(FDR - taking the right-wing brickbats in stride)
From April 28, 1935, his seventh Fireside Chat since taking office in 1933. FDR took the opportunity to lay out his plans for Social Security and Unemployment Insurance. The Social Security plan hadn't been voted on yet and was about to be introduced, along with a flood of relief and New Deal legislation. In 1935 these were new ideas that hadn't flown before.
FDR: “The program for Social Security that is pending before Congress is a necessary part of the future unemployment policy of the government. While our present and projected expenditures for work relief are fully within the reasonable limits of our national credit resources, it is obvious that we cannot continue to create governmental deficits for that purpose, year after year after year. We must begin now to make provision for the future. And that is why our Social Security Program is an important part of the complete picture. It proposes by means of old age pensions to help those who have reached the age of retirement to give up their jobs, and thus give to the younger generation greater opportunities for work. And to give to all, old and young alike, a feeling of security as they look towards old age. The Unemployment Insurance part of the legislation will not only help to guard the individual in future periods of layoff, against dependence upon relief, but it will by sustaining the purchasing power of the nation, cushion the shock of economic distress.”
Then, as now, any sort of social legislation that involving the common good was viewed with skepticism by the right-wing. This one was no different. Charges of Socialism popped up in the media, not to mention to aborted takeover attempt of the government by business and Wall Street interests in 1934.
FDR had his hands full. But he was able to weather the storm and the pundits and create many Programs that are in place today (although, it should be pointed out that a number of programs, including Social Security have withstood attempts at gutting during the Reagan years). Not listening or caving in to special interests or the hysterics proved to be the wise choice in the long run. The interests of the American people were what concerned him.
Something we could use a bit more of, especially today with the Health Care battle raging.