Top 10 Most Corrupt Presidents in U.S. History

Here’s a list of ten most corrupt U.S. Presidents in American History. You wouldn’t believe what these Presidents did until about you read them on here:

10. Benjamin Harrison:

Benjamin Harrison

Harrison was the grandson of 9th President of the United States of America, William Henry Harrison. William Henry Harrison was the oldest president to take office until Ronald Reagan, being 68 years old at the time of inauguration. He also served the shortest tenure in U.S. Presidential history; dying on the 32nd day of office from complications of pneumonia.

Benjamin Harrison served as President between 1889 and 1893. He was cold and humorless. He came into office with a pledge to compensate Civil War veterans with bonuses that the incumbent President Cleveland refused to do. Once elected, he made good on his electoral promises and provided the veterans the funds. But that was the only good thing he did while President.

He was not well liked by the populace and for good reason. He imposed the McKinely Tariff, which enforced historic protective trade rates and the Sherman Antitrust Act, which prohibited certain business activities that the government found to be anti-competitive.  He also created National forests by amending the Land Revision Act of 1891. In terms of foreign policy, he strengthened the Navy and conducted an active foreign policy. With the imposition of the aforementioned Tariffs, the federal government was able to run a surplus. Instead of using the surplus to help the people, Harrison would use it to increase federal government spendings, namely on himself. These spendings are what led to his defeat in the 1893 elections.

I include him on the list of the 10 worst U.S. Presidents because his policies and tariffs led the country into a full-blow depression. The American people were so fed up with Harrison that they elected to have Cleveland back in office.

9. Calvin Coolidge:

Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States of America. He was very quick and reclusive as a politician. The only good thing he did, while in office, was  restore public confidence in the White House after the scandals his predecessor was immersed in. Oh and wait, he represented the interests of the middle class and was able to interpret their longings and allow them to express their opinions.

Critics argued against Coolidge because of his laissez-faire government policies. Ronald Reagan revived many of Coolidge’s policies and always spoke about Coolidge being his inspiration. Reagan did a much better job at laissez-faire than Coolidge.

So why include Coolidge on this list? I wasn’t too pleased with how he handled the Boston Police Force strike. He really did not think it would be a good idea to intervene in this situation. And when he did act, he fired all the staff and took control of the police station. That only made matters worse.  Shouldn’t police services be part of the emergency services?

8. Ulysses S. Grant:

Ulysses S Grant was the 18th President of the United States, holding office between 1869 and 1877. Previous to that, he had a successful career as military commander in the American Civil War.  During Presidency, he focused his efforts on the elimination of the vestiges of Confederate nationalism and slavery, the protection of African American citizenship, and the defeat the Klu Klu Klan. One of his major strengths was his foreign policy.  He settled the Alabama Claims with Britain and avoided war with Spain over the Virginius affairs, a diplomatic dispute between the U.S., Spain, and Great Britain. At the time of death, he was seen as “a symbol of the American national identity and memory.

Many commentators and scholars argue that the Grant administration was one of the most corrupt administrations in United States history. When Grant took office he was honest about his inexperience with politics. In his inaugural address he was quoted as saying, “The office has come to me unsought.” Grant strongly believed in racial equality, not only in the South, but also in the North. In his inaugural address he spoke in favor of “security of a person, property, and free religious and political opinion in every part of our common country.” Grant took no action as president to enforce this belief, however, and his motto guided him: “Let us have peace.”

I believe that one of Grant’s biggest faults was his failure to cultivate, allies as he had done in the war. He failed to consult party leaders for his federal appointments, and elected to give the positions to his friends or family. You never mix friendship with business. Other offices were held by those he hardly knew, but had sponsored him during his election campaigns. Great examples of foolish appointments include Secretary of War John Aaron Rawlins and Secretary of the Navy Adolph Edward Borie.

7. John F. Kennedy:

In light of the 50th anniversary of his assassination, American History critics are beginning to think that John F. Kennedy probably was one of the most corrupt American Presidents of the 20th Century. He spent his 35 months in the White House going from one fiasco to another. He came into office and agreed upon the Bay of Pigs invasion, a big fiasco. Then he went to a Vienna summit conference and got himself owned by Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union. That led to, among other things, the Cuban missile crisis and a couple of other almost near miss nuclear attacks.

