Addressing one of the critical economic issues of the last century U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Kiron, mines a rich scholarly document: his own 11th grade term paper.
In a Des Moines Register guest column published Thursday the Kiron congressman makes the case that FDR's "New Deal" didn't work -- that it in effect made the economy worse. King sees the emerging federal stimulus plan in the same light.
The first reference King cites is a term paper he did a a junior at Denison High School. He actually leads with it in the editorial -- as if it has unimpeachable veracity.
Here is King in The Register:
As a junior at Denison High School, I wrote a term paper on President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal. I began working on the paper with the intention of confirming what I had been taught in school - that FDR's government recovery programs brought America out of the Great Depression.
I started my research believing in the success of Roosevelt's economic-recovery programs. To support this claim, I spent hours at the Carnegie Library in Denison reading past editions of the local, biweekly newspaper.
My reading began with the 1929 stock-market crash, and I examined every issue through the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Those stacks of old papers turned upside down everything I had been taught in history and government class about the New Deal. As I searched for information proving the New Deal stabilized the American economy, I instead found the exact opposite: high unemployment, a struggling stock market and continued hard times.
If Congressman King is going to reference a high school term paper he should make it available to his constituents.
I am waiting for the PDF of it -- complete with what we must presume to be an "A" in red marker on the front page -- to pop up on his Web site. Since King is referencing it in public debate one would assume the good congressman has the original document from which the nation could surely benefit.