Rep. Allen West (R-FL) appeared Wednesday night on Greta Van Susteren’s TV show, to rail against President Obama and other liberals — so much so, that he denounced the Democrats for what is actually an infamous Republican slogan.
“And if we believe that there are people in Washington, D.C., that are going to be the arbiters, and be the ones who are trying to create some type of fairness — we remember FDR talking about ‘a chicken in every pot,’ I recall all the rhetoric of economic and social justice — then we get away from having the right type of monetary policy, fiscal, policy, tax and regulatory policy that can turn this dismal economic situation around in our country.”
However, “a chicken in every pot” was not some wild-eyed, egalitarian New Deal proposal from Franklin Roosevelt. In fact, it was a slogan from the Herbert Hoover campaign (or more precisely, the Republican National Committee, in support of Hoover) in 1928, four years before Roosevelt ever ran for president. The RNC advertising for Hoover also added, “And a car in every backyard, to boot.”
Here is West’s appearance:
Hoover himself appears to have never made the “chicken in every pot” pronouncement. But he did make a variety of other optimistic predictions, such as: “the slogan of progress is changing from the full dinner pail to the full garage”; and “given a chance to go forward with the policies of the last eight years, and we shall soon with the help of God be in sight of the day when poverty will be banished from this Nation.”
Obviously, things did not quite work out that way. The Great Depression arrived in 1929, seriously exacerbated by the Federal Reserve’s tight-money policies, plus Hoover’s and the Republican Congress’s blunders such as the Smoot-Hawley tariffs. Four years later, Hoover was defeated in a landslide by Franklin Roosevelt.
In 1948, twenty years after these famously inaccurate slogans, Harry Truman was still using them against the Republicans, saying that the actual slogan was two families in every garage.