Now that we have poked fun at the 5 worst men to have ever taken the office of President of the United States, I think it’s time to praise those men who have upheld the office of president with distinction. Some honorable mentions are: Barack Obama (Democrat, 2009-present), George Washington (Independent, 1789-1797), Ronald Regan (Republican 1981-1989), Dwight D. Esienhower (Republican, 1953-1961) and John Adams (Federalist, 1797-1801). Now, let’s count down the Top 5 Best Presidents in U.S history
5. Woodrow Wilson (Democrat, 1913-1921, 28th President of the United States)
Woodrow Wilson’s presidency started with a legislative bang in 1913, as he passed both the Sixteenth Ammendment, which introduced the Federal Income Tax which ended years of struggle in which the federal government had immense trobule in raising any kind of revenue, and the Federal Reserve Act, which, though I have crticised somehwhat in the past, provided a better banking alternative than the system, or lack of one, seen since Andrew Jackson rescinded the 20-year charter of the Second Bank of the United States in 1834. Wilson continued to stimulate the economy by lowering tariffs and passing the Clayton Antitrust Act in 1914, which effectivley ended the immoral practices of big busniess and restored competiton to American capitalism. While Wilson showed his economic prowess during his first term, Wilson showed his leadership in foreign policy during his seconf term after winning re-election in 1916. Wilson led the U.S through World War I after declaring war on Germany in 1917 while he helped usher in a new era of international cooperation for the preservation of peace with his Fourteen Points. In recognition of his efforts to ensure peace, Wilson was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1919. Had Wilson pushed for the creation of a fully nationalized central bank rather than the private banking cartel that came out of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, he would be much higher on this list. He was still a pretty good president though.
4. Bill Clinton (Democrat, 1993-2001, 42nd President of the United States)
Bill Clinton will forever be remembered as the man who tackled the federal budget with unprecedented success while maintaing bipartisan support throughout his presidency. Clinton adhered to common sense Keneysian economics by passing the Ominious Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, which cut taxes on middle class families and 90% of small busniesses to stimulate an increase in consumer demand while raising taxes on the wealthy by a rate of 1.2% to tackle the federal deficit and ensure that the government could continue to stimulate consumer demand maintaining high levels of government expenditure. During Clinton’s second term as president after winning re-election in 1996, Clinton began to show bipartisanship with the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 through a Republican Congress as well as welfare reform. Though Clinton was impeached in 1998 by the House, he was later acquited because it should not matter where the president gets his “pleasure” from as long as he is doing the job he is suppossed to do. Clinton did just that, lowering the annual deficit from $281 billion dollars in 1994 to just $18 billion dollars in 2000.
3. John F. Kennedy (Democrat, 1961-1963, 35th President of the United States)
In such a short stint as president, John F. Kennedy accomplished much. While the Bay of Pigs invasion was a disaster, Kennedy showed his competence in foreign policy by averting the Cuban Missle crisis through negotiations with Nikita Khruschev in 1961, which saw his approval rating jump from 66% to 77%. President Kennedy encouraged consumer spending by keeping interest rates low, and, as a result, GDP grew by an average of 5.5% from 1961 to 1963 compared to 2.2% under Esienhower, while Kennedy issued executive order 1100, which allowed the U.S Treasury to circulate silver dollars if needed, to steady inflation at 1%. However, president Kennedy’s most significant achievement has to be in the areas of Civil Rights. Kennedy was a vocal supporter of Civil Rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and signed into law the Equal Pay Act of 1963 while his prposals became part of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He did this in just two years.
2. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (Democrat, 1933-1945, 32nd President of the United States)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt holds the distinction of being the only president to serve for more than two terms, and for good reason. Roosevelt assumed the presidency in 1933 during the worst times in American history; unemployment was at a staggering 25%, farmers went bankrupt as food prices declined by more than 60%, more than 5,000 banks had closed, while those who were lucky to have jobs saw there wages slashed, all leading to a sharp decline in consumer spending and demand. Roosevelt first went about tackling the banking crisis by passing the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933, which created the Federal Deposit Inusrance Corporation to gurantee deposits, resulting in restored confidence in banking. Once Americans were confident in saving and guranteed retirement by the passage of the Social Security Act in 1935, Roosevelt went about increasing government spending to stimulate increased consumer demand by funding public works projects through various New Deal measures such as the the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (1933) and the Works Progress Administration (1935), which dropped unemployment, increased the federal government’s tax base to sustain deficit spending, and resulted in an overall increase in consumer demand. Next on Roosevelt’s agenda was to address the problem of deflation, caused mainly by the Federal Reserve contracting the money supply during the banking panic. Roosevelt did just this by remvoing the U.S from the outdated, economic limitations of the gold standard in 1934, and, with the introduction of paper currency, created an unlimited supply of capital for busniesses to use to invest to encourage endless unlimited economic growth. Roosevelt then put the finishing touches on the New Deal, by introducing the mimimum wage in 1937, which guranteed even more disosable income for working citizens to increase consumer demand. Roosevelt also led the U.S to victory in World War II, and was instrumental in the creation if the United Nations in 1945. It’s hard to argue against the Roosevelt administration and the statistics prove; from 1932 to 1940, the economy grew 56% and unemployment dropped from 25% in 1933 to 14.6% in 1940.
1. Abraham Lincoln (Republican, 1861-1865, 16th President of the United States)
When Lincoln assumed the presidency in 1861, the United States of America was literally split in two. Unlike his predecessor, the incomopetent James Buchanan, Lincoln had a strong sense of morality, as he refused to condone the act of slavery under any circumstance, even if it meant destroying the Union. Lincoln showed his intent regarding the abolition of slavery by passing the Confiscation Act in 1861, which allowed for the use of the judicial process to confiscate and free slaves suspected of aiding the Confederacy. Lincoln showed further courage by issuing the Emancipation Porclamation in 1862, which effectivley declared all slaves in the Confederacy free while, remarkabley, Lincoln was able to unite all factions of the Republican Party and the Union to win re-election in 1964. After Lincoln won re-election, he introduced propsals to forever abolish slavery in January 1865, which ultimatley became the Thirteenth Ammendment in December of 1865. Though Lincoln was never able to finish his work, there is no doubt that the courage Lincoln had in pursuing the abolition of slavery while keeping the Union together during the Civil War was remarkable, and, perhaps, unmatched by any president before his time and after.