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View Full Version : President Harding and welfare



CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-18-2011, 03:38 AM
Warren G. Harding and his successor Calvin Coolidge are normally considered to be amongst the most Conservative to Libertarian Presidents of the 20th century, yet get this:

"On November 21, 1921, President Harding signed the Sheppard-Towner Maternity Act, the first major federal government social welfare program in the U.S. The law funded almost 3,000 child and health centers throughout the U.S. Medical doctors were spurred to offer preventative health care measures in addition to treating ill children. Doctors were required to help healthy pregnant women and prevent healthy children from getting sick. Child welfare workers were sent out to make sure that parents were taking care of their children."

He also created the Veteran's Bureau to take care of the returning soldiers from WWI, which evolved over time into the VA.

"On August 9, 1921, President Harding signed legislation known as the "Sweet Bill", which established the Veterans Bureau as a new agency. After World War I, 300,000 wounded veterans were in need of hospitalization, medical care, and job training. In order to handle the need of these veterans, the new Veterans Bureau incorporated the War Risk Insurance Bureau, the Brig. Gen. Charles E. Sawyer's Federal Hospitalization Bureau, along with three other bureaus that dealt with veteran affairs"

NJCardFan
03-18-2011, 09:21 AM
This is a far cry from what is considered welfare today. Back then, it wasn't a way of life. It was something set up to help out someone down on their luck. People back then wouldn't even consider being on welfare for life let alone passing it on to their children and grandchildren. So nice try trying to paint some kind of strawman on this.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-18-2011, 10:09 AM
This is a far cry from what is considered welfare today. Back then, it wasn't a way of life. It was something set up to help out someone down on their luck. People back then wouldn't even consider being on welfare for life let alone passing it on to their children and grandchildren. So nice try trying to paint some kind of strawman on this.

Yeah, but it seems he was a Socialist, wasn't he?

Starbuck
03-18-2011, 10:11 AM
Harding was only President for about 2 years, and is almost always on the list of worst Presidents ever. He was elected, in part, because people thought he looked like a President. He lacked leadership and his cabinet is was out of control. Some members even fled the country after looting their particular areas of responsibility. Others were prosecuted for their acts.

I point this out because it shows the degree to which he was out of touch. I find it difficult to believe that Warren G Harding sponsored or believed in anything other than what was placed in front of him.

fettpett
03-18-2011, 10:37 AM
Yeah, but it seems he was a Socialist, wasn't he?

Harding was a hack, but he was no socialist/progressive. He ran on a "make no enemies" campaign and probably passed the first one as a favor to the progressive allies in his party for supporting him.

and really, why do liberals make a big deal out of conservatives providing care to Veterans? The Sweet bill basically made the Veterans departments streamlined and more efficient to deal with all the promises that the Federal Government made under Wilson, (which Hoover fucked up later)

It's one of the few Departments that should stay around if there is any contraction (HA!!) and should get more money

linda22003
03-18-2011, 10:39 AM
Harding was only President for about 2 years, and is almost always on the list of worst Presidents ever. He was elected, in part, because people thought he looked like a President. He lacked leadership and his cabinet is was out of control. Some members even fled the country after looting their particular areas of responsibility. Others were prosecuted for their acts.

I point this out because it shows the degree to which he was out of touch. I find it difficult to believe that Warren G Harding sponsored or believed in anything other than what was placed in front of him.

He himself said he didn't belong in the job, that he wasn't qualified.

NJCardFan
03-18-2011, 11:52 AM
Yeah, but it seems he was a Socialist, wasn't he?
Um, no. Not every social program is a socialist paradise. Only in your puny mind. Re-read what I said. Programs back then were designed to help someone out who was down on their luck. They maybe took part in the program for a few months until they got back on their feet and became productive tax paying citizens. Not what we have today where generation after generation of the same family is on welfare. That is the socialist paradise the left wants. So stop comparing apples to oranges.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-18-2011, 12:22 PM
Um, no. Not every social program is a socialist paradise. Only in your puny mind. Re-read what I said. Programs back then were designed to help someone out who was down on their luck. They maybe took part in the program for a few months until they got back on their feet and became productive tax paying citizens. Not what we have today where generation after generation of the same family is on welfare. That is the socialist paradise the left wants. So stop comparing apples to oranges.

