Re: “History is full of warnings about fiscal austerity” (TNT, 2-28).
Harold Meyerson falsely claimed that President Herbert Hoover “cut spending” to balance the budget during the Great Depression. In reality, Hoover actually increased federal spending from $3.1 billion in 1929, when he took office, to $4.6 billion in 1933, when he left office. Hoover also ran up big budget deficits.
While Hoover’s administration had inherited a $734 million budget surplus, it quickly turned that into a deficit, which reached $2.7 billion in 1932, and $2.6 billion in 1933. Government spending doubled as a percentage of the economy, which shrank rapidly.
For more on this, see The Atlantic article, “Hoover Was No Budget Cutter.”
(Bader, an attorney with a degree in economics, once worked for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)