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Published On: Wed, Feb 19th, 2014

My favorite President: Warren G. Harding

I was watching the Fox News Channel talk show, The Five, on President’s Day, and after listening the very predictable favorites from the talk show cast, it made me sit down for a moment to think how I might answer that same question.

Warren G. HardingFirst, let’s look at what the members of the show said in response to. “Who’s your favorite President?”

Eric Bolling, who tries to talk the small government game these days, selected the predictable Republican and Fox News icon, Ronald Reagan. I personally could not even consider Reagan as if you look closely (or not so closely at his 8 year record in office), is not all that small government or conservative.

Bob Beckel, The Five’s liberal voice also went predictable with FDR. All big government supporters, left and right, love FDR. Clearly this also was not an option.

Then there was former GW Bush Press Secretary, Dana Perino. Perino brings as much to the table as Mika Brzezinski brings on Morning Joe.

Perino said her favorite was her former boss–George W Bush. As with Reagan and FDR, Bush carries with him a long laundry list of reasons why he couldn’t be my favorite.

Clearly, the I thought Andrea Tantaros selection of George Washington was the best of the lot, and clearly a top 5 contender with me.

But you say that’s only four. That’s because Greg Gutfeld, you know, that guy who goes over the top trying to be witty and funny, said the President in the Mike Judge film, Idiocracy….Ugh.

I looked at the one’s who had qualities I truly found admirable–Jefferson and Madison as far as philosophy and Washington for his very important early leadership and example.

However, I decided on a President who typically gets ranked near the bottom because of the Teapot Dome scandal and his lack of interest in big government activism–Warren G Harding.

Warren G Harding!!!???

Yes.

Let me explain. First he advocated a very restrained foreign policy, something no recent president can claim. Harding said no to the US entry into the “League of Nations”, the precursor to the United Nations.

Second, and most impressively, his fiscal policies got us out of the Great Depression of 1920-21 with great speed and little damage.

Remember the depression of 1920-21? No? Well I’m not surprised. It was just a blip in the history of the United States and barely taught in school but is highly instructive.

Much like other depressions and recessions, including the one that started in 2007, the Federal Reserve had been inflating the money supply quite dramatically after World War I. When the Fed finally decided to raise the discount rate, the economy slowed quite a bit.

It was the middle of 1920 and production had dropped 21 percent in 12 months (worse than in 1930 after one year into the Great Depression). Unemployment was at 12 percent and the Gross National Product dropped by 17 percent.

How did Warren Harding handle the economic downturn? He did just the opposite of Herbert Hoover, FDR, George Bush and Barack Obama, instead of trying to “stimulate” the economy; he cut the budget in half.

Instead of doing what the Keynesians of that time suggested and economists like Paul Krugman say now, he attacked the depression by cutting government spending and taxation and reducing the public debt.

The government and the Fed didn’t do any of the actions we saw in the Great Depression or now; they refrained from public works spending, government deficits and inflation—the conventional wisdom as the best solutions to get out of an economic downturn.

The market was instead able to make the appropriate corrections, debt was liquidated and we took our losses.

By August 1921, the economy started over again. Unemployment was down to 6.7 percent in 1922 and 2.4 percent by 1923. Just a blip in our history…

Yea…Warren G Harding!

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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