In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, Barak Obama addressed the 113th congress regarding his plans for the coming year. He spoke about immigration, healthcare, and violence, all of which in some way or another related back to the overarching worry of most Americans: Money
I would argue that internal improvements, specifically the economy, was the most talked about topic of this year’s State of the Union. This doesn’t come as a surprise, other presidents have considered this problem as well. And what time in American history did we worry about money more than during the Great Depression? Obama drew from some of the same ideas as did Franklin D. Roosevelt did while leading the United States out of the depression.
Obama’s address brought up two interesting points both concerning the economy: Opening more high-tech manufacturing hubs and unemployment reform. In short, make more jobs and make it easier for unemployed people to reach a status where they can obtain said jobs. This is the same concept that FDR used when re-opening banks and trying to get all people access to them. In his 1935 address, FDR says, “When a man is convalescing from illness, wisdom dictates not only cure of the symptoms, but also removal of their cause.” Obama is doing exactly that by not only creating new jobs, but by implementing a safety net of better unemployment insurance.
While looking at these two presidents, it is hard to remember that there are some that do not have such a good plan for the economy. What is it that Obama and FDR both had that Herbert Hoover lacked? Hoover did in fact try to end the economic crisis, but his policies either didn’t work or were poorly carried out. He lacked the ability to clearly outline a plan, such as Obama’s plans for immigration reform and unemployment reform.
All in all, Obama is responding to economic problems in 2014 with the same attitude as FDR, and only time will tell if Obama can be as successful.