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FDR Vs. Clinton Essay, Research Paper

FDR vs Clinton

The domestic policies and administrations of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and William Jefferson Clinton are in some ways similar, but in other ways very different. The two men were very domestic-oriented presidents, focusing largely on America, and not the outside world. Both Democrats, they supported Federal Government programs to aid the American People. These programs were not necessary, but the presidents felt that they would aid Americans. Roosevelt created many jobs for the unemployed. He did this with such acts as the Unemployment Relief Act, which created the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Civil Works Administration gave temporary jobs to the unemployed during an especially harsh winter, and the Works Progress Administration spent about $11 billion employing people to work on government projects. Roosevelt also provided for money to be given to states to help increase employment. This includes the Federal Relief Administration, that gave $3 million to states to pay wages for work projects as well as direct dole payments. The Tennessee Valley Act dammed up the Tennessee river and created jobs, inexpensive hydroelectric power, cheap nitrates, improved navigation of the river, low cost housing, reforestation, and the restoration of eroded soil.

Clinton has also worked for lower unemployment rates. During the first two years of Clinton?s administration, 6 million jobs were created; 7.7 million during the first 34 months. Americorps, formed to help people pay for college and job training, helped to tutor students, immunize children, and restore urban parks. Clinton?s Northwest Forest Plan was contrived to provide jobs in the Northwest and preserve ancient forests at the same time. Since Clinton became president, the unemployment rate has decreased from 7% to 5.6% and the United States currently has its lowest combined rate of inflation and unemployment since the beginning of Nixon?s Administration in 1968. Clinton has also continued several programs that were pioneered by Roosevelt, such as Social Security and Bank Security. Clinton?s Social Security Independent Agency Act, Interstate Banking Bill, and the Community Development Banking Financial Institutions Act?s roots can be traced back to Roosevelt?s Social Security Act of 1935 and Glass-Steagall Banking Reform Act. Both Clinton and Roosevelt also advocated the rights of workers. Roosevelt secured the unions? right to form and to bargain with a representative of their choice with his National Labor Relations Act, and created a minimum wage, maximum hours, and limited the ages of young workers with his Fair Labor Standards Act. Clinton has increased the minimum wage twice in the past three years, and signed for the Family and Medical Leave Act, which allowed for a guaranteed leave of up to 12 weeks without pay in the case of child birth, adoption, or personal or family illness. This secured the jobs of Americans who needed to stay home.

Although Clinton and Roosevelt both supported large government and many of the same programs, there are also several differences in their domestic policies due to the time that they served. Roosevelt came into office during this country?s worst depression ever, the Great Depression. Clinton, on the other hand came into office during an economic boom that has increased since he has become president. Due to this, Clinton?s reforms and programs had no need to be anywhere near as drastic as Roosevelt?s. Instead of spending money to stimulate the economy as Roosevelt did, Clinton has, since 1993, been attempting to decrease the national deficit. He has also worked to downsize welfare, decreasing the number of people who receive welfare from five million families in 1995 to three million in 1998. Clinton has reduced federal spending during a period of low unemployment because the services are not needed; there has been little increased poverty with the drastic cuts in welfare, showing that it is unnecessary. Roosevelt, however, needed to increase, or create, Federal Government handouts because of its need.

Clinton and Roosevelt are very similar in their domestic policies. They are both very domestically centered leaders, and support government programs that aid Americans beyond the absolute necessities. They both advocate social security, protection of the worker, bank security and protection, and creating jobs for Americans. There are two big differences in the two President?s Domestic policies. One is that they presided over two very different stages in America?s economy; one in total economic ruin, and the other with a very strong. The other major differences in their policies in that Roosevelt was a pioneer; he create the programs and policies that have molded the government today and given a basis for Clinton to elaborate on and modify.

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