If you were to ask 10 people totally at random - who/what is the Smoot-Hawley bill of 1930? - probably no one would know.

Pick 100? Maybe one or two (depends on age). Pick 1,000? Maybe 10. Pick 10,000? maybe 25 to 50.

But, as a lot of people know, the president who was in the White House at the start of the Great Depression was Herbert Hoover. With the looming budget and debt problems this summer; a brief message is due to the leadership of this nation: Congress, if you screw this up, you probably won't serve another term in office and in 81 years only scholars, historical buffs and a few old people will remember you.

Everybody will remember, however, the president who led the United States of America into basically a position of not being about to pay its bills.

The Smoot-Hawley bill is basically tariff legislation that is considered by some the catalyst for the Great Depression drafted by Sen. Reed Smoot, (R-Utah) and Rep. Willis C. Hawley, (R-Oregon).

The legislation was passed in 1930. Both Smoot and Hawley were not reelected in 1932.

Neither was Herbert Hoover.

- David E. Teuscher, Rainier

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