Tuesday, June 30, 2009

FDR and President Obama

I have been hearing about how President Obama is like FDR. I have to disagree. FDR believed that capitalism needed help to get the United States economy out of the great Depression. President Obama believes that capitalism is greedy and evil. He has been saying that people should work for the government or a non-profit organization. He believes government and non-profit organizations to be fair and have the best interests of humanity at heart. And these differences are not the greatest between President Obama and FDR.

I believe that the most important function of the federal government is the decision to kill people. To wage war or not to. Politically, FDR not only moved closer to our allies, but he actively armed them. England, France and China were being threatened and attacked. FDR was instrumental in shipping weapons and support to all of them. This contrasts sharply with President Obama’s non-support of Israel. Our current President will pressure our best ally in the war region of the Middle East to end all ‘occupation’ and attempt to pacify their enemies. Our withholding of missile intercept technology is an example of how we will NOT be supplying our wartime ally with neither new weapon systems nor upgrades. In addition, President Obama is actually cutting our procurement of new weapons and weapon systems.

FDR was arming the country. New orders for everything from aircraft to tanks were being implemented many years before we became involved in the war. The greatest impact was in building a fleet. A bunch of new aircraft carrier and battleship keels were laid down in the years 1939 to 1941. Enough to double the number in service, a number that had taken more than 20 years to build. In addition, the first time the U.S. had a peacetime draft was implemented in October 1940. President Obama is doing the opposite.

In summary, unless President Obama changes his ideas about spending on defense and waging war, I cannot think of many Presidents who are more different than FDR. The real key will be how well we are positioned if and when we are Sunday punched, like at Pearl Harbor. I believe that President Obama will be like FDR in this regard. However, we will not be able to hit back nearly as early, nor as effectively because we will be caught much more unprepared than we were with FDR at the helm.

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