Rachel Maddow Still Can't Get it Right About Hoover

How can you tell when MSNBC cable-show host Rachel Maddow utters falsehoods about Herbert Hoover? If she talks about him.

This is becoming enough of a pattern for Maddow, as I've described previously at NewsBusters, to border on the pathological.

Here she goes again, this time during her show Friday night while condemning Republicans calling for a "freeze" on federal spending for the rest of the fiscal year --

You know who else had the excellent idea to freeze government spending during a recession? This guy! (holds up photo of Hoover) H.H., President Herbert Hoover. His fundamental misunderstanding of how to shore up a failing economy was so celebrated that the great armies of homeless and jobless Americans gave him naming rights for the shanty towns where they all lived in cardboard boxes and burned-out cars during the Great Depression -- Hoovervilles. Hoovervilles.

And now, (House Minority Leader) John Boehner and congressional Republicans are advocating the same policy.

Enboldened by smarm, Maddow went on to say --

In this context (referring to the recession), the Republicans are proposing a spending freeze. They're saying the government should stop spending. And also, rather than put your house fire out with water, they're going to switch the liquid in the firehose over to gasoline.

Much like that alleged tightwad Hoover during the Depression. Maddow at the same fire resolutely douses the blaze with water, regardless of whether it was electrical in origin. 

Certain left-wing myths are so impervious to reality -- McCarthy chasing phantom communists, Reagan as amiable dunce, the doomed surge in Iraq -- that arguing with liberals about these sacrosanct beliefs is like trying to convert house plants. The best you can do is open them to sunlight.

When it comes to federal spending during Hoover's single term in office, 1929 to 1933, what actually happened? According to the Office of Budget and Management Web site, Table 1.1, just the opposite of what Maddow repeatedly claims.

Federal spending increased $166 million in 1929, or 5 percent. In 1930, it rose by $193 million over the preceding year, at 6 percent. The pattern continued in 1931, with an increase of $257 million, nearly 8 percent. And for 1932, it rose a whopping 30 percent, by $1.08 billion. All told, federal spending increased 57 percent in this four-year period, according to the OMB. 

It was a "freeze" on spending much the way bitter cold is evidence of global warming, another laughable claim from the left.

Not surprisingly, Maddow relies on anecdote to make her shabby claim -- shanty towns dubbed "Hoovervilles" during the Depression -- instead of the "empirical evidence" she touted but never produced, given its pie-in-face potential for besmirking her dogma.

Maddow also gets it wrong about what current-day Republicans in Congress are proposing -- they want to "freeze" spending, which beyond MSNBC is universally understood to mean maintaining spending at current levels. This is hardly suggesting we "stop" spending. 

An actual example of a politician determined to follow Hoover's lead by vastly increasing federal spending in an economic slump? Barack Obama. 

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Liberated ex-liberal from the People's Republic of Massachusetts