John Halpin, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, reminds us to think about what our Democratic forefathers would do in a financial crisis like this, especially FDR.  Here is the conclusion with the bit about FDR.  Very well-written stuff.

In the years preceding the Great Depression, many observers rightly concluded that Wilson’s Fed system allowed too much control by private bankers in relation to the public board. With the Banking Acts of 1933 and 1935, Roosevelt successfully placed more public authority over the Federal Reserve Board and created the open-market committee and the FDIC, setting the stage for his administration’s eventual saving of the private economy and the protection of millions of Americans.

As Bush, Paulson and Bernanke try to employ FDR’s rhetoric and methods to ram through a $700 billion taxpayer-backed bailout of the private sector, keep in mind that FDR undertook all of these prudent actions with the belief that he was serving the general welfare and not the private bankers and financiers he directly blamed for the Great Depression. He did so squarely within the confines of the Party’s long-standing spirit and traditions. FDR believed government intervention and control over the economy should only be used for the advancement of economic justice, the public good, and increased opportunities for the little guy. In no way, shape, or form did FDR approve of government intervention as a means for cementing economic privilege or screwing the people for the benefit of private interests.

That’s a lesson Congressional leadership would be wise to remember as they consider the actions of the Fed and the Paulson plan.

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