growth or who want to strengthen the programs.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:31:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unsurprising (14+ / 0-)

        There's no problem with Social Security's finances.  Anyone arguing one exists is probably  in the pay of Pete Peterson and his ilk or woefully uninformed on the system's financial health.

        What does slowing the "rate the growth" mean?  

        "Strengthening the program" is a euphemism for cuts, unless by that is meant raising the ceiling on income subject to the Social Security (FICA) tax.  

        Since Social Security can pay full benefits with no changes whatsoever for some 27 years according to the latest CBO report, then there's little reason to strengthen an already healthy program.

        If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

        by stewarjt on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:43:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Read my post (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fayea, judyms9

          From two weeks ago. SS needs support (see video) and raising the cap on taxable income will do it.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:50:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  On a combined basis Social Security (5+ / 0-)

            does not need an extra dime in income from a cap increase or elsewhere until sometime in the 2020s.

            Sorry to say the "Raise the cap, its is just so obvious and so progressive" mostly fail to understand the nature of the current cash flow and the actual incidence of the current 2.22% actuarial gap. In reality the actual gap over the first 25 year sub-period is only 0.60% of payroll, and given the substantial probability spread in the models any "fix" in excess of that actually does more harm than good.

            Raising the cap MIGHT be the right solution. In 2026. It is totally the wrong thing to do today, instead any dollars raised from people earning in income ranges above the current cap should be collected through the income tax system via increased marginal rates and used to generate the kind of jobs and real wage increases that would fund Social Security without ANY changes in the current rate/cap formulas.

            So I just don't accept the premise here. Because the numbers don't support it, as it is Social Security projects to have balances top out at over $4.2 trillion in 2023, why on Earth would we want to just launder more money through the system over the next decade? To achieve paper solvency? Or in the fond hope that doing so will just reduce this as a political issue? Sorry Dem you need to re-read your own very excellent post, none of this argument is fundamentally about financing the system, and most of it is about pissing on FDRs grave.

            FDR and Frances Perkins put the cap in place for very good reasons. Which partially explains why Social Security survived to its 76th birthday. People need to not screw up what they many only partially understand. Of all the things on the progressive bucket list facing us RIGHT NOW, fixing a gap that exists only on paper that may or may not manifest itself for 15 years is to be kind, short-sighted. Social Security should not even be in our top ten list of action items.

            Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

            by Bruce Webb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:22:56 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I laid out in that post (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fayea, JC from IA

              The timing issue. Some of us like to think ahead an we are not sellouts for doing so. It need not be fixed today bit it needs fixing. I think the cap raise, when the time cones, is the most reasonable fix.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:28:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  What's Wrong (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              judyms9, JC from IA

              With raising the cap to cover 90 of wage income as the Greenspan Commission recommended back in the 1980s?  Right now the tax covers approximately 85% of it because of the upward redistribution of income over the last three decades.  Thus, in the absence of policies to redistribute income back to most workers, increasing the tax ceiling seems reasonable.

              If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

              by stewarjt on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:34:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Why 90%? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tardis10, aliasalias

                Exactly what is progressive about targeting the 84-90% of income band? For the most part you are talking people in the professional class and upper ranks of the administrative ranks, that is professors and health care providers and administrators along with public interest attorneys and so on. When did these people become the class enemy while we let the top 10%, which is where the real rentiers are, get a pass?

                Now personally I don't have serious issues with this, particularly as this change alone coincidentally fills right at the same 0.60-0.66% of payroll gap projected for the first 25 year sub-period, the numbers run and there isn't any terrible injustice in play.

                But these are not the wealthy tax dodging bankstas and Wall Street traders, instead you are talking people that are already paying pretty high combined rates compared to the people above them. If you have to screw around with the cap it would be a lot more progressive to just go along with Sander's proposal. (Which I oppose on other grounds but certainly is a lot more progressive than this one.)

                That is mathematically the reason the covered income cap is down to 84% is not because the 85-90s are making out like bandits, the real banditry is in the upper 2% and even more so the upper 0.1%. The response to being screwed over by the plutocrats doesn't seem to me to target the technocrats and bureaucrats.

                BTW notably absent in these discussions is what the cost per worker per week would be for a FICA based fix under the current cap structure. People just assume it would be too huge a burden yet never seem to quantify that.

                The cost of a phased in fix works out to a reduction in takehome by the third and last year of the first fix (which takes care of most of the 25 year subperiod) of between 40 cents and a buck fifty a week. That's it. Which would leave all those incomes above the 84% level available for supplemental taxation for the REST of the progressive agenda.

                Social Security is just not a priority right now, and thinking that it needs to be addressed even on a "fix it and forget it" basis, is just to fall into a milder version of the 'crisis' trap.

                Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

                by Bruce Webb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:58:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Why Not (0+ / 0-)

                  They can afford it and they benefit too!  You're aware that raising the cap doesn't mean that only these people pay more, but also those above them in the income distribution.  

                  Do you think that if the cap is raised above $106,800 and revenues increase, will there be powerful arguments for cuts or "reforms" through the front or back door?

                  If you want a doughnut hole to protect these people (individuals?) receiving over $106,800, which is at most 20% of the population and then resuming the tax for people receiving over $250,000, that's fine.  Dividend and hedge fund income could also be subject to the tax, not just wage income.

