One of the worrisome aspects of President Obama’s peculiar brand of leadership is to watch how radically he and most Democrats in Congress have broken with the wisdom of liberal, Democrat leaders of the past. Media wags, largely ignorant or mostly indifferent to history, will tell you that the growing alarm over Obama’s leadership is all about style over substance. Don’t believe it. Obama and most of the Democrat congressional leaders seem interested in pandering to special interest groups, with little care for the overall economic health of the nation. They have betrayed their history and are mere shadows of their Democrat predecessors. Americans know it too.
The Democrat leadership has strayed far from their once-rational roots. For example, when enacting the landmark social welfare programs in 1935, (Social Security Act) and again in 1965 enacting Title 18 (Medicare), Democrats were almost unanimously concerned about the potential costs for future generations.
A reading of the floor speeches at the time shows that while Democrats wanted to expand programs for the needy. None were willing to do that, if it would erode the economic vitality of the entire nation. These earlier Democrats were moored by their concern for the financial health of the nation, the well-being of small businesses and concern about the potential for undue burdens to the American taxpayer that might arise as a result of far reaching entitlement legislation.
In August 1935, President Roosevelt said: “We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family.”
Roosevelt’s endorsement of the payroll tax to create an earned right that would “act as a protection to future administrations against the necessity of going deeply into debt to furnish relief to the needy” is a far cry from the current Democrat drumbeat that entitlements must cover all Americans (and illegals) regardless of the cost to the country.