Sunday, January 20, 2013

Similarities Between Obama and Roosevelt

Barack Obama and Franklin Roosevelt are very alike. They are both Democrats who both believe in economic spending to help the economy. Both fight to create a social net for people who may need help. FDR introduced many social programs to help people like unemployment insurance and pension for seniors. Obama pushed for a healthcare program and passed a medicare program to help with the high burdens and prices of medical care in the country. FDR also passed the New Deal Stimulus Package which was a mixture of trials and experiments with the economy aimed to help the average citizen. FDR was able to do this because he had the support of the congress. Obama on the other hand has little support from the congress. The Republican side feels that overspending will just make the debt higher and that there are enough social programs to help people. Yet Obama still pushes to help the average citizen as much as he can. FDR was known as a more down to earth and relatable person. His fireside chats made him popular and helped his relations with the “common man.” He was also quick to attack his enemies like big business. Obama on the other hand doesn't attack anyone. He tries to keep to himself and is open to pleasing both sides which makes him seem like he’s always looking for middle ground. FDR was thrown into the middle of the Great Depression and was able to inspire hope to the people of his country. Obama was thrown in the beginning of the second worst depression and is arguably, still navigating through it.


Both Obama and Roosevelt had similar opponents. As both of these men pushed to spend and stimulate the economy as well as creating social benefits to help the people, their critics feel like it is a waste. They feel that spending will just be a waste of taxpayer money that could be spent in better places. To them, social benefits are a waste since it should be a free economy with every man for himself. Roosevelt openly stated that he despised  Big Business and that they were evil for trying to suck the last dollar out of its citizens. Obama has been compared to him heavily in this fact since he wants to create a higher tax for richer people and cutting tax breaks large businesses receive. Obama has stated that Big Business shouldn't need such a helping hand, they are not people. The tax breaks we focus on giving them could be better spent on helping the less privileged people of America.

I think they are very similar. They both seem to have a left wing ideology and want to help the average citizen. They feel like it is their duty to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity. In today's inauguration ceremony, Obama stated that he hoped that no citizen should have the burden of a financial emergency burdening them and that the government should help them because it is their duty to look out for their citizens. Sounds like an awful lot like Roosevelt pushing for unemployment insurance because of the strain it could put on a family. (Obama and Roosevelt were also sworn in 4 times, the most any president has ever been.)

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  1. It occurred to me the other day that these two were similar, lots of people try to compare Obama to Lincoln because of their desire to help the oppressed, but I think the FDR comparison is more accurate. Great piece!