Yeah but let's be frank, if the right has their way, even a minuscule program like Harding's wouldn't exist.

fettpett
03-18-2011, 12:28 PM
Yeah but let's be frank, if the right has their way, even a minuscule program like Harding's wouldn't exist.

not true, there would just be limits that were enforced on any program, and criminal prosecution for anyone that defrauded the system to do otherwise

Odysseus
03-18-2011, 04:45 PM
Yeah, but it seems he was a Socialist, wasn't he?
Hardly

Yeah but let's be frank, if the right has their way, even a minuscule program like Harding's wouldn't exist.
No, not at all. The program for veterans was meant to deal with issues arising from service in WWI. With over 300,000 wounded veterans in need of hospitalization, medical care, and job training the Veterans Bureau consolidated several other federal agencies, including the War Risk Insurance Bureau, the Brig. Gen. Charles E. Sawyer's Federal Hospitalization Bureau and three other bureaus that dealt with veteran affairs. Harding felt that those men who had served their country and incurred injuries and debts on her behalf deserved assistance in getting back to where they left off. By consolidating redundant agencies, Harding actually streamlined the process of aiding veterans and reduced costs.

Harding was only President for about 2 years, and is almost always on the list of worst Presidents ever. He was elected, in part, because people thought he looked like a President. He lacked leadership and his cabinet is was out of control. Some members even fled the country after looting their particular areas of responsibility. Others were prosecuted for their acts.

I point this out because it shows the degree to which he was out of touch. I find it difficult to believe that Warren G Harding sponsored or believed in anything other than what was placed in front of him.

You'd be wrong. Harding gets a vicious rap because of his conservatism. The same media types who tried to tell us what a swell guy Jimmy Carter was and what a monster Reagan was were at work back then. The progressive hero, Woodrow Wilson, had imposed crushing taxes and set up a socialist regime which had ruined the US economy. Harding reversed that. From Wikipedia:


On March 4, President Harding assumed office while the nation was in the midst of a postwar economic decline, known as the Depression of 1920-21. By summer of his first year in office, after a series of actions by the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates, an economic recovery began. President Harding convened the Conference of Unemployment in 1921, headed by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover, that proactively advocated stimulating the economy with local public work projects and encouraged businesses to apply shared work programs.[113] Harding's Treasury Secretary, Andrew Mellon, ordered a study which demonstrated historically that, as income tax rates were increased, money was driven underground or abroad. Mellon concluded that lower rates would increase tax revenues. Based on this advice, Harding cut taxes, starting in 1922. The top marginal rate was reduced annually in four stages from 73% in 1921 to 25% in 1925. Taxes were cut for lower incomes starting in 1923. The lower rates substantially increased the money flowing to the treasury.[114] By late 1922, the economy began to turn around. Unemployment was pared from its 1921 high of 12% to an average of 3.3% for the remainder of the decade. The misery index which is a combination of unemployment and inflation had its sharpest decline in U.S. history under President Harding

In fact, Harding was an able and energetic president until his death, and his legislative record is very strong. He attempted to push anti-lynching laws through congress (but was defeated by Democratic filibusters in the Senate), fought hard for civil rights (after Wilson had segregated the federal civil service and the city of Washington) and was a staunch advocate of civil rights. He reformed the budget process and established the Office of Management and Budget and set the precedent that budgets would be submitted by the executive branch.

Harding's flaw was in choosing cabinet appointees, but even there, his administration was no more corrupt than Wilson's, but it was reported with far more enthusiasm by the press, in the same way that they reported minute scandals during the Reagan and both Bush administrations, but downplayed much larger ones under Clinton and Obama.

FeebMaster
03-18-2011, 06:22 PM
Yeah but let's be frank, if the right has their way, even a minuscule program like Harding's wouldn't exist.

You've been talking to conservatives for how long and you actually believe that?

Starbuck
03-18-2011, 08:09 PM
..................Harding's flaw was in choosing cabinet appointees, but even there, his administration was no more corrupt.........

A large part of being President is in the choosing of your cabinet, and in that regard Harding ranks with Grant and Obama as one of the worst. To slough it off as being no more corrupt that someone else misses the point.