                  I should point out to you that I didn't argue that the people you mention are a class enemy.  I didn't argue those receiving even more income shouldn't be targeted.   It's disingenuous to attribute a position to someone s/he didn't take.

                  What, exactly what, political and legislative strategy are you advocating for achieving any increase in taxation let alone on the top 10 or less percent?

                  If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

                  by stewarjt on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:13:43 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This comment is kind of confused (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tardis10

                    Your para three kind of answers the question you posed in your 9:34, that is there are reasons to create the donut hole (as proposed both by Obama during the campaign and Sanders this week) as opposed as just adjusting the cap from the 84% level to the 90% level. I don't particularly agree with either but it is you that proposed the latter, I just asked what was the justification for that precise number (other than history).

                    As to para one, yes they benefit but at a reduced rate. That is the goal of Social Security is to insure against poverty in old age and secondarily against such drastic drops in income that middle class people simply drop out and lose the benefits of what they worked for. But at some point it is reasonable to ask that people provide for retirement income at the margins on their own terms. By the same token of "they can afford it" they also have the means to do their own planning, taking more or less risk or simply using current income to buy something other than future income. Who am I to say that some person who has thirty years or so paying into Social Security during a successful career that they should plow extra dollars into an annuity rather than say a lake cabin, or starting their dream business. It may be that the government has an insurable interest in having people making above $106,800 make even higher mandatory contributions into a program which already projects to meet their specific needs, but someone needs to make the case why the burden should fall on this band of earners rather than the bands above or indeed below. The solution is easy, it is the justification that is hard.

                    As to para two it is a little naive to think you can buy off the enemies of Social Security by demonstrating better solvency, as the main post points out that was not the source of their hatred of the program. On the other hand raising the cap makes the case for opt-out that much easier, it being fairly easy to make a plausible case that ROI on that last marginal dollar would be higher given an 'optional' personal account. And once that camels nose is under the tent you can bet they will push and push. Hell a simple examination of the literature on this subject shows that.

                    To para four. Well I never claimed you did, if anything I advanced those claims in respect to myself and not you. What I asked was why target THIS specific band. And you have yet to come up with an answer.

                    Finally as to five. Well I don't have a political strategy other than just getting all the numbers and all the options out on the table and asking the proponents to argue why we should choose one plan over another. That isn't happening today, in fact there has been essentially zero discussion about fixing Social Security in the same way it generally has been fixed in the past, that is by increasing FICA across the board at a phased rate that would be a fraction of real wage increases over that period. Instead almost all discussion has been confined to the other three options of changing benefit indices, changing retirement age, or changing the cap formula. But putting out honest scoring on the fourth major alternative, that of across the board rate increases? Crickets.  Even though CBO has scored such plans.

                    Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

                    by Bruce Webb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:00:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  For starters, it was Greenspan's calculation (0+ / 0-)

                  and even he did not foresee the magnitude of the shift of wealth away from that which is subject to SS withholding.  It is why there is a projected shortfall in later years to begin with.

                  •  I don't quite buy that (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    tardis10

                    I know some top, top policy folk that agree with your analysis, but the data is kind of tricky.

                    First of all in the first post Commission Reports the Trustees gave measures for 10 year and 75 year actuarial balance but didn't explicitly account for intervening sub-periods.

                    The 1988 Report was the first I could find that explicitly modeled Trust Fund ratios in the intermediate years and showed a ratio of 0, i.e. Trust Fund Depletion by 2048.

                    And by 1989  they projected Trust Fund Depletion in 2046, which by 1990 was revised down to 2043, 1990 Summary p.2 : http://www.ssa.gov/...

                    Just four years later Trust Fund Depletion was placed in 2030.
                    http://www.ssa.gov/...
                    It is pretty hard to simply wave this thirteen year deterioration away as explained by unanticipated increases in income inequality particularly when the next three years only showed a two year deterioration to 2028. And then the seven years after that showed Depletion pushed out to 2041, only to plateau and ultimately settle back to the current 2036.

                    So summarizing. By 1988 the Trustees already were projecting Trust Fund Depletion within the 75 year period even though overall actuarial balance was positive. Meaning they were aware that there was an unaddressed issue before mid-century. In the course of the 23 Report Years in between the projected date of TF Depletion moved strongly in then strongly out and then stabilized before edging down while never vanishing. In that sense you can hardly blame the shortfall itself on anything that happened after 1988 at latest, by then the fact was baked into the pie if not the timing. Nor do the fluctuations since seem to map very well with increases in income inequality in that the period of strong improvements in solvency occurred both in Clinton's term 2 and Bush's term 1. If the shortfall is mono-causal why didn't we see any such effects between 2001 and 2005?

                    But slice it how you like this shortfall didn't come out of the blue, it may or not have been apparent to Greenspan in 1983, but then according to the (unpublished as yet) auto-biography of Bob Ball, who actually negotiated the deal on behalf of Tip O'Neill directly with Dick Darman of the WH (and not actually on the Commission) mostly the Commissioners including Greenspan weren't really up on the nitty gritty of the actuarial projections. Instead the Office of the Actuary at SSA scored proposals for 10 year and 75 year periods while keeping the intervening period inside their black box.

