By Thomas E Woods Jr
VOICE: The Glenn Beck program presents more truth behind America's march to socialism.
GLENN: Oh, yes. It's more of a quick trot to socialism. Barack Obama, do we have the audio? Barack Obama said this about the New Deal:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Some of the criticisms really are with the basic idea that government should intervene at all in this moment of crisis. You have some people very sincere who philosophically just think that government has no business interfering in the marketplace and in fact, several suggested that FDR was wrong to intervene back in the New Deal. They're fighting battles that I thought were resolved a pretty long time ago.
GLENN: Okay. Not really because I don't think anyone has ever gotten the truth on the New Deal. I know I didn't. And I want to preface this with, do your own homework. Do your own homework. That's what coming to Earth is really all about. That's what being born a human is all about. It's up to you to decide. It's up to you to do the work. So don't listen to me. I'm an uneducated or self-educated guy. I spent about two minutes in college. Couldn't afford it. Out. Didn't know anything. I was a deejay for most of my life and the didn't have any higher aspirations than that. And then September 11th changed me and I've been doing my homework. And I have to tell you, I read people who disagree with each other for a reason. I take the extreme views and I say, okay, let me get the two strongest arguments in the room together, and I do that through books. I have the library of a serial killer, but I do it -- I don't want straw man arguments. And the history of this country that I have learned, I still love this country. I still think that she is great but she's made some bad, bad moves. And the new deal is not being taught in school.
We have Thomas Woods on the phone. He's the author of Meltdown, a book that I read this weekend that I think is just a really good primer on how we got here. And one of my favorite lines in this book is, "To blame the Democrats for this meltdown is just flat out wrong." It's not just the Democrats. It's the Republicans. But that's even wrong. It's something much bigger than that. It is central planning and the Fed. And Thomas is with us now. Hi, Tom, how are you?
WOODS: Good morning. How are you, Glenn? Doing well, thanks.
GLENN: Thanks for being on the program. Here's what I would like you to do. Could you please show the stimulus package and show the government spending that happened with the new deal and show us the truth.
WOODS: Oh, sure. As you've suggested, with Obama seeming to be just simply shocked that anyone could dissent from, you know, what we were all taught in sixth grade about Franklin Roosevelt, I mean, he can't believe that people are fighting battles that Barack Obama thought had been won a long time ago. I think we're making progress when we make people like Barack Obama have to turn around and go back and fight all battles over again because these battles were won by the wrong people. So when you actually look at the evidence, you don't look at, you know, Franklin Roosevelt gave some sweet little speeches and he comforted everybody. When you look at the cold hard facts of the matter, from 1933 to 1940 unemployment averaged 18%. So that means the New Deal didn't work, period. And you can scream and shout and jump up and down but, you know, facts are stubborn things, as we know, and --
GLENN: Tell me about -- go ahead.
WOODS: No, I was going to say he tried pretty much everything that Obama's going to be trying. You know, he threw money at crazy projects, he hired people to, you know, essentially do the equivalent of digging trenches and then filling them back in again. He did all this and he did it year after year after year. And by the time you get to 1939, his treasury secretary was saying, "Well, let's see. We've spent more than we've ever spent before and yet unemployment is, well, by and large unchanged." By the late 1930s it had gone back up again. "And so all we have to show for this entire experiment is a whole lot more debt." And Japan has done the same thing in the 1990s. All they have to show for their stimulus is more debt. But somehow we're supposed to expect that this is the one time in world history that the stimulus package is going to work.
GLENN: Here's the thing. I asked Tom yesterday to write a piece for the free e-mail newsletter at GlennBeck.com. You can get that today in your e-mail and does it even have a name on it? Just, it doesn't. It's called Untitled by Tom woods.
WOODS: Yeah, I'm a very artistic person. All I could think is call it Untitled.
GLENN: You can get this and what it has in it is the beginning of the argument on FDR and the New Deal, and it has some of the facts and figures. And I have to tell you, if you know who Henry Morgenthau is, this is the treasury secretary. When did he become FDR's treasury secretary, Tom?
WOODS: I actually don't remember for sure.
