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Rick Perry's Problems With America: Progressivism, The 16th Amendment, Woodrow Wilson And The New Deal (VIDEO)


First Posted: 11/09/10 09:32 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:10 PM ET

WASHINGTON -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), fresh off a re-election victory for an unprecedented third term, went on "The Daily Show" on Monday and railed against big government and progressivism to promote his new book, "Fed Up!".

Stewart asked Perry when, exactly, the country began going off the rails. "About a century ago, actually," replied Perry. Surprised, Stewart asked, "Seriously?" Perry pointed to President Woodrow Wilson, the progressive movement, and the 16th Amendment (which establishes a national income tax) and the New Deal:

PERRY: If you want to know when Washington really got off the track -- the 16th amendment, giving them the opportunity to take your money with a personal income tax. [...]

STEWART: But let me just back that up a second, because there are... very few people, I think, who would go back to a pre-1920s United States, because that movement didn't arise out of nothing. Children worked in factories. Women weren't allowed to vote.

PERRY: I get that --

STEWART: You may get it, but that ain't nothing.

PERRY: But the fact is, then you had the Great Depression, and again -- government program after government program -- that, looking back on it now, didn't work. Big government really has really not helped this country from the standpoint of economically.

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Wilson, Progressivism, the 16th Amendment and the New Deal are popular demons amongst conservatives. Fox News host Glenn Beck, for example, has called progressivism "the cancer in America".

During the recent campaign season, several conservative candidates advocated a repeal of the 16th Amendment. Last year, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal policies actually "exacerbated" the Great Depression.

But indeed, as Stewart noted, the progressive movement worked to ban child labor -- and that's not all. John Halpin, senior fellow and co-director of the Progressive Studies Program at the Center for American Progress, points out that progressives also established unemployment insurance, regulatory protections for consumers, the right for Americans to elect their U.S. senators, workers' compensation laws, the legal framework for the modern workweek and an expansion of civil rights, among other mainstays of U.S. society.

As soon as Perry won his re-election, he was out of Texas and over to the East Coast for a national media tour to promote his book, appearing on "The Daily Show," Glenn Beck's radio show, Laura Ingraham's radio show, Fox News, MSNBC, NBC's "Today Show" and a speech at the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. His strategy -- including during the election -- of putting the national press over state papers -- has caused some grumbling from Texas papers as well.

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