                    So while the numeric case may be there that most of this effect was due to increasing income inequality, it is not the case that the fact of shortfall wasn't recognized early on. Which seems to put us in a cart before the horse situation with the effect (projected shortfall) coming before the putative cause (subsequent unanticipated growth in inequality)

                    Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

                    by Bruce Webb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:40:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't remember talking about "income inequality" (0+ / 0-)

                      More specifically, then, what Greenspan's Commission did not adequately take into account was the shift of "income" to the untouchable "capital gains", which was brought about purely as a matter of political policy and exceeded the assumptions used by the commission in making its recommendations.

                      Either way, there is a disparity between what Greenspan's Commission assumed, and reality as it exists today.  So, rather than "progressives" picking a number out of a hat, or arbitrarily deciding on the 90% figure, there is quite simply a shortfall due to inadequately compensating for economic factors that simply did not behave as expected the last time this sort of major study was undertaken.

                      In an ideal world, a new commission would be appointed to study the situation and recommend the obviously minor adjustments needed.  Of course, I doubt if such a sensible approach would be viable in today's political climate.

                      •  Couple problems there (0+ / 0-)

                        First capital gains don't get included in covered earnings, meaning that overall shifts from wages to such gains theoretically would have moved the percentage up and not down. That is the top 5 and 2% grabbed bigger  shares not just of total income including capital gains but even covered earnings which exclude them. For example the income of most traders working for the Bankstas fall into the covered income category.

                        Two you don't address an effect, i.e. shortfall already being predicted prior to 1988 by a proposed cause that iwas by your formulation unanticipated. That is there is a temporal mismatch between the projection changes and the underlying causes suggested to explain them. Unless we invoke the 'Blind Pig/Acorn' theory I see no explanation for the data series represented by projected TF Depletion.

                        Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

                        by Bruce Webb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 04:31:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

      •  You've made it very clear that you (12+ / 0-)

        support cutting SS benefits for poor and working people as long as a Politician tells you that it's "strengthening" a program which is perfectly sound.

        It's clear to anyone paying attention that you've only written this diary so that in a few months, when you're demanding that dirty moorlocks take their medicine without complaint and suck up the cuts you want to see inflicted on us, you can point to it and say

        "BBBBBB--BBBB-BBut see???  I support Social Security!"

        Transparent, and directly opposed to the interests of workers.

        "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

        by JesseCW on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:57:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •   none of the things you claim are true, of course (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TFinSF, JC from IA

          In any case, thanks for commenting.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:44:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Did you ever stop for two seconds.... (10+ / 0-)

            .....to consider why they want to cut Social Security now and not 30, 40 years into the future when the "shortfall" (again, based on predictions of an economy decades from now) actually becomes an actual issue?

            Consider that the surpluses from the "trust fund" have been used to subsidize tax cuts for the rich and the military industrial complex?  Surpluses that are starting to diminish - as will the subsidization for tax cuts and the military industrial complex?

            Either you've been duped, or you're spinning for liars cuts.  Either way, stay the hell away from our Social Security, kthxbai.

            He's got a (D) next to his name. How many Ds and how many Rs next to his policies? - Jim P

            by Uberbah on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:24:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, this is pure rationalization by Dems eager (5+ / 0-)

              to justify the Republican policies and ideologies being flogged by this administration. Such a sad time for this once great Party, and blog.

              "Nothing is more important than balancing the budget with the least increase in taxes." - Herbert Hoover, 1932 speech.

              by Tyree on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:05:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •   Well (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JC from IA

                If you could spend less time attacking people on this blog and more time making sure there are less Republicans in Congress, FDR would, I am sure, be grateful.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:25:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Once can walk and chew gum at the same time, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gooderservice, Uberbah

                  no? This is not an either/or situation. Opposing Republican memes should be done whether they are coming from Republicans OR Democrats. I know you don't agree with that, nor obviously see your position as such, but it's a simplistic characterization to claim it's one or the other.

                  And FDR, and my Democratic grandfather who revered him, would be, I believe, spinning in their graves at the thought of such collusive involvement of Democrats in the unnecessary rolling back of the cornerstone of liberal Democratic social policy. IMO.

                  (and correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you spend a fair amount of time attacking the attackers here? How is that consistent with your own advice?).

                  "Nothing is more important than balancing the budget with the least increase in taxes." - Herbert Hoover, 1932 speech.

                  by Tyree on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:15:23 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I spend a minuscule (0+ / 0-)

                    amount of time correcting people who distort my position. I spend thousands of comment hours interacting with our community.

                    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 01:37:51 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  This (0+ / 0-)

                  is a very sad statement coming from a front pager.  I thought you guys were above this type of thing?  

                  Disappointed.  

                  "Blind cheerleading of the president will create jobs and get him to stop droning on and on about deficits no one cares about to the point that his numbers have tanked among independents?" -kos

                  by Nada Lemming on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:39:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I am happy to discuss policy (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JC from IA

                    but distorting my position and questioning mY motives invites pushback. Sorry if that offends you.

                    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                    by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 01:27:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I am not offended (0+ / 0-)

                      I just thought you were different than Dana Houle.  Seems there is not much space between you now.  Try to have less disdain for your readers, or there will be no daylight at all.  

                      "Blind cheerleading of the president will create jobs and get him to stop droning on and on about deficits no one cares about to the point that his numbers have tanked among independents?" -kos

                      by Nada Lemming on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 04:40:55 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I have no idea what your comment (0+ / 0-)

                        is supposed to suggest, but if you'd like to talk about Roosevelt or SS I am happy to do so. The many other commenters are doing exactly that.

                        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 05:28:38 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It is because (0+ / 0-)

                          you are not self aware.  Again, sad.  

                          "Blind cheerleading of the president will create jobs and get him to stop droning on and on about deficits no one cares about to the point that his numbers have tanked among independents?" -kos

                          by Nada Lemming on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 07:00:19 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  self awareness? (0+ / 0-)

                            so here's the deal. I like to discuss policy and analysis and politics, and I am delighted when people engage, even to diasgree.

                            However, a small group of the same people insist on coming into these posts to either mischaracterize my position, make disparaging comments about my motives and/or do the same to anyone whio disagrees with them. I reserve the right to defend myself, but the episodes are few and far between. That's the best way to respect the vast majority of commenters who not only come here to discuss all of the above sans personal attacks, but enjoy the material (easily confirmed bny inspecting the comments).

                            If you have an issue with that approach, feel free to contact Markos. But having been here for eight years, I am comfortable not only with my approach but with my track record.  YMMV.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 07:13:29 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  I won't vote for X, but I will vote for X. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        happymisanthropy
      •  If you are willing to vote for politicians (4+ / 0-)

        wanting to "strengthen" the social safety net, without knowing the devilish details, then you're voting on faith and not facts. You might consider insisting on an explanation of how they plan to "strengthen" before you pledge your vote.

        "I will be happy to see the Republicans test whether or not I'm itching for a fight on a whole range of issues," President Obama - Liar

        by jec on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:59:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent story. nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, mayim, shaharazade
  •  You know why the Republicans and some Democrats (16+ / 0-)

    are trying to dismantle SS, the employer contribution.  Employers do not want to offer, health care, pensions or pay for SS.  They also do not want to pay a living wage.  We have let businesses get away with economic murder for years and now they see an opportunity to hold the economy hostage until they are completely free from all obligations to their employee's.  

  •  Great diary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mayim, commonmass
  •  Very nice presentation of the history of FDR's (5+ / 0-)

    Social Insurance, DemFromCT!  Thanks!  

    •  This history should be a bit of a litmus test (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      Honestly, the history of US Democratic leadership from mid 20'th century is still our finest hour. Thanks so much for the lesson, we all need dozens more like it. The rest of the country needs triple that dosage.

      For those in office or Democrats or those who want to run, the history of the entire era up to the late 60's is a model providing templates for getting our country back on track now. One that we need to make them ignore at their own peril.

      If we're worried about jobs, social safety nets, the debt, globalization, those we dealt with effectively. Concerned about attacks on our government from within while seeing a need to make it an ever more efficient machine that needs to be fed minimum amounts of revenue to be healthy? Higher taxes were not an obstacle to growth, they were the rich soil for it. That entire era including many policies of Truman and JFK, LBJ's war on poverty and stand for civil rights all demonstrate how we've tackled worse problems in the past.

      Obama and much of Congress do not demonstrate that they take our growth from that era very seriously at all or we'd have a much different looking Democratic leadership today.

  •  I knew my great-grandmother very well. (16+ / 0-)

    She was born in 1894, and died in 1986. Her husband, who was born in 1888 died in 1952 so I didn't know him (I'm 42) but what I DO have from him is his original social security card. I forget when they started to actually issue cards, but this one is clearly early. My great grandmother, who never worked outside the home, had survivor benefits for the rest of her very long life and I can tell you, it wasn't much but it really helped. She used to call it "pennies from heaven". Both were Roosevelt Democrats who had been Republicans before the Depression.

    --From a proud member of the American Federation of Musicians. Solidarity forever!

    Thanks for the wonderful post on this.

    Capitalism may be our enemy, but it is also our teacher. --V.I. Lenin equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:32:35 AM PDT

    •  Problem is, the post is a not-so-subtle effort to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      loveistheanswer

      justify the coming Obama-sponsored cuts in SS. The history is good, on the face of it, but the conclusion is inescapably supportive of the "reform" meme.  I'm very upset that Democrats can be taking such anti-working class lines of reasoning at a time of recession/depression.

      "Nothing is more important than balancing the budget with the least increase in taxes." - Herbert Hoover, 1932 speech.

      by Tyree on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:08:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JC from IA

        it's my view and review of the masterful and powerful exhibit I witnessed. I have no interest in seeing SS cut and I have never said I did.

        Hope that clears things up for you.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:09:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Me too (10+ / 0-)
    FDR is quite literally why I am a Democrat today, and why I'll likely always be one. It's a tradition worth remembering for more reasons than one.

    I became a Democrat because of FDR and the New Deal too.

    I remain a Democrat in the hope the Democratic party will find its way back to the traditions of FDR and the New Deal.  

    I also thank the one who rearranged deck chairs on the Titanic so those on board ship could get a better view of the iceberg.

    by NyteByrd1954 on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:33:09 AM PDT

  •  Excellent diary. My wife and I will be in New (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    Hyde Park at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds to partake in a major livestock show in October, and your article inspired me to take an extra day before the event to explore his library and house.

    Thank you very much!

    To all in the Northeast corrider - Please be safe, and stay dry.

    "You can't always get what you want; but if you try sometimes...." - Rolling Stones

    by LamontCranston on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:33:47 AM PDT

    •  Just a few miles up the road (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LamontCranston

      s the Gilded Age Vanderbilt Mansion. Easy to see both in an afternoon. Great contrast in early Dutch family values.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:43:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Been to the Vanderbuilt house when we lived in NY (0+ / 0-)

        and here in Asheville NC where reside currently, we have the Biltmore Estate, another Vanderbuilt story, but this fellow was far different than those who were also of his gene pool regarding his take on wealth and privledge....

        http://theblueridgehighlander.com/...

        An amazing place to visit and learn about this interesting man, George Vanderbuilt as we are season passsholders and were just there today to renew our seasons passes for the 12th year in a row.  My wife does demonstrations there occasionaly showing how they used to spin wool (make yarn - she is a fiber artist) in those days on the Biltmore farmstead.   Christmas time on the estate is beautiful and the mansion is decorated to the hilt.

        Can't wait till October in New Hyde Park..!!  Thanks again for the great diary.

        "You can't always get what you want; but if you try sometimes...." - Rolling Stones

        by LamontCranston on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 04:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  My Dad's family were cotton sharecroppers in (15+ / 0-)

    West Texas. He was born in '22. They didn't have electricity or plumbing, but at least they had a place and the means to grow food and raise hogs.
    He remembered in the early '30's there being a stream of people walking down the highway with no work, no possessions, and nowhere to go. Women would come to their door, too malnourished to nurse, and beg milk for their babies.
    He felt that President Roosevelt and the New Deal saved this country from a revolution. He saw the good it did, and was a good Democrat and a union man until the day he died.
    He used to tell me that the reason the rich people hated Roosevelt so much was that, "The Roosevelts and the Kennedys are the only ones of those sons-of-bitches that were ever willing to give anything up for working people".

    ...and dropping a bar bell he points to the sky, saying "The sun's not yellow-it's CHICKEN!"

    by porchdog1961 on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:37:17 AM PDT

  •  Good job. Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GeeBee

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:42:21 AM PDT

  •  Love your diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky DeanDemocrat

    It makes me want to go to the Roosevelt Library and Museum. I still have trouble getting my head around the fact that a Democratic president and Democrats in Congress are trying to dismantle Social Security. Social Security was carefully crafted. Hacking away at it indiscriminately by cutting the payroll tax and using the chained CPI to reduce cost of living adjustments is not a good idea.

    "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

    by slouching on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:47:20 AM PDT

  •  Re: Upton Sinclair (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    So, even back then, "progressives" were political geniuses.

    Apparently, Mr. Sinclair wasn't liberal enough for them.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:55:26 AM PDT

    •  Correcting your history (4+ / 0-)

      "progressives" meant something very different in the depression era:

      The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt.

      The party also became known as the Bull Moose Party when former President Roosevelt boasted "I'm fit as a bull moose," after being shot in an assassination attempt prior to his 1912 campaign speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

      Inspiration for the party's beginnings may have come from Roosevelt's friend and supporter, U.S. Senator Thomas Kearns of Utah, who in October of 1906 broke off from the Republican Party and started the American Party in that state. This was a direct response to LDS Church leadership influence on the Senatorial elections between 1902 to 1905.[1]

      In short, it was a break off from the Republican Party.

      The progressive party was

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:02:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  His name was Raymond Haight... (0+ / 0-)

        and he sounds pretty standard-issue "progressive-y" to me:

        http://www.jstor.org/...

        How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

        by BenderRodriguez on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:25:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes "Progressives" in 1890-1912 or so (3+ / 0-)

        would be better described as "Goo-Goo Republicans" (Goo-goo='good government'), the kind of folk who a few decades later might have been called "Rockefeller Republicans".

        The modern meaning of 'progressive' would seem to be in origin in the Progressive Party of 1948 formed to run former VP Henry Wallace for President on a fairly open Socialist and Civil Rights platform at odds with both major parties at the time (R's not liking Socialism, and Southern Dem's not liking Civil Rights).
        http://en.wikipedia.org/..._(United_States,_1948)

        Basically with the ramp of what would be the Cold War already in progress (being pretty hot in Greece and soon Korea), the terms 'Socialist' and still less 'Communist' were no longer viable, to the extent they every had been in the U.S. Hence the Progressive Party.

        Please visit, follow or join our Group: Social Security Defenders

        by Bruce Webb on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:33:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or, to quote Upton Sinclair - (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bruce Webb, LarryNM
          "The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them."

          "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

          by JesseCW on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 03:36:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Read Thomas Frank's book (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JC from IA

        'What's the Matter With Kansas', originally called 'What's the Matter with America'.

        Plus this is an interesting article on the reasons my the Left has not been more successful at changing attitudes and leading trends.

        http://www.salon.com/...

    •  Upton Sinclair had run as a Socialist (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Betty Pinson, badger, Tommy Allen, pot, LarryNM

      for Senate, and the House earlier.

      So, was he an idiot of some sort for being a "splitter"?

      The Progressive Party of the 1930's did not think he was "Too Far Left".   They were simply blindly loyal to their own Party banner.

      I've heard a lot of people claim that kind of blind loyalty is a virtue.

      "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

      by JesseCW on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:04:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great journal (4+ / 0-)

    I didn't know that Upton Sinclair came that close.  Can you imagine the precedent that would have set for 3rd parties?  I think we are a weaker country because there is no way to keep the 2 parties truly honest.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:57:05 AM PDT

  •  Excellent Post (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kentucky DeanDemocrat, Palafox

    from a voice of reason.  Thanks DFCT

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:58:00 AM PDT

  •  maybe the DLC Blue Dog Third Way New Dem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Neo Lib SELL OUTS will read your diary

    and STOP kissing wall street's a$$?

    of course, that wouldn't help the bank accounts and the lifestyles of the ruling elites of the Democratic party sucking up the paychecks of "leaders" while they sell us down the fucking river, would it?

    rmm.

    p.s. LOMG

    they had Magic Spreadsheets in the 30's!

    ALL those non-sinclair votes BELONGED to sinclair,

    just like ALL those NON-gore votes belonged to gore!

    maybe we should do like they do in Iran ...

    when you vote you get your thumb colored according to the party you voted for, THEN we'd know who to blame for NOT supporting the DLC-ish "Democratic" Sell Outs, cuz,

    clearly,

    the fault of the DLC-ish "Democratic" Sell Outs losing is people who vote on stupid shit like principles over checking off the names of sell out yuppie fucks!

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:03:04 AM PDT

  •  So what are we doing then? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Betty Pinson, loveistheanswer
    FDR is quite literally why I am a Democrat today, and why I'll likely always be one. It's a tradition worth remembering for more reasons than one.

    What do you do when the Democratic Party has decided to move away from that legacy? It isn't that the Party wants to do away with SS or anything--it is the approach that the Party has for generations been moving away from starting somewhere in the late seventies as documented in this book: Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer--and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Hacker and Pierson. That period also saw, increased working hours, decreased real wages for working class despite increasing productivity and other trends that increased the vulnerability of the working and middle classes.

    •  Nominate better candidates. (0+ / 0-)

      The party is a coalition. It can be driven away from its current direction through the nominating processes.

      (None of the problems you mention, though, can be solved without dealing with so-called "free trade," IMO. I'd support any "protectionist who shows his or her face.)

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:12:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

        We don't nominate "better" candidates because the fact of the matter is that we don't want to take the kinds of approaches that the FDR administration sought to make and Lyndon Johnson tried to recreate. The Democratic Party has turned away from those ideas and that party is made up of real voters who did not vote for progressive candidates in the 2008 campaign. We cynically voted for centrists who appeared to be "winners" and got precisely what we deserved and secretly wanted. If the truth be told most of us are comfortable and care only for ourselves and our families just like the red tribe. We're all narcissists in this culture including me. I'm trying to find a way out of it though.

        •  I think I see what you mean. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brook, happymisanthropy

          Progressivism has been so discredited over the years that many Dems are afraid to embrace it.

          Boy, that's a tough problem. You almost have to resuscitate the ideology before you'll get candidates willing to run on it and voters willing to risk supporting it.

          We need more of the think tanks and 521 groups and media outlets that the Repubs have to spread the message and educate candidates and voters alike.

          Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

          by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:30:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Excellent comment (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            loveistheanswer

            you completely get it. There has to be a conceptual framework that underlies progressive politics. I think it can be built and indeed, something very much like think-tanks are needed to re-formulate progressive politics or, the term I prefer, is social democracy. The job would not be hard. Social- and neuro-science as well as the work of some younger economists supports the human need for connection and communality.

            Quite simply the direction we are going towards is sure to create collective and individual illness, specifically narcissism and its offshoots (socio-pathology etc.) as well as stress related illnesses like depression, addiction, hypertension etc. (though there is a genetic component many diseases are triggered by stress).

          •  Yes! (0+ / 0-)

            It's a puzzlement to me that Democrats haven't created anywhere near the number of think tanks & 521's. C-span's overloaded with those rightwing orgs much to my disgust and their success is evidenced by many of the callers.

            For a party who believes so deeply in education, we should be doing more.

            Mitt Romney strapped the family dog to the roof of his car. Where's he gonna put grandma?

            by brook on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:45:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I love FDR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, aliasalias

    He was a man who came from wealth and yet understood that when those on the lower rungs better their lives, the lives of ALL Americans, rich, and poor, get better.
    I am astounded at the right, who thinks it will somehow hurt a wealthy person to give a little more. When a billionaire can lose $36 billion (that's billion, not million - and it's true) overnight in a stock market "adjustment" and simply shrug his shoulders, then why not ask him to give more?
    Of course, the right is framing the debate as "raising taxes on Americans" when it is only raising taxes on some Americans. The left needs to call them out more strongly about that point.
    How so many Americans can't see that taking from the poor to give to the rich is not only not right, it is against everything we stand for.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by MA Liberal on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:06:51 AM PDT

  •  what's disgraceful is we have to save it from (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JustinBinFL, aliasalias

    Obama, who has promised to cut Social Security and Medicare in his mad dash to the basement

  •  how can an FDR-JFK/LBJ Lib be a Dem-2011? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    judyms9

    since the Dem leaders don't seem to protect the FDR-JFK/LBJ programs?

