Biden's FDR-Size Bet | RealClearPolitics

Biden's FDR-Size Bet

Biden's FDR-Size Bet
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Harry Hopkins, a close adviser to Franklin Roosevelt, is said to have summarized the administration’s political strategy like so: “We shall tax and tax, and spend and spend, and elect and elect.” It worked quite well for the Democrats, well past FDR’s time. But around the mid-1960s, as the taxes began to bite into middle-class wallets, and many white voters came to see the spending as benefiting people who didn’t look like them, the formula stopped working. At some point, “tax and spend” became a hackneyed insult of the Democratic agenda, with the third part — “elect” — dropped from the mantra.

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