Multi-Millionaire Wall Blames Great Depression on FDR

Calls New Regulations on Banks, Speculators, CEOs 'Radical Legislation'

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MADISON, Wis. — Republican multi-millionaire Terrence Wall claims in this month’s In Business magazine that Franklin D. Roosevelt was responsible for the Great Depression, despite Roosevelt taking office over three years after the Depression began and enacting policies which lowered the unemployment rate from 25 percent in 1933 to 10 percent by 1937, saving the U.S. from economic collapse.

In his “Up Against the Wall” column in the October 2009 In Business, Wall wrote, “The Great Depression wasn’t an accident; what would have been a bad recession was turned into the Great Depression by massive federal taxation and regulation, increased trade barriers and huge reductions in economic liberty, thereby scaring off investor capital and risk taking.” [Source: In Business, 10/1/09, http://www.ibmadison.com/againstwall?id=247]

“Terrence Wall is showing all the money in the world can’t buy you common sense,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Is Terrence Wall most opposed to the creation of Social Security, or the Fair Labor Standards Act that established the minimum wage and ended child labor. Or was it establishment of the Security and Exchange Commission to protect Americans against the greed of Wall Street?”

Wall described himself in a recent press release as a “self-made entrepreneur who started from nothing and built a number of successful businesses,” failing to note he is part of the Wall Family Enterprise, a century-old conglomerate which now includes 10 companies in the United States and around the globe, including England and France. [Sources: Wall Campaign Release, 10/24/09; Wall Family Enterprise, http://www.wallfamilyenterprise.com/html/companies.htm]

One Wisconsin Now discovered Wall companies established a Delaware post “office” to possibly avoid Wisconsin taxes, despite no evidence it does any business there, as well as reclassification of $2 million in prime Dane County commercial real estate into “agriculture” property, which could allow the company to eliminate $34,000 in local property taxes. [Sources: NY Times, 5/29/09; WI Dept. of Financial Institutions, 9/23/09; Access Dane Website, 10/15/09]

“Terrence Wall knows a whole lot more about avoiding taxes than he does about history or economics,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “Unless by economics you’re talking about creating out-of-state tax shelters and exploiting tax credits that are supposed to help farmers.”

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One Wisconsin Now specializes in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.