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Beyond the Bonus March and GI BillHow Veteran Politics Shaped the New Deal Era$
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Stephen R. Ortiz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814762134

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814762134.001.0001

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The Bonus Re-emerges

The Bonus Re-emerges

(p.99) 4 The Bonus Re-emerges
Beyond the Bonus March and GI Bill

Stephen R. Ortiz

NYU Press

This chapter describes the re-emergence of the Bonus as a political issue in 1934 despite opposition from a popular president and the most powerful veteran organization. The struggle to pass the Bonus over Roosevelt's objections drew two of the era's dissident voices, Father Charles E. Coughlin and Senator Huey P. Long, to the veterans' cause. The Bonus provoked contentious debate because the issue had developed into a political litmus test, transcending the limited aims of a cash disbursement to veterans. Bonus opponents feared that prepayment would be the final nail in the coffin of fiscal responsibility and would prove that governmental largesse had reached pathological proportions. Bonus supporters argued that immediate payment to suffering veterans and their families would provide an economic stimulus in every community and would help lift the nation out of the Depression.

Keywords:   Bonus, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Charles E. Coughlin, Huey P. Long, Great Depression, war veterans

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