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FDR Goes To War: How Expanded Executive Power, Spiraling National Debt, And Restricted Civil Liberties Shaped Wartime America by Burton W. Folsom Jr. and Anita Folsom

January 5, 2012 by  

For more than 60 years, government indoctrination centers conveniently misnamed “public schools,” mainstream “historians” and a compliant media have pushed the notion that Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal policies and his actions as a “wartime” President saw America through the Great Depression and won World War II.

But the stark truth is FDR prolonged the Depression, his policies left the United States woefully unprepared for a war he was itching to join and he centralized government and assumed unConstitutional — even dictatorial — executive powers more than any other previous President.

Burton W. Folsom Jr. and Anita Folsom begin their narrative of the Roosevelt Presidency in January 1933 by describing a meeting between President-elect Roosevelt and two of his advisers: Professors Rexford Tugwell and Raymond Moley. Tugwell and Moley couldn’t believe what they were hearing. After joining Roosevelt’s “brain trust” with expectations of changing American society by using government programs rather than free enterprise to plan the economy of the future, the two men were hearing a different side of FDR. He said he favored “war with Japan now rather than later.”

Why? Roosevelt’s grandfather Delano had made money in China in the opium trade, and Roosevelt felt an affinity for the Chinese people. Japan had invaded Manchuria two years earlier, and Secretary of State Henry Stimson wanted to embargo Japan to cut off their oil and steel supplies and end the atrocities in China. FDR agreed.

But with World War I still a raw sore, most Americans had become isolationist and U.S. unemployment was at 20 percent, so now-President Roosevelt publicly focused on the economy rather than foreign policy. He began pushing his New Deal policies that turned the economic downturn into the Great Depression, and he slashed defense spending while secretly pursuing an aggressive foreign policy.

During the next seven years, FDR attacked businesses at every turn and created big government programs that rewarded friends and built constituency groups. For instance, he figured that every Works Progress Administration-created job resulted in three Democrat votes. So in the run up to his re-election campaigns he increased WPA rolls. Those workers were grateful to have work and were expected to campaign on behalf of Democrats. Once the elections were over, WPA workers were laid off.

He rewarded then-Senator Lyndon Johnson with a plum naval base for Corpus Christi, Texas; and Johnson’s favored contractor, Brown & Root, received a cost plus fixed-fee contract. In turn, the company’s George Brown promised Johnson 100 percent support in the form of cash, which Johnson used to influence dozens of Democrat elections.

As war spread through Europe, Roosevelt worked behind the scenes to circumvent America’s neutrality laws and built a relationship with Winston Churchill. In secret, Roosevelt negotiated a deal with Great Britain to trade 50 destroyers for British military bases that stretched from the Caribbean to Newfoundland, even though his attorney general told him the transaction was illegal — and Constitutional scholars later agreed.

In 1941, Roosevelt began sending American armaments to Europe and Russia through the lend-lease (he had actually been skirting U.S. neutrality laws and sending some materiel for years) program while ignoring warnings from staff that Japan was becoming ever more belligerent. Roosevelt believed that if Japan attacked, it could be defeated in weeks.

In response, Germany began sinking allied ships suspected of transporting U.S. material to Europe.

When war finally came to the U.S. doorstep with the attack on Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt turned to the same businesses he had spent years demonizing to get them to convert from producing consumer goods to producing weapons, tanks, war planes and the other things needed to prosecute a war. They responded magnificently, but were later rewarded by having a 95 percent tax placed on their profits.

Roosevelt also allowed communists to infiltrate the U.S. government. They then influenced his dealings with Joseph Stalin. Among them were Lauchlin Currie, senior administrative assistant to the President and a former Treasury official, and Harry Dexter White, who became the No. 2 man at Treasury.

KGB cables showed that Currie told Russia that Roosevelt was willing to concede half of Poland to Stalin and would encourage the Polish government-in-exile to cooperate with the Russians. The Russian army would later — with Roosevelt’s blessings — encourage the Polish underground to battle their German occupiers from inside Poland with the promise that Russian troops would attack from outside. Russian troops then stood aside as the Poles were wiped out, then marched in to battle the wounded German army.

Roosevelt also secretly negotiated with Stalin to cede much of Europe to Russia once the war was over, which resulted in many years of suffering by Eastern Europeans under totalitarian communist regimes. It also produced the Cold War.

In 1944, with his health failing, Roosevelt sought a fourth term. A compliant media covered up Roosevelt’s deteriorating condition, just as they had covered up the fact that he had polio and couldn’t walk on his own. Most who saw him early that year thought Roosevelt would never survive his third term, much less a fourth.

But survive he did, and he defeated Thomas Dewey with 53 percent of the popular vote and a 432-99 Electoral College advantage. When he died on April 12, 1945, Roosevelt left behind a legacy of evasive and self-serving politics and of using the power of government to hurt enemies and reward friends that will be difficult to match.

The Burtons cover all of this and more in a well-researched and well-documented manner. This book is essential reading to understand how the power of government was misused by Roosevelt and how it continues to be misused, and it gives an eerie parallel to the Barack Obama Presidency (and also explains what Obama means when he compares himself to FDR).

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

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  • s c

    FDR was an elitist fraud who violated the Constitution to get us into a war with Japan. Obummer is an elitist fraud. Same insane tactics.
    We’ll be lucky if we’re not involved in an engineered war [FDR-style] before the next election. A fraud is a fraud. Lives mean nothing to Obummer. They meant nothing to FDR.

