Essay about Was the New Deal a Good Deal for America?

Decent Essays

Was the New Deal a Good Deal for America? In his presidential acceptance speech in 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed to the citizens of the United States, “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.” The New Deal, beginning in 1933, was a series of federal programs designed to provide relief, recovery, and reform to the fragile nation. The U.S. had been both economically and psychologically buffeted by the Great Depression. Many citizens looked up to FDR and his New Deal for help. However, there is much skepticism and controversy on whether these work projects significantly abated the dangerously high employment rates and pulled the U.S. out of the Great Depression. The New Deal was a bad deal …show more content…

Throughout the next decade, the expenditures gradually incremented up to the point of $12 billion in 1941, almost four times the amount from 1929 (Document 16). This increased government spending would have been fine if it aided in government revenue and decreased public debt. However, neither of those categories improved; the excessive spending actually harmed the economy. The U.S. went from a $75 million surplus in 1929 to a $4.8 billion deficit in 1941 (Document 17). Furthermore, the total public debt augmented from $17 billion in 1929 to $44 billion in 1941 (Document 18). The cost to fund the New Deal project was massive. Not only did U.S. deficits and expenditures rise, the citizens who were supposed to benefit from the deal also suffered from increased debt. Some may argue that the New Deal was a good deal because it lowered unemployment rates. Nevertheless, the rates did not significantly go down, especially since the U.S. had eight, long, peacetime years to recover from the Great Depression. Historian Gary Dean Best argues, “I consider that failure tragic, not only for the 14.6 percent of the labor force that remained unemployed as late as 1940… but also because of the image that the depression-plagued United States projected to the world at a crucial time in international affairs” (Best 230). He believes that the United State’s unstable economy encouraged aggression from other countries, which

Get Access