Why Did Huey Long Oppose the New Deal?

Huey Long was a Democratic governor of Louisiana from 1928 to 1932 who opposed the New Deal because he believed that Roosevelt's plan to help the American economy after the Great Depression did not adequately help citizens living in poverty. Long proposed a "Share the Wealth" system that promised each needy American family approximately $5,000 annually in order to maintain a modest lifestyle.

In Long's view, the government should have confiscated money from the personal wealth of those with over $3 million and redistributed it to people suffering from poverty and homelessness, which was widespread during the Great Depression. He was popular amongst the rural poor and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1932.

Long was disliked by many people in Washington and on Wall Street, but he proclaimed himself to be a "Kingfish" to citizens of Louisiana. He considered members of the Roosevelt administration to be controlled by the forces of big business and banking systems.

Determined to become the president of the United States, Huey Long stirred up a national movement behind his controversial, populist ideas. He was assassinated in 1935, but left a legacy of charity hospitals, educational institutions and extensive highway construction throughout rural Louisiana. His causes led to the advent of Social Security, federal student loans and other programs that have improved the lives of many Americans.