Opposition to the new deal

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Opposition to the New Deal
Huey Long
Huey Long believed that the New Deal did not do enough to help the poor. Long was the
governor of Louisiana in 1928 and became a senator in 1932. His methods of gaining power
were unusual and sometimes illegal as they included bribery and intimidation. He relentlessly
taxed large companies and businesses and used the money to build schools, roads and
hospitals. His work forces were not racially segregated and he therefore had many clashes
with the Ku Klux Klan. He initially was a supporter of the New Deal, but by 1934, he said that
it was too complicated and was not doing enough. His idea was a scheme called `Share Our
Wealth' in which all personal fortunes would be reduced to $3 million maximum and
maximum income per year would be $1 million. Government taxes would be shared with
everyone and he would supply free pensions for everyone over 60. With the money taken
from the rich, every family could have an annual salary of $5000 which would mean they
could buy the consumer products on sale, pushing the demand up and therefore the need
for more jobs.
Dr Francis Townsend
Dr Townsend recommended a plan by which every American over 60 would be given a
pension of $200 a month on condition that they spent the lot within one month, saying that
it would reduce unemployment.
Father Coughlin
He was a Catholic priest and used his own personal radio station to attack Roosevelt. He set
up the National Union for Social Justice and it had a large membership, however by the early
40s the movement had faded in importance.
The business community and Republicans
They thought that Roosevelt was interfering too much into the countries' affairs and had a
long list of criticisms:
- The New Deal was too complicated and there were too many rules and regulations
- Government should not support trade unions and calls for higher wages- the market
should deal with these issues
- Schemes such as the TVA caused unfair competition with private companies
- The New Deal was like the economic plans the USSR are carrying out and are
unsuitable for democratic America
- Roosevelt was behaving like a dictator
- His high taxes discouraged people from working hard as he gave their money to
people for doing nothing or unimportant jobs

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Roosevelt was upset by these criticisms but also the tactics they used against him. They
produced a smear campaigns to ruin him- they said he was really disabled from a sexually
transmitted disease he had, not from Polio. The big employers used to have messages such
as "New Deal schemes will fail" on their employee's pay packets. Despite these campaigns,
he won the 1936 elections with the highest ever majority, 27 million votes. He joked
"Everyone is against the New Deal except the voters".…read more


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