During the 1930’s, in spite of the high unemployment and depressed growth, budget balancing was never far from the forefront of political purpose. Belief in a balanced budget prevented government relief programs from ending the depression, and when Roosevelt honored his 1936 campaign pledge to balance the budget in 1937, the economy suffered a major setback with unemployment jumping back to 19.1% from a seven year low of 14.3%. Public works programs that were ‘paid for’ by other spending cuts or by tax increases could not reduce unemployment as there was never enough net government spending to accommodate desired H(nfa). The largest deficit of the 1930’s was 5.9% of GNP in 1934, and it was down to 0.1% of GNP by 1938.
The almost balanced budgets in the late 1930's attributed to the worsening of the economy.