Q:

What criticisms of the New Deal did conservatives and liberals have?

A:

Quick Answer

Conservatives commonly viewed New Deal reforms as an unlawful hindrance to a capitalistic free-market economy and criticized Franklin Delano Roosevelt for overstepping his presidential authority. Liberals often supported New Deal values, but criticized the programs for failing to provide adequate relief for impoverished citizens.

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Full Answer

Conservatives condemned many New Deal concepts as socialist policies that undermined the country?s principles of self-reliance and private enterprise. For example, in 1933, President Roosevelt spearheaded the National Industrial Recovery Act, which proposed a national economic planning system to replace the existing capitalist structure. By 1935, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned this legislation on the grounds that Congress violated the authority of individual states by incorrectly granting the president power to interfere in intra-state commerce.

Many liberals viewed an economically imbalanced capitalist society as a major contributing factor of the Great Depression. As a result, they urged President Roosevelt to hold the wealthy accountable, and stabilize income among poor, elderly and economically exploited citizens. For example, Senator Huey Long attracted many low-income Democrats by proposing a minimum estate and income allotment for poor Americans, and he also suggested a 100 percent tax on annual incomes exceeding $1 million. Father Charles Coughlin, a former supporter of President Roosevelt and founder of the National Union for Social Justice, proposed a centralized banking system.

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