Burton Fulsom

The Heritage Foundation and the Club for Growth are co-hosting a conference this morning titled “Economic Recovery: Free Markets vs. Big Government”. Kicking off is a panel on “Why the Stimulus Won’t Work” featuring Hillsdale history professor Burton Fulsom, Heritage Foundation senior fellow J.D. Foster, and CATO adjunct scholar Arnold Kling.

Fulsom speaks first recounting the thesis of his book New Deal or Raw Deal?: How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America. According to Folsum, the history most Americans are taught in high school about the New Deal is a fairy tale. President Franklin Roosevelt’s programs, from the National Industrial Recovery Administration to increased strength of the Internal Revenue Service, completely failed to halt the depression, but that doesn’t mean they failed.

Like President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan, Roosevelt’s New Deal was not about economic recovery, it was about using the power of the federal government to solidify a coalition. That is why friendly news paper editors got million dollar loans from the Feds while conservative opponents of the new deal faced IRS audits and fines.

Obama’s plan follows the same blue print, showering money on teachers, climate modelers, and other Democratic friendly federal workers.