The government scaleback actually started with Harding as Dr. Sowell has pointed out in past columns. When faced with a severe economic downturn in 1921 and unemployment up to 13%, Harding (against Commerce Secretary Hoover's advice) scaled back the government and the economy rebounded immediately and no-one remembers it. Unemployment went down to 8% a year later then less than 4% the next year. In 1929 Hoover, took his own advice and tried spending his way out of the stock crash and FDR went even further, leading to a prolonged Great Depression.
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