This website is no longer actively maintained
Some material and features may be unavailable

Historian Alan Brinkley on a new ‘New Deal’

When President Obama called for massive spending on infrastructure, it was hardly the first time he’d done it. Last fall, he called for $50 billion to put unemployed construction workers back to work.  “All we need is the political will,” he said at the time.

But what sounds like a necessary investment in our future to some ears sounds like big government run amok to others. Supporters would point to Franklin Roosevelt’s Depression-era public works initiatives to build American cities and roads, airports, water systems and housing.  Of course, FDR had his critics, too.

It remains to be seen how Obama’s agenda plays out for him. Historian Alan Brinkley joins Jon Meacham to discuss the Obama presidency and the challenges it faces.  He is a professor of history at Columbia University and has written extensively about FDR and the New Deal.

  • thumb
    Main Street: Findlay, Ohio
    Need to Know travels to Ohio to assess how workers are faring after the loss of millions of manufacturing jobs over the past 35 years.
  • thumb
    Following the money: Tax breaks
    New CBO report echoes the findings of Need to Know's "A tale or four tax returns."
  • thumb
      Certifiably employable
    Rick Karr recently visited Seattle to look at a program designed to give the unemployed the skills they need to find jobs in one of the country’s fastest-growing industries.