Trump v. FDR’s First Hundred Days
by Stephen Lendman
On Friday, Trump ludicrously called his first 100 days “the most successful in our country’s history.” Arguably, they’re the worst.
Truth-telling isn’t his long suit. He’s best known for bluster, bombast, demagoguery, and turning truth on its head, along with breaking every positive promise made.
His deplorable first 100 days suggest more of the same, likely worse coming. He sold out to Wall Street, war-profiteers, Big Oil, Big Pharma, insurance giants, and other corporate favorites at the expense of serving ordinary Americans equitably. He’s part of the swamp he pledged to drain.
He reneged on combating terrorism, curtailing support for NATO, curbing reckless interventionism, waging peace instead of war, improving ties with Russia, and making trade deals worker-friendly.
His Secretary of State promised forever sanctions on Moscow unless it sacrifices its sovereign Crimean territory and ceases aggression it’s not committing.
He recklessly threatened North Korea and Iran, risking nuclear war in the East Pacific and Middle East. He one-sidedly supports Israeli ruthlessness, ignores fundamental Palestinian rights, and wants America’s embassy illegally moved to Jerusalem – an international city no other country recognizes as Israel’s capital.
He supports nuclear madness – “greatly strengthen(ing) and expand(ing) (America’s) nuclear capability” at a time its only enemies are ones it invents.
He rejects the 2010 New START Treaty with Russia, capping deployed nuclear warheads by both countries, calling it “a bad deal for the United States.”
The only way to prevent almost certain eventual nuclear war is by eliminating these devastating weapons entirely.
Since Bush/Cheney’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, Washington asserted the preemptive right to unilaterally declare and wage future wars, using first strike nuclear weapons – including against non-nuclear states, madness if launched.
Trump opposes a woman’s right to choose, supports repealing and replacing Obamacare with something much worse, yet to be agreed on by Republican lawmakers – while wanting tens of billions more dollars for militarism and warmaking, along with a tax cut bonanza giveaway for privileged monied interests.
He wants America’s southern border walled in from Latino immigrants, as well as unwanted Muslims from designated countries kept out.
He believes anything government can do, business does better so let it, facilitating it with deregulatory madness for maximum profit-making.
With Senate rules changed to prohibit a Democrat filibuster, invoking the so-called “nuclear option,” he got right-wing extremist Neil Gorsuch confirmed as the High Court’s newest justice.
He wants federal funding ended for sanctuary cities, protecting undocumented immigrants from mass arrests, detentions and deportations.
He continues waging war on whistleblowers exposing government wrongdoing, including wanting WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange arrested for exercising his right of free expression.
It’s unclear if he’ll impose sweeping taxes on imports from designated countries to help fund tax cuts for the rich and his Mexico border wall.
He appointed a rogue’s gallery of anti-consumer, anti-peace, anti-equity and justice administration officials – notably hawkish generals, billionaires and Wall Street figures, filling the swamp more deeply he pledged to drain.
He signed executive orders enforcing police state harshness. He imposed new illegal sanctions on Iran and Syria for fabricated reasons.
He held White House and Mar-a-Lago meetings with notorious despots. He betrayed the public trust in his first 100 days.
FDR’s comparable period was polar opposite. His New Deal didn’t end the Great Depression, but gave people most in need hope.
Landmark laws were enacted, including the Bank Act of 1933 – Glass-Steagall, insuring deposits up to $5,000 and separating commercial from investment banks and insurance companies, among other provisions to curb speculation.
The Homeowners Refinancing Act stopped most foreclosures, preventing the loss of over a million homes.
The Emergency Conservation Work Act put unemployed people to work building roads, bridges, dams, state parks and various other projects. It was Roosevelt’s favorite initiative, unaddressed today at a time of rampant unemployment, suppressed by phony government reports.
The Civil Works Administration, Works Progress Administration and Public Works Administration created millions of full and part-time jobs.
Roosevelt called the National Recovery Administration “the most important and far-reaching (measure) ever” established in America – an initiative to revive economic growth, encourage collective bargaining, set maximum work hours, minimum wages, at times prices, and forbid child labor in industry.
The Tennessee Valley Authority provided navigation, flood control, electricity generation, economic development, and promoted agriculture in the depression-impacted Tennessee Valley area, covering most of Tennessee as well as parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.
The Agricultural Adjustment Act restricted production by paying farmers to reduce or destroy crops and livestock – a plan to raise prices at the worst time, when people were impoverished and hungry.
The Farm Credit Act let farmers refinance mortgages over an extended period at below-market rates. The Emergency Farm Mortgage Act provided refinancing for farmers facing foreclosure.
Despite its flaws and failures, New Deal measures helped millions of desperate Americans in need. Post-100 days included the Wagner Act, letting labor bargain collectively on equal terms with management for the first time.
The Social Security Act to this day remains the most important federal program helping retirees and other eligible recipients financially.
Other social legislation throughout the decade helped millions of Americans in need – polar opposite bipartisan anti-populist policies today.
Militarism, corporate favoritism and the greatest ever wealth transfer from most people to its privileged few reflects how America is now run.
Trump continues dirty business as usual, serving wealth, power and privilege exclusively at the expense of most others – while waging endless war on humanity at home and abroad.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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