    • eddie47d

      Republican Lincoln violated the Constitution. So did Republican Wm McKinley in 1898 by declaring war on Spain. He ran on a non-imperialist platform yet once the war started he annexed Cuba,Puerto Rico and the Phillipines. This set us on a course of foreign intervention which still hasn’t abated. I doubt if Japan would’ve been much of a concern if McKinley hadn’t taken over the Phillipines . Other than that we had little business over there which broke our neutrality laws. Then again since Japan and the Nazi’s were wrecking havoc on the world I’m not sure if we could have stayed out of WWII anyway. When it comes to the Great Depression who was President? Republican Herbert Hoover who had no control over the banksters. Yet FDR takes the heat for that. That is the similarities between G Bush who allowed our economy to tank then SC and others conviently blame it on Obama. Did lives mean anything to McKinley or Bush SC? Now if you want to rationally debate the FDR issue SC fine but until then your head is as thick as a teak 4×4.

      • Kevin Beck

        So, Lincoln, McKinley and Bush violated the Constitution because they were members of the Republican Party? Is THIS your logic?

        Roosevelt didn’t violate the Constitution because he was a Democrat; he violated the Constitution because he was a tyrant.

        • s c

          That’s a gold star for you, Kevin. The slimers who protected FDR while he was alive sank mucho bucks into making him seem like a god after he died. It’s no coincidence that FDR was given totally undeserved, rock star-ish adulation in US history books.
          FDR’s suck-ups rarely have the guts to dig deep to understand how many ways he made the Depression worse, bent over backwards to act like a lap dog to Stalin, created useless, unconstitutional agencies and attracted ‘czars’ and other filth just like Obummer is doing now. The first FDR was bad enough. Now, we’re being hosed via FDR II.

      • hithadeck

        Back up on beating around the Bush. There was a Democratic controiled Senate and House who had complete control of the checkbook and spending policys. So get of the old liberal on beating up on Bush when he had the donkey tail pinned on him.

      • eddie47d

        My whole point was that SC deliberately beats up on the Democrats or the left political spectrum but can’t take the beam out of her eye and see what the Republicans have done….. At least in naming names. I could just have easily brought up Reagan or even President Johnson instead of Bush. Bush just happened to be the one who pushed for the war in Iraq and that is fresh history.

        • s c

          e, you’ll never figure it out on your own, so here’s what you need to know. NO conservative who sends in feedback to this website will claim that a conservative is infallible.
          In Obummer’s case, ever since he moved into the W H, he’s been protected and looked upon as a god. There is NO way you can deny it.
          THAT’S the difference. We try to elect good people who believe in conservatism. We do NOT try to elect gods. Before you get a chance, we DO NOT see Reagan as a god.
          The fact that you can’t see what’s wrong with your position proves that you don’t care about seeing the truth. That’s where the many differences between conservatives and utopians START, e.

      • s c

        Comrade ‘e,’ how many years have you posed as an adult? At times, you make me think you are one of those ‘rare’ people who shouldn’t be allowed out of your house without a bodyguard and an escort. Conservatives DO NOT blame Obummer for this stinking economy. HOWEVER, he HAS NOT MADE IT BETTER, and he’s had OVER THREE YEARS TO DO IT! HOW can you be so incredibly THICK-HEADED?
        How the _____ ____can you NOT understand that? WTF is your PROBLEM? If you’re not DEVOLVING on a DAILY basis, it’s one hell of an imitation, comrade.

  • DM

    FDR, Sal Alinsky, Richard Cloward, Francis Pevin…..What a group to look up to and pattern your life after. Americans….You were hood winked once by this man and his mantra of CHANGE. WAKE UP! Don’t let it happen again. Don’t know who Alinsky, Cloward and Pevin were. Google them and read their published ideas about how to bring down Capitalism and install Socialism.

    • hithadeck

      Let’s remember that socialist quote from Hillary Clinton that it takes a village to raise a child! I am saying it’s going to take nationwide team to get rid of Obama. Obama has a billion dollars in his campaign treasury chest. The biggest part of that money was stole from the American tax payer in the form of missing stimulus money and kickbacks of stimulus that he dished out to the Company’s and Banks he said were to big to fail.
      This election will be the most corrupt election in the history of our country and we can see evidence of Obama’s Justice Department blocking legalities that protect the polls from fraudulent actions. The American public have been duped into believing organizations like ACRON were shutdown but with Obama’s support and help from his czar’s they have chose another name and names approved with more granted tax payer money to operate. The American people are being attacked by a stealthy enemy of people and organizations who are residing in the halls of congress and in the Obama administration that are determined to override our constitution to give us the impression that they are saving us from ourselves.
      Mark my words of predicting that Obama will start a war with Iran just to keep his office. It is rare for an American President to be voted out of office in wartime! We will loose the war even if we win because it will send America into bankruptcy. A broke America will be in place for full blown socialism and Obama’s grand plan will be achieved.

      • Manuel Madrid

        You are so right. We have a dictitorial liberal President. His vision is to instill a socialist utopia Government. The worse is yet to come,if he gets ilected. Heaven help us.

      • s c

        hithadeck, Billary is a hardcore utopian. ‘e’ is probably this website’s best example of what a “village” can produce [i. e., a village idiot - (idiotess?)]. How anyone can look up to someone like Billary or Bubba Clinton is beyond me.

  • 4204life

    Hear, Hear

  • s c

    For anyone who CARES, FDR’s behavior in WWII is indicative of what is known as “WAR SOCIALISM.” It is a concentrated effort to increase the size of government, redistribute Amerika’s wealth and enslave Amerikans.


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