President Barack Obama said that Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) – the president best known for establishing a welfare and regulatory state in America – was “fiscally conservative,” in response to a question about how to keep the economy going.
Obama was referring to spending-cut measures Roosevelt took in the middle of the New Deal that lasted from 1933 to 1940.
“FDR comes in, he tries all these things with the New Deal; but FDR, contrary to myth, was pretty fiscally conservative,” the president said Friday during a town hall meeting on the campus of the University of Maryland.
“And so after the initial efforts of the New Deal and it looked like the economy was growing again, FDR then presented a very severe austerity budget,” Obama continued. “And suddenly, in 1937, the economy started going down again. And, ultimately, what really pulled America out of the Great Depression was World War II.”