Clinton will be remembered for Monica Lewinski, and Harding will be remembered for Teapot Dome.

Rockntractor
03-18-2011, 08:34 PM
You've been talking to conservatives for how long and you actually believe that?

What exactly is a conservative by your definition?

FeebMaster
03-18-2011, 09:30 PM
What exactly is a conservative by your definition?

Someone who generally likes the status quo, except for the illegal immigrant situation, and occasionally claims to want smaller government while opposing any actual attempts to shrink the government.

Rockntractor
03-18-2011, 09:32 PM
Someone who generally likes the status quo, except for the illegal immigrant situation, and occasionally claims to want smaller government while opposing any actual attempts to shrink the government.

It has become such a relative term it is almost meaningless.

FeebMaster
03-18-2011, 09:46 PM
It has become such a relative term it is almost meaningless.

That's true. Everyone who considers themselves one has their own definition, with wildly different end results which can range anywhere from borderline anarchy to Rudy Giuliani "Freedom Means Doing As You're Told" hellhole.

Rockntractor
03-18-2011, 09:57 PM
That's true. Everyone who considers themselves one has their own definition, with wildly different end results which can range anywhere from borderline anarchy to Rudy Giuliani "Freedom Means Doing As You're Told" hellhole.

When Nova stated not long ago that he was conservative I thought no way, but after much consideration what difference does it make.

FeebMaster
03-18-2011, 10:04 PM
When Nova stated not long ago that he was conservative I thought no way, but after much consideration what difference does it make.

That's the spirit!

I've always said there was hope for you yet.

Rockntractor
03-18-2011, 10:26 PM
That's the spirit!

I've always said there was hope for you yet.

Nobody seems to want the liberal label anymore, it is just lying around getting dusty.
Maybe we could pick it up, polish it off a little and redefine it to fit our liking.

CaughtintheMiddle1990
03-18-2011, 11:08 PM
Nobody seems to want the liberal label anymore, it is just lying around getting dusty.
Maybe we could pick it up, polish it off a little and redefine it to fit our liking.

I like the liberal label, personally.
But then again, liberal by my standards is what liberal meant pre 1968, so I'm a bit old fashioned.
I wouldn't mind a Coolidge-like immigration quota being in place still, except it discriminated against people of my ancestry (Italian). Luckily for my ancestors they came here before Coolidge's time.

fettpett
03-19-2011, 12:36 PM
I like the liberal label, personally.
But then again, liberal by my standards is what liberal meant pre 1968, so I'm a bit old fashioned.
I wouldn't mind a Coolidge-like immigration quota being in place still, except it discriminated against people of my ancestry (Italian). Luckily for my ancestors they came here before Coolidge's time.

You do know that Coollidge was one of the biggest Civil Rights advocates of his day?
from wiki:

Coolidge spoke out in favor of the civil rights of African Americans and Catholics.[126] He appointed no known members of the Ku Klux Klan to office; indeed the Klan lost most of its influence during his term.[127]
In 1924, Coolidge responded to a letter that claimed the United States was a "white man's country":
....I was amazed to receive such a letter. During the war 500,000 colored men and boys were called up under the draft, not one of whom sought to evade it. [As president, I am] one who feels a responsibility for living up to the traditions and maintaining the principles of the Republican Party. Our Constitution guarantees equal rights to all our citizens, without discrimination on account of race or color. I have taken my oath to support that Constitution....[128]
On June 2, 1924, Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted full U.S. citizenship to all American Indians, while permitting them to retain tribal land and cultural rights. However, the act was unclear on whether the federal government or the tribal leaders retained tribal sovereignty.[129] Coolidge repeatedly called for anti-lynching laws to be enacted, but most Congressional attempts to pass this legislation were filibustered by Southern Democrats.
Coolidge appointed some African Americans to federal office. He retained Harding's choice of Walter L. Cohen of New Orleans, Louisiana, as the comptroller of customs and offered Cohen the post of minister to Liberia, which the businessman declined.[130]

the 1924 Immigration law was restrictive to everyone. Hughes even went so far as to try and remove the restrictions on Asian immigrates. the only reason it was "discriminatory" toward was that they used the 1890 census when there were fewer immigrants from different nations.