Monday, May 20, 2013

Even Reagan Knew The New Deal Worked

(Ronald Reagan working at Camp David, a facility built with the assistance of the CCC and WPA. Photo courtesy of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.)

In his autobiography--Ronald Reagan: An American Life--Reagan wrote: "At the end of World War II, I was a New Dealer to the core. I thought government could solve all our problems just as it had ended the Depression and won the war."

Reagan, of course, went on to be a strong critic of "big government." But his appreciation for the accomplishments of the New Deal, and the presidency of FDR, never went away, as seen multiple times throughout his autobiography, e.g., "Many of the relief programs FDR instituted during the Depression were necessary measures during an emergency..."

Today, many people view Reagan as the philosophical foundation for conservatism. And they look at the New Deal as a horrible mistake, to be shunned by all conservatives. I think many of these people have not taken the time to read, or even skim, Reagan's book. 

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