President Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic lawmakers of his time proudly campaigned on providing "quid pro quos," while Republicans were criticized for championing limited government, according to economic historian and former Hillsdale College professor Burt Folsom.
"Franklin Roosevelt operated in a quid pro quo setting almost every day of his presidency during the 1930s, and it was accepted by the Democratic Party that that's the way it would work. In fact, they campaigned on quid pro quo," he said.
Folsom explained that Roosevelt made something of a custom of keeping records of which lawmakers were competing for government largesse.
"They [Democrats] wanted to be loyal to Roosevelt to get the money," he said, adding that Democrats would make a point of telling voters how much they had been able to secure through supporting FDR, which left Republicans in a tricky situation.