    80 % of success is JUST SHOWING UP ! ! !

    by Churchill on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:21:42 AM PDT

  •  just... thank you! (0+ / 0-)

    thanks for the well-presented reminder of why we fight.

  •  If you go again (0+ / 0-)

    and you can say a heartfelt thank you....

    and thanks for the diary...

  •  Great post (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, aliasalias

    I am also a FDR Democrat. My mom and grandmother were active life long FDR Democrat's . My grandparents owned a small ranch in the San Fernando Valley during the 20's and 30's. They made it though the Depression by community and sharing of their land and crops with the people who were neighbors and workers. The local grange who held their mortgage gave the small ranchers relief. Socialism wasn't yet considered unAmerican at least not in my grandparents world. Their generation had fought hard for workers rights and the unions.  

    The Four Freedoms by Norman Rockwell hung in my grandmothers dinning room, along with photos of Elenore and FDR and Paul Robeson.  My dad was a Republican.  When he voted for Nixon my mom told me and my brother   not to speak to our Dad for a week as he had voted for the odious McCarthite. I grew up listening to  interesting and heated political debates to say the least. My mom always won hands down.

  •  excellent post. You do terrific work at DK. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    hank you very much.

    These kinds of essays are the equivalent of the 1906's documentaries the then fledgeling television industry was producing. I worked on NBC's White Papers series for much of the decade, the Exex Producer was Wallace Westfield, the producer of the Huntley/Brinkley Nightly News Report.  The documentaries were diverse ranging through Khrushchev in America, (Lucy Jarvis, Producer), Civil Rights Nuclear Proliferation, Discrimination in the Navy, etc.

    We did half a dozen on FDR and I had the opportunity to research the library at Hype Park extensively for both photos and film.

    I also worked at CBS on the Black Heritage Series and for Martin Carr, a wonderful producer of the Hunger in America documentary, and the one on Migrant Workers..

  •  "People don't eat in the long run; (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy
    they eat every day
    Simply goddam brilliant.  This is an example of the cutting, pithy eloquence that is missing from current discourse at every level.  We need some wordwarriors who can hack the legs out from under them with a quip.

    If the Hindus have it right, I'm hoping Ben Franklin has already been reborn somewhere in the US -- maybe as one of Barney Frank's secret lovechildren.

    It seems curiosity has killed the cat that had my tongue.

    by Murphoney on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:53:10 AM PDT

  •  Well done, Dem ct, thank you...Dems today (0+ / 0-)

    would never have reelected FDR as he wasn't able to deliver a perfect SS bill and certainly wasn't able to accomplish everything in 3 years.  

    •  FDR did not have to contend with a 24/7 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JC from IA

      media and a RW propaganda machine financed by those who have the "courage" to fund but not to run themselves.  The nation was aware of the sweep of his efforts because they were felt and observed and were not bogged down  with the minutiae of daily attacks, distortions, and cultural distractions as we are now.  Few people were listening to RW talk radio or watching Fox teevee.  And then there's the race thing.

  •  thanks for the post (0+ / 0-)

    I am a Democrat because my late Grandmother was a poor Tennessean who saw everything FDR did as he fought for social dignity for everyone.

    I am also a Democrat because of JFK, RFK, EMK.

    I remain a Democrat even in the face of the complicity of my president with Wall Street and the barbaric GOP and the Tea Party tools.

    We need to organize for ways to strengthen social security.

    All I want is the truth. Just gimmie some truth John Lennon

    by gimmie truth on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:00:55 AM PDT

  •  Social Security is a result of a core principle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    that Democrats share and Republicans do not. There are other examples such as Medicare, WICK, anti-trust laws, unemployment insurance, etc. While we debate among ourselves the ways and means for advancing these core beliefs we must never forget that they are what separates us from Republicans.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:17:39 AM PDT

  •  interesting addition to any debate about the New (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT

    Deal and its successes and failures.

    http://www.salon.com/...

  •  Thank you for this & for the wonderful images! n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  SS Must Be Defended Vigorously (3+ / 0-)

    As must the legacy of FDR, The New Deal and LBJ's Great Society. This is the legacy of the Democratic Party and of liberals in the United States. Government for the betterment of all people not just some. This is what we did as a party. This is what progressives did as a philosophy and political movement. We own it, we did it and we're damned proud of it all.\

    Republicans have spent every waking moment since the election of FDR to whittle away at every gain made that benefits average Americans. Since the 60s, Republicans and conservatives have engaged in a virulent campaign to not only downgrade the achievements of the party of FDR but to paint them in a negative and un-American light. This is what cannot stand under any circumstance. Democrats and liberals have to fight for decency and to make the people as well as business leaders understand that what's good for average Americans is beneficial towards all. The rising tide not only lifts all boats but is the engine of the economy and of their profits.

