Challenges from the Left FDR’s New Deal was also challenged by two other major factions – the elderly, and Senator Huey Long, who was the Democratic governor of LA. The elderly were opposed to the New Deal because they had no pension plans and feared poverty in their old age. They proposed the Old Age Revolving Pension Plan, which would give them $200 per month, but they would retire so younger people could take their jobs. Long opposed it because he supported his “Share Our Wealth Society,” which sought to tax 100% of all income over $1 million and all inheritances over $5 million. The Second New Deal, 1935-1938 With opposition gaining support, FDR moved to incorporate some of those opposition’s ideas into his New Deal. These aspects included substantial tax increases on corporate profits and higher income and estate taxes on wealthy citizens, which drew its inspiration from Huey Long’s Share Our Wealth plan.
The Social Security Act This was a national old-age pension system. It won support from the Townsend and Long movements. It was a milestone in the creation of an American welfare state. Another part of this growing American welfare system was the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), which enrolled 14.1 million Americans, 60% of whom were black or Hispanic.
The Works Progress Administration The Works Progress Administration was something FDR won funding for and put Harry Hopkins at the head of it (who head recently ran the CWA). The WPA became the main federal relief agency by Directly employing 8.5 million Americans. Wages were low, but most WPA workers were just thankful for having a job.