Thursday, February 11, 2016

Its time for some historical accuracy about 'The Great Society'

Warning – Warning – Warning: I am about to talk about something political and its bound to be controversial

As this election season progresses, and we all get tired of hearing about the candidates, I have one gigantic pet peeve that I want to share…for the sake of historical accuracy, can we please stop referring to all social programs as ‘New Deal’ and attributing all social programs to FDR. 

I have as much respect for FDR as the next guy, but the reality is that most of the programs we enjoy today, the so-called ‘entitlements’ that politicians discuss endlessly, are actually programs from LBJ’s Great Society, and not from FDR. 
President Roosevelt did introduce a large number of recovery programs when he took office during the Great Depression, including the Social Security Act in 1935 which set up pensions and unemployment insurance for workers as well as providing aide for the disabled, but it was President Johnson who created the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and many more of the social programs that we know today. 
LBJ used the country’s shared grief over President Kennedy’s assassination to help push through a wide range of social programs and civil rights legislation.  LBJ was responsible for creating Project Head Start and a wide range of programs in his famous ‘war on poverty.’ 
Now whether you support these programs or you think they are government overreach, for the sake of historical accuracy please stop calling them ALL the New Deal, because they are not. 


  1. I believe Medicare was started by Kennedy.

    1. Thanks Joan - President Kennedy tried to do a senior health program but he was unsuccessful, Medicare started under Johnson in 1965.