The biggest surprise students face upon receiving their first paychecks is the high percentage that goes to federal taxes. For their entire lives, the taxes never end. Americans wonder how the “Land of the Free” got to this tipping point.
Often represented as a savior of the Great Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt actually crippled America’s financial future and forced future generations into high taxation. His twelve years in office marked the end of American independence and self-responsibility. Through sweeping regulations and taxation, FDR ruined a thriving free market and replaced it with a micro-managed bureaucratic state.
Most Americans believe FDR rescued a nation in dire straits with a multitude of changes in his “First Hundred Days in Office.” His sweeping upheavals actually sent the country into chaos. FDR instilled a sense of instability when he penned Executive Order 6102: a mandatory confiscation of gold from U.S. citizens. FDR deprived citizens of a basic right to own currency not dependent on the U.S. Treasury.
With The National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933, FDR stripped businesses of their independent operations with a federal board that would regulate business procedures, wages, and employee practices. It penned ten thousand pages of decrees that businesses needed to follow or risk harsh penalties. Deemed unconstitutional in 1935, it normalized thousand-page federal documents that determine most aspects of American economics. Professor Thomas Sowell explains, “FDR created policies that prolonged the depression until it was more than twice as long as any other depression in American history.”
This bill ballooned from its limited conception to a nationwide tax drain, punishing younger generations who will likely never receive compensation for their contributions.
FDR promised that his Social Security Act of 1935 would act as insurance against “the hazards and vicissitudes of life.” At its beginning, it only covered retired workers who had paid into the system through a tax on the first $3,000 of their earnings. The bill went on to cover the disabled starting in 1956 and has increased in scope ever since. While noble in vision, over time this bill ballooned from its limited conception to a nationwide tax drain, punishing younger generations who will likely never receive compensation for their contributions.
New York Times columnist David Leonhardt exhibits his approval for FDR’s presidency in his piece “F.D.R. Got It. Most Democrats Don’t.” Leonhardt elucidates how FDR turned his social security bill into a political football. FDR said, “Those taxes aren’t a matter of economics they’re straight politics… With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my Social Security program.” From the start, FDR knew that he had engineered the perfect re-election device upon the backs of a starving public.
With each deduction from our paychecks, we continue to bear the brunt of his Machiavellian approach to our social security and economy.