In 1933 when Franklin Roosevelt became President of The United States he inherited the Great Depression. Basically an economy that was sinking and collapsing with basically no money anywhere, or no money being created. And anyone who had money at this point in the private sector was not spending, or investing the money. The Federal Government was literally the only game in town that it could spend and afford to borrow the rest to make up the difference of money.
America need money to be invested in the country to get people working again. And creating jobs so people had money to spend to generate economic growth, or at least create a floor for the Great Depression and buy time for the American economy to recover. Which is very similar, but not exactly how the Obama Administration and Congress responded to the Great Recession in 2009. We can argue about the effects of these proposals, but that’s how they were designed. And at least to a certain extent were effective in dealing with the Great Depression in a successful way.
The New Deal represented democratic socialism in the United States. And the creation of the safety net. The New Deal and President Roosevelt wasn’t looking to end American capitalism, but to save it and create a system that could respond to people who fell through the cracks of it. And be able to spend money and invest in the economy when no one else had the resources. In a very centralized and anti-federalist way putting a lot of responsibility with the Federal Government to respond to economic crisis’ like this.
Which is generally what you get from Socialists Democratic, or otherwise and Franklin Roosevelt was certainly Democratic. But bringing a social democratic, or democratic socialist response to the problems of the country. Which is one of the reasons why his critics on the right as well as left, like Wendell Willkie a Classical Liberal similar to me called President Roosevelt a Socialist. Thats the situation that Franklin Roosevelt inherited as president in 1933 and how we got the safety net in this country known as the New Deal. Our first phase of the safety net in this country. Where previously we were more of an economic libertarian country, where support for these policies seemed extreme or far-left, or something. President Roosevelt made these polices seem mainstream.
PBS: The Great Depression