Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dwight Eisenhower, New Deal Socialist

How far to the right has the political center really shifted over the past 30 years?

That (former) hero of American conservatives, President Eisenhower either initiated or supported the following policies:

--The Interstate Highway System
--The creation of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
--A 90% tax rate for income above $250,000
--Meaningful limits and reductions in military spending.

I can't imagine Barack Obama even privately suggesting comparable policies. I don't think even Kucinich would propose these. All of those things would be unthinkable today. Fifty years ago, they all had bipartisan support and a majority of public opinion behind them. Fifty years ago, those policies helped create the huge middle class prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s, whose like we may never see again.

I never thought I'd miss old Ike.


Göran Koch-Swahne said...

And sadly so...

susan s. said...

I do have to say that the way I remember it, the Highway system was to provide escape routes from possible atomic attack. Although I'm sure it was not touted quite that way to the general public.

Ueber-G said...

The National Interstate and Defense Highways Act was not only meant to provide for the private citizen, like the Autobahn that Eisenhower had seen in Germany, it was meant to provide for the fast deplyoment of troops. This is why you now have the anomaly "Interstate" highways in Hawaii.

You are right, dear Counterlight, 50 years ago the American public, having just come out of the war, was interested in the common good and not just "what's in this for me".

susan s. said...

Thanks Euber-G. I had not remembered it correctly.

JCF said...

Then there was that "Communist" Richard Nixon, and his Guaranteed Minimum Income.


{JCF w/ No Income}