Franklin D. Roosevelt Quotes

Let us have the courage to stop borrowing to meet continuing deficits. Revenues must cover expenditures by one means or another. Any government, like any family, can, for a year, spend a little more than it earns. But you know and I know that a continuation of the habit means the poor house.

 
Context
This is a particularly interesting historical quotation. It shows that when FDR was first elected, he had a classic view of deficit spending. However, above all, Roosevelt was a pragmatist and not an ideologue. Faced with the Great Depression that was not getting much better, Roosevelt turned around, changed his mind and policy about deficits and embarked on the “pump priming” approach of injecting substantial Federal spending into the economy and accepting the deficits in order to improve the situation which had been stagnant. FDR’s new policy staved off total disaster, but few remember that his great success was a total reversal of his earlier views.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Born: January 30, 1882
  • Died: April 12, 1945
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: President

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II. He is often rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.