When FDR was elected President in 1932, America was in the midst of the Great Depression. The economy was destroyed, and people were hungry and desperate. FDR enacted radical change in order to restore the greatness that America once had, by wielding the hammer of government to crush the forces of inequality and greed.
Every system requires an overhaul now and then, in order to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. To use a rather simple example, every now and then you have to clean the trash out of your room so that it is a liveable space. The United States did this after the Civil War, and after the Great Depression with the New Deal. We have not had this sort of radical change in decades, and because of this America has grown to stagnation, fear, and economic turmoil. We are poisoned by the vile influence of corporations in government, and weighed down by the bureaucracy of a government without purpose other than to exist.
The United States must change in some way or it will perish. I do not propose changing the Constitution, the Constitution is and always will be the bulwark of liberty against the oppression of a tyrannical government. However, there are some ways in which America can do better.
First, America should cut the size of the military by a minimum of 10 to 20%, and reduce our bloated Cold War-era stockpiles. The United States does not need the military that we have at this point, it is not equipped for the mission that we will face in the 21st century. Modernization and efficiency should be the key words, not that we have more tanks than one country or the other.
Second, the US should reduce the regressive sales tax, which hurts the poor and less fortunate more than anyone else. The US Government should be the hand that lifts the less wealthy out of poverty, not the fist that keeps them down. Instead, a progressive, tiered income tax should be introduced. Those who earn more than 400,000 pay a ridiculously small 39.6% income tax, if they pay income tax at all. Hardworking members of the middle-class pay 25 to 30%, which is unacceptably high. We need to decrease the income tax for the middle class to 15%, and raise the tax to 70% for the wealthy. This is not an unprecedented move by the US Government, in the 1950’s, a time of great prosperity, the income tax for the highest tax bracket was 92%.
Third, the United States should work to desegregate our schools, which is a crippling barrier for millions of impoverished minority youth who do not have the educational access to succeed. It is morally disgusting that white wealthier schools should receive better equipment than any other school in America.
Fourth, the United States must end the corporate welfare that is raising the deficit and benefiting those on top who do nothing to help the vast majority of people. Any company that does not pay their fair share of taxes must be fined and heavily penalized, regardless of company size or influence.
Fifth, we must look to the past in order to improve the future. The United States must reimplement the CCC, the WPA, and all other successful New Deal programs. This will allow the United States to reach full employment in a matter of months, not years. The reason that FDR was so popular in many Republican areas was because he provided jobs.
If you look at our website (leftish.org), it says “Real Policy for Real Change.” The United States will not get better by playing tug-of-war with regulation and deregulation like our Presidents are doing. The only way in which the US will get better is long lasting, jobs-creating policy, and this will help. The best days of America are still ahead of us, if we are able to take firm and decisive action.