We have here a human as well as an economic problem. When humane considerations are concerned, Americans give them precedence. The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 April 12, 1945), 32nd President of the United States (1933-1945), is best known for his leading the U.S. through the Great Depression via his New Deal, his building a powerful political coalition, the New Deal Coalition, that dominated American politics for decades, and for playing a significant role in a grand coalition that defeated Nazi Germany, Italy and the Empire of Japan in World War II and created the United Nations. Born to wealth and privilege, he overcame a crippling illness to place himself at the head of the forces of reform. Universally called FDR, he was both loved and hated in his day, and now is considered by many to be in the top tier of American presidents.