- The Washington Times - Monday, February 16, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Though the new administration would like to mimic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s efforts in the 1930s, it is picking the wrong mentor. My memory of the ‘30s is of Roosevelt taking office and promising to bring economy to government. Quickly abandoning the idea, he created dozens of alphabet agencies. Only the war in Europe six years later put an end to the Great Depression.

To cure the economic ills of our time, President Obama should look to another Roosevelt for inspiration. President Theodore Roosevelt dealt with similarly corrupt financial institutions of the kind that triggered the current panic.

Here are some of Roosevelt’s choice phrases from a 1908 message to Congress: “web of corruption… apologists for corrupt wealth… criminals of great wealth… peculiarly flagrant iniquity… laying up a day of wrath… greed, trickery, cunning… predatory wealth… wealth accumulated by iniquity… corrupt men of wealth… law-defying wealth… very wealthy criminals… corruption of organized politics… corruption of high finance… purchased politicians… wealthy malefactors.”

One feature of the current malaise not mirrored in the ‘30s is this: Today, the No. 1 health problem is obesity. In that old depression, it was the inability to get enough to eat.

CHUCK DUNHAM

Deep River, Iowa

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