GLENN: Okay. But he was best friends with Franklin Roosevelt. They used to say two of a kind about the two of them. In fact, I think FDR signed a picture of him to Henry that just said one of the two of the kind, something like that. They were best friends. For him to come out at the end and say -- and this is the exact quote -- we have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent and it doesn't work. We have never made good on our promises. This is FDR's best friend and treasury secretary: "We have never made good on our promises. I say after eight years of this administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started and now we also have an enormous debt to boot. That's a quote."
Now, where is the stat that shows that the New Deal worked?
WOODS: Yeah, the best they can do is try to fiddle around with the unemployment statistics. It's pathetic to watch. There was an argument not long ago on slate by a guy named David Sirota who's one of the so-called progressives. I don't know how the progressives got the name progressive because everything they called for would bring us back to the stone age if we actually listened to it. But Sirota again professed to be horrified that anybody out there could dissent on FDR and he said, look, most economists seemed to think the New Deal was a good thing. David, would these be the same economists who had no idea this crisis was coming, who thought the Fed should just inflate the money supply like crazy to stimulate the economy? Are you talking about those economists?
WOODS: Because I don't care really about those economists. And as far as the historians are concerned, if you want to find a group of people -- and I am a historian. I have a Ph.D. from Columbia. If you want to find a group of people on Earth who know less about economics than historians, good luck. You know, I mean, their analyses of the new deal when you actually pin them down with the statistics, they are reduced to saying, well, okay, maybe he didn't get the country you have the depression, but he gave us hope. I'm not kidding, that's the response, he gave us hope. Well, look, if you are down, let's say you fell into a well and somebody's saying, "Listen, I'm bringing a ladder. The guy with the ladder's almost here, the ladder's almost here," but there is no ladder and he's given you a lot of hope. But really what good is that to you when you're at the bottom of a well?
GLENN: The last thing I want to touch base on with you is something that is also in your piece in the free e-mail newsletter today and that is if you can't get Hoover right, you can't trust anything on FDR.
GLENN: Hoover, can you just give me what you have in the newsletter today just on Hoover's public works?
WOODS: Yeah, Hoover's house in four years spent more on public works than had been spent on the previous 20.
GLENN: Wait a minute. Say that again, please.
WOODS: So Herbert Hoover, the supposed do-nothing president, spent more on public works projects in his four years than had been spent in the previous 20 and that's why he was called a spendthrift by FDR. And then on top of that he's making emergency loans to crummy companies, he's raising taxes and tariffs, he's forcing wages up at a time that prices are falling by 15%. So he's saying to businesses in a depression, give everybody a 15% raise. Oh, that will keep people in their jobs. You know, nice going. Look, over and over this -- he can't help himself.
GLENN: Tom, when you saw the president speak last night, what did you hear that you thought, okay, this is good. And what did you hear that you thought, "Oh, dear heavens, people don't know what this means."
WOODS: Well, Glenn, I need to make concessions to you. I need to have some solid piece in my life and so that means that I don't listen to official White House communications. I let my friend summarize them. But I mean, basically it's the same old Keynesian stuff, you know, just spend, spend, spend. And look, you know, I'm entitled as one of my friends says, I'm entitled to my trillion dollars the same way FDR was entitled to his money. I want my trillion to play with and how dare you dissent from this. And not long ago, maybe within the past week he was joking with his fellow Democrats that people were criticizing his stimulus bill as being a spending bill and he said, "Well, isn't that the point of a stimulus bill? Oh, how stupid these people are. Well, no, frankly I think what we're seeing is that Barack Obama, for all his rhetorical skill, you know, again knows as much about economics as my cat does. And my cat is not a particularly good economist. So the idea that we just throw money at arbitrary projects and the money is seized from individuals and that's supposed to make us wealthy, I mean, if you believe that, you either belong in a lunatic asylum or on the editorial page of the New York Times.
GLENN: Tom Woods, the newsletter has a copy of what he's talking about today with some of the facts on FDR, et cetera, et cetera. We have more on this later on in the program and also on tonight, and I'm going to show you somebody who I can guarantee you on mainstream television, you haven't seen this point of view on television tonight. Somebody who is a guy who all he does is look at trends, and he's been following the trends in the country and he will show you if we don't wake up and turn around what that trend is leading towards. Tonight, 5:00 on the Fox News Channel. More to come.