Warner Todd Huston
Obama's stimulus stimulates nothing but votes for Obama
By Warner Todd Huston
July 14, 2009

Of his Social Security program, Franklin D. Roosevelt once said that the whole thing had nothing to do with helping the aged. "They were politics all the way through," he said of his Social Security payroll withholding taxes. In other words, the So. Sec. program was created solely to give the Democrat Party a permanent majority on the "we care" ticket. FDR knew from the get-go that the program was an unsustainable sham but it was all about politics, not old people anyway.

Seventy some years later Barack Obama was praised as a second coming of FDR when he ran for office. His promises of everything for everyone were hailed as a second new deal. As we all know the economy took a dive at the tail of 2008, it continued apace into 2009 and once Obama took office he campaigned hard for a "stimulus" plan to lift America from its economic doldrums. It was an "emergency" he said, we couldn't get by without it, he claimed. He cared about all of America, you see, and he, the great father in Washington, had the cure for what ails us. The great god of D.C. loved all his children we were sonorously informed.

Well, maybe not all. You see, just as FDR's "help" only went to further his own political goals and not the country's economic recovery, Barack Obama's benevolence seems to have benefited mostly those that voted for him.

Apparently, the "stimulus" is only stimulating future votes for Obama. Apparently, Obama really is the second coming of FDR.

In his book FDR's Folly, writer Jim Powell shows that most of the largess from Washington D.C. in the 1930s just happened to go to the states and counties that Roosevelt needed future votes from or areas that supported him previously. Even worse, most of the hardest hit areas in the country were excluded from FDR's benevolence. And areas that didn't vote strongly for FDR were left bereft of the projects and policies of government spending that the Roosevelt administration put into place.

Once again we flash forward 70 or so years and we see a similar pattern from man-god Obama and his supposed stimulus spending. As USA Today notes, "billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in '08."

    Billions of dollars in federal aid delivered directly to the local level to help revive the economy have gone overwhelmingly to places that supported President Obama in last year's presidential election.

In an echo of FDR it appears that the stimulus is "politics all the way through."

Now, the USA Today report goes to pains to say that Obama didn't personally guide all this money to those areas that supported him in contravention of the need in areas that didn't support him. I find this likely true. But the FDR echo I am pointing out isn't that Obama is as crafty as FDR was by rewarding friends and excluding political enemies with the stimulus like FDR did with his government largess. The parallel is that the system that FDR created where Democratic strongholds are first in line for government largess is still going strong and Obama is benefiting from it.

I am pointing out that government largess isn't about helping "America." It is about securing Democrat constituencies for Democrat politics. It is about making sure that areas that have become addicted to Washington stay drunk with Washington's "help."

So, far from being the "new" era in politics, far from being the "post partisan president." Obama is simply the latest master of Democrat Plantation Politics. Keep 'em in thrall to D.C. and the votes will come.

It ain't about "helping" anyone. It's "politics all the way through."

© Warner Todd Huston


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Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston's thoughtful commentary, sometimes irreverent often historically based, is featured on many websites... (more)

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