If Tom Reed had been elected President in 1932, in the depths of the great depression, his first inaugural address might have been quite different from FDR’s. Perhaps he would have said something like this:
I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my election as President I will be honest with them. As we all know, this great nation is broke. We can’t maintain the status quo. Government has grown too large and must be trimmed. We can’t afford to go on as we have in the past. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is debt.
The answer to our problem is small government. We have to get the government out of the way of job creators. To do this, we must rescind environmental regulations, reduce taxes, and stop spending beyond our means.
Our greatest task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem. By cutting benefits to the unemployed, we can encourage them to become independent and to look for work.
The cost of education is more than the economy can bear. To reduce costs, we must shorten the school day. Students can continue to study on their own at home guided by their parents. When not studying, students can help the family by collecting cans to recycle for cash. Unneeded teachers will be free to look for work in the private sector.
Due to the depression, the volume of mail has fallen. To reduce the cost of the postal service, we will ask Congress to limit the delivery of mail to twice weekly. This will free up unneeded postal workers to find jobs with private employers.
Natural climate cycles have created a dust bowl in the Midwest. Some, calling for government intervention, blame poor farming practices, but I reject this idea. What God ordains man must endure. Those living in states ravaged by dust and drought had better move elsewhere, perhaps they will find work in California.
We do not distrust the future of democracy. The people of the United States have not failed; their bloated government has failed them. By getting the government off our backs, we will build a better future for ourselves and our children. I hope Congress will join me in tearing down the social safety net that drains our resources and makes us weak.
© William Hungerford – February 2014