It has become a common misunderstanding that Herbert Hoover was a laissez-faire man and epitomized the failure of free market capitalism. Far from it, Hoover was the most interventionist president the US had ever known. FDR based much of his New Deal on Hoover's own New Deal. Whenever anyone demands government be scaled back, taxes lowered, and spending decreased, people point to Hoover as evidence that these policies are utter failures. Unfortunately, Hoover's policies were so interventionist that FDR called him a socialist on the campaign trail. You heard me, FDR, the epitome of "big government", criticized Hoover for intervening too much. Dispelling The Herbert Hoover Myth - CBS News Wait, Herbert Hoover Wasn't a Libertarian? - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine Herbert Hoover's New Deal - Hit & Run : Reason Magazine What does "Emergency Relief and Construction Act" sound like to you? Not the Obama Stimulus, perhaps? FDR calling for a balanced budget seems ironic in retrospect. I hope you all get the point. Hoover was by no means a free market man. He is in the same camp as all the other big government spenders today. Defenders of the stimulus point to Hoover as an example of failure and then pursue the exact same policies. Again, the famous mantra manifests itself: "Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it." We Americans have been quite forgetful indeed. And the consequences will be disastrous.