    Even the business conscious Democratic leaders of today can understand that. At least I hope they can.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 10:47:52 AM PDT

  •  FDR and Barack Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pola Halloween, brook, JC from IA

    Both have been attacked from the right and also from the left.  Old line Socialist never forgave Roosevelt for saving capitalism by reforming it.  Just as old line Progressives are not going to forgive Obama for doing the same.  Ironically  the rabid Right doesn't forgive either for the same sin, that is saving capitalism by reforming it.

  •  Fantastic post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brook

    Great job compiling all the old posters and photos. Thanks so much for the history lesson.

  •  About Social Security (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brook

    That's what the right wants us to believe...but, that's ludicrous.  They say a bunch about it not being consequential or a "right" or relevant.....you know..."relevant"..something I posted here in a kinda tongue-in-cheek presentation I caught hell for from one poster here that "lurks" on my posts..

    But, I stand by my remarks.  DemFromCT always has it right...dows an outstanding job of presenting the facts.

    Sad we have folks here on DKos that are just so full of hate and disgust for others that stand on the same aisle they do.  It's more about "rec's" than being truthful and realistic.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:48:41 AM PDT

  •  Comparing our situation to the Great Depression (0+ / 0-)

    There is no comparison.  It's totally different...making any kind of reference to this situation our country is in today with anything that happened during the Great Depression is ridiculous.

    No one disses FDR for what he did to get our country back...but, any kind of comparison is truly not comparative.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:57:45 AM PDT

  •  I remember the day FDR died. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemFromCT, JC from IA

    I was riding my bicycle and I overheard a couple of neighbors. I starting crying and pedaling as fast as I could to get home. Neighbor kids were already out on the streets celebrating & jeering.

    My Dad had been in the CCC; sold insurance door to door, collecting the 25cent premiums every week and worked for SearsRoebuck on Saturdays for 50 cents a day.

    Even then, I couldn't understand the jeering from folks who probably weren't doing as well as we were but whose future would be forever better because we'd had FDR fighting for us.

    Mitt Romney strapped the family dog to the roof of his car. Where's he gonna put grandma?

    by brook on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:58:21 AM PDT

  •  I have a question (0+ / 0-)

    From the SS...where did that 255.00 benefit at death come from and why has it never been raised?Why that number and why does one receipent who dies on the 30th of July and that check is a month behind ...does the family have to send that check back when it arrives on the 3rd?OF AUGUST.    It is owed to that man and or his family being a month behind and why the 255....I have always said there is something monetarily to be gained from that magic death so called benefit?  Any answers?

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 12:40:54 PM PDT

  •  What a great diary, thank you! (0+ / 0-)
  •  A tradition worth remembering. (0+ / 0-)
    FDR is quite literally why I am a Democrat today, and why I'll likely always be one. It's a tradition worth remembering for more reasons than one.

    I'm an F.D.R. Democrat, it being handed down directly from some people on the receiving end of some of those depression photos. An attempt to express it here.

  •  Although I (0+ / 0-)

    don't think I can ever understand or forgive Obama's eagerness to put Social Security on the table and meddle with a complex, incredibly successful social insurance program by cutting payroll taxes, I don't think he's a bad person. And sometimes I think maybe he really doesn't have as many choices as I think he does. Remember, he doesn't have a stalwart Democratic Congress to back him up and support him. He has a bunch of disparate players who are dependent on the same corporations for handouts as the Republicans are and as Obama, himself, is. So maybe he thinks he's doing the best he can. That said, I will defend Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to my last breath and I am willing to put my body on the line to do it. And by doing that, perhaps I can keep Obama from being remembered primarily as the Democratic president who opened the door for the destruction of Social Security.

    "They had fangs. They were biting people. They had this look in their eyes,totally cold, animal. I think they were young Republicans."

    by slouching on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 02:05:53 PM PDT

  •  My dad was a Social Security pioneer (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brook, DemFromCT, tardis10

    In 1935 Hubert Thorson graduated from college in South Dakota and went to Washington on a vague promise of a federal job. In 1936 he was in the second class to be trained as Social Security field agents and was sent back to the Middle West where he eventually became the district manager for northeastern Iowa based in Dubuque, where I was born in 1940. Daddy sometimes showed me off at the office and took me on trips to outlying towns where he had monthly office hours.

    Over the years he was called to Washington or Baltimore a few times for conferences. In the '50s I recall he went there to help plan for introducing Social Security to farmers.

    When he died at a young 47 in 1960, my mother and younger sisters benefited from civil service life insurance as well as a little Social Security he had earned from a second job -- pay was meager. He never made more than $9,000 a year, and we always had old cars. But he was a respected community leader and was occasionally in the newspapers and on the radio spreading word about the program

    Thanks for this diary, and many of the comments. This program must be strengthened, as times are not getting better.

    I've got a headful of ideas that are driving me insane. -- Bob Dylan, "Maggie's Farm"

    by Larry Thorson on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 02:49:18 PM PDT

  •  Social Securty (0+ / 0-)

    Social Security is one of the REASONS that I and my whole FAMILY are still DEMOCRATS. As my Nephew said we no longrr have F.D.R. DEMOCRATS they are CLOSET REPUBLICANS. These DEMOCRATS think of GIVING the RITCH FIRST then the COMMON people get what little is left. We have to start electing F.D.R. DEMOCRATS or become slaves to the CORPORATIONS which is what HOOVER wainted back in F.D.R. time.

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