“We have tried spending money. We have spent more money than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong… somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises…. I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started….. And an enormous debt to boot!!”
Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
Secretary of the Treasury
May 9, 1939
We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us… Walt Kelly
In 1935, Senator Thomas Gore of Oklahoma, who had been a senator since 1907 when Oklahoma became a state, was the only Nay vote on funding the WPA with $4.8 Billion (1935 dollars, by the way.) Gore had previously stated “The day on which we begin to make these loans by the Federal Government to States, counties, and cities was a more evil day in the history of the Republic than the day on which the Confederacy fired upon Fort Sumter.” In spite of thousands of his constituents demanding he bring the New Deal to Oklahoma, Gore held to his principles and remained the one lone No vote on the Senate floor.
His response to his constituents was this: “Your action shows how the dole spoils the soul. Your telegram intimates that your votes are for sale. Much as I value votes, I am not in the market. I cannot consent to buy votes with the people’s money. I owe a debt to the tax payer as well as to the unemployed.”
Gore was soundly defeated in the next election coming in fourth and his political career was over. So the question is, is it the politicians, or is it us? Is it our greed that allows them to be greedy? Is it our desires that allow them to do what they do? Do we then get enraged when it suits us or whenever we feel we’ve been neglected or cut out of the bargain?
My feeling is this. I can control but two things in my life… my credit and my integrity. The moment I compromise either one of those, I have failed. All of us, not just politicians need to come to that understanding.