Neither of them gave the program user anything but an opportunity and both required hard work
The Homestead Act of 1863 was signed by Abraham Lincoln. I have heard of it being referred to as a government giveaway but in fact it wasn't. You had to work for it and 'prove up'. Many people tried and failed and many were successful.
In the 1860s Lincoln signed the bill in order to try and turn the midwest into something that would benefit the country. It was pretty much a whole lot of nothing at the time.
The bill offered the opportunity to get ownership of 160 acres with certain provisions. You had to work the land and meet a number of requirements. You had five years to 'prove up'. If you succeeded you got the deed to the land.
I've personally visited a few farms that began with the act. My wife's ancestors came here from Scandinavia and proved up. The farm was in her family for generations. Most of these farms had humble beginnings.
It was an opportunity for the poorer people in the country to become successful and make something out of themselves. It wasn't a handout, it was more of a hand up.
The other successful federal program that comes to mind was signed by FDR in 1944. Officially it is the Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944. Most of us know it as the GI Bill.
There are a lot of provisions in the GI bill for home and business loans. (Remember, loans have to be paid back) However the big thing people associate with the bill is being able to go to college or technical school.
An awful lot of people that couldn't even dream of attending college before WW2 got their degrees. A lot of my schoolteachers got their educations that way.
It was an opportunity given to returning servicemen and it is one of the very few government programs that has actually made money rather than cost us money. Most returning GIs that took advantage of the program got useful degrees and made something worthwhile of themselves.
I guess that every so often even a blind squirrel finds a nut.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this:
http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY