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Wheeling and new dealing

September 5, 2011
Morning Journal News


An article appeared in the Morning Journal Aug. 12 titled "We Need More Than Mere Words." The author was Jules Witcover, an excellent writer and I never fail to read his column.

Mr. Witcover writes of the lack of positive action in Congress and what appears to be a continuous war of words with no results. Some of us remember Harry Truman when he referred to his do-nothing Congress. History is repeating itself, but this time the results can be far more disastrous.

Some people think the stimulus program was the way to go and refer to President Roosevelt and President Eisenhower administrations as positive examples. Roosevelt had to deal with a severe depression and high unemployment and his government-financed programs did create many needed jobs. Some people took issue with Roosevelt and his so called New Deal. They feared a complete government takeover.

Eisenhower was elected in 1951. By then the depression was receding, but with the war over and so many war factories now idle millions were still out of work. Eisenhower's ambition was to construct super highways throughout the country. A worthwhile project and jobs were created. These programs could not be considered stimulus, because the funds went directly to the job sites and jobs were created on the spot.

I cannot believe after absorbing the tremendous cost of financing World War II and the cost of reconstruction that followed that our treasury was fat with dollars. So we must assume the government was forced to borrow or printed the money to finance these projects. However, there was one glaring difference between then and today. Now we have a $14 trillion national debt staring us in the face increasing by the hour and we're struggling to pay the interest alone.

Attempting to stimulate our economy with borrowed and printed money was a serious mistake and any further stimulation will only shorten the lifespan of our already crippled economy. Mr. Witcover suggests the president should start now with a much more ambitious and aggressive public works scheme and pin his chance of re-election on it.

With due respect to Mr. Witcover, I must ask, where will the money come from to finance any new government projects? And why should the re-election of President Obama be a factor in solving the financial problems of this country?

This problem will never go away until we find the intestinal fortitude to attack the welfare system we have allowed to smother us. As long as we are spending more money than we're taking in we will continue to sink ever deeper into the quagmire of economic ruin.

We must replace those people in Washington who are too timid to face the truth. We need people who will stand tall, tell us the truth, take the necessary action and do it now no matter how unpleasant it is for any of us.

Leon J. White




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