Letters to the Editor

FDR’s New Deal was bad

In response to James Engle Jr.’s letter (Jan. 27: Roosevelt Deserves Honor): Many people have the misconception that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal helped the United States get out of the Great Depression. New Deal policies actually prolonged the Great Depression. FDR’s Tennessee Valley Authority did not benefit anyone. TVA states were poorer than non-TVA states. The 242 million Americans who did not live in the TVA were forced to subsidize the program and yet they would never receive any type of benefits from the TVA.

During the Great Depression, FDR ordered millions of acres of crops destroyed. The New Deal penalized farmers if they grew too much acreage and made farmers set their prices by using price controls. This is simply insane economic policy.

Many people credit FDR’s work programs as successful. Research has found otherwise. For example, in 1934, after a year and a half of work programs, the unemployment rate was still at 22 percent. FDR also used the WPA money to help out democratic cantidates, not the American people.

Many of FDR’s bad New Deal policies are still around today. Farmers still receive subsidies, Social Security needs major reform, and the TVA is inefficient compared to private utility companies. We as Americans must learn from past mistakes so we can prevent such tragedies as the New Deal.

Joel Peyton

Corbin junior

Reagan admired Roosevelt

I write in on opposition to Josh Buckman’s commentary, “Roosevelt undeserving of being honored on dime,” in which he instead proposed replacing President Roosevelt’s image with that of President Ronald Reagan, as a small minority of congressmen have advocated. I do so as a moderate Republican who idolized Ronald Reagan. I was also the vice president of the WKU College Republicans when President Reagan campaigned in Diddle Arena for then-Vice President George H.W. Bush in October 1988.

I must take strong exception to Mr. Buckman’s remarkable contention that Mr. Roosevelt was “our worst president.” I dare say that few historians, regardless of political stripes, would place Franklin Roosevelt outside the category of the five most important presidents in United States history.

Mr. Buckman may be aware that Ronald Reagan was originally a Democrat whose own political hero was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Often he explained that “I did not leave the Democratic Party, it left me.” Suffice to say that Ronald Reagan, a kindly man possessed of unflagging optimism, would hardly be expected to look with favor upon an attempt to honor him by besmirching the reputation of his hero, a man who bore the extraordinary burdens of his office despite paralysis in his lower body.

David Sparks

Adjunct professor,

Department of Management and Information Services