Looming over it all is the American descent into Vietnam. The assassination of Vietnam’s President Diem on Kennedy’s watch may have been one of the two biggest mistakes that Kennedy ever made. The other mistake he made was the decision to wage a war of attrition on Hanoi. No one buys the theory disseminated by Robert McNamara and others that Kennedy would have kept U.S. troops out. Sure, Kennedy wanted out of Vietnam — just like Lyndon Johnson wanted out a few years later:

He was also a womanizer and cheated on his young wife Jacqueline Kennedy. His affair with Marilyn Monroe would have been made public, if she hadn’t died the night before. Jackie had to go to Monroe’s hotel room the night before she died to beg her not to expose her husband. There were other women, including a White House intern named Mimi Alford, a Swedish woman named Gunilla von Post, and a painter named Mary Pinchot Meyer. All were between the ages of 19 and 25.

6. Andrew Johnson:

Johnson succeeded to the presidency upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. Johnson was the President who vetoed the most. He vetoed the first civil rights bill, believing that it gave “a perfect equality of the white and black races in every State of the Union. The Republicans in Congress overruled his veto and the Civil Rights bill came into effect. Johnson tried to remove Edward Stanton as Secretary of War, which violated the Tenure of Office Act, which Johnson also ended up vetoing. He was impeached (and was the first president to be so) but found innocent by only one vote. Many African Americans saw their rights diminish to pre-Civil War times during Johnson’s presidency. The rise of the Klu Klu Klan, which Johnson allowed, made living conditions for African Americans nearly impossible.

5. Richard Nixon:

Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving the country between 1969 and 1975. He became the first and only President to resign from office. Although he first escalated the Vietnamese War, he was also the first of 4 Presidents to bring it to an end.  More popularly, he launched initiatives to end cancer, fought the use of illegal drugs, and imposed wages and price control in a time of inflation.

The reason he was included on this list is because he shamed the country during the Watergate Scandal. The scandal occurred in 1972 as a result of a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex. The Nixon administration was a central part of the cover up of its involvement. The FBI linked cash, found on the burglars, to a slush fund used by the Committee for the Re-Election of the President, the official organization of Nixon’s campaign. Just when he was about to be impeached, Nixon resigned in shame. His Vice-President, Gerald Ford, assumed office and remained in power for the rest of the term.

If Nixon was not popular with his own President Dwight Eisenhower during his Vice-Presidency, what can be said about the people? When asked what good he saw in Nixon, Eisenhower asked for a rain check because he needed to think about it. They often failed to see things on the same page. Nixon was a hawkish person who liked to the blamed Democrats for losing China to the Communists. Eisenhower strove to avoid war at all cost. He ended the Korean War and refused to send soldiers to Vietnam, Egypt, and Hungary. The two also differed in their views about the space race.   The reason why he chose Nixon as his running mate was because he believed that the latter had the skills that he lacked.  What a dumb reason!

4. Warren Harding:

Warren G. Harding ranks up high when it comes to making the list of the worst presidencies in U.S. History.  He was the 29th President of the United States, holding office between 1921 and 1923. He was the first incumbent Senate and the first newspaper publisher to hold office.

This corrupt politician would play poker with anyone who desired to play with him, while his friends would rob from the National Treasury. He even said it in one of the interviews he gave to the press that he’s just not meant for taking up such an important role and he should have never been given the chance to run as big of a country as United States. Not only that, but he was also one of the biggest womanizers, bigger than Bill Cinton, and pretty much loved to please the ladies wherever he went.

His speeches were also vague and when he would give them, it would make everyone listening to them that he is supporting both the enemies and the backers of the country. When he finally died from a stroke while still well in his mandate, everyone breathed a sign of relief, because they knew that if the country would be led by him longer, the U.S. would be in big trouble. But then, they got Coolidge as President, and their problems were just the starting point.

The only good thing that came out of his Presidency was that he put good minds in cabinet positions, including Herbert Hoover, who would later become President as well.

3. Jimmy Carter:

America was in turmoil when it elected Jimmy Carter as President of the United States in 1977. He took office during a period of stagnation and inflation. His one term presidency was marked by the 1979 energy crisis, the Three Mile Island Nuclear accident, and the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981.

What really confuses me most about this man is the fact that he spent most of his time worrying about the Soviet influence in Afghanistan when his friend, the Shah of Iran, was being disposed by radical Islamic movements. Carter had more interest in keeping the Shah in Iran, than to fight an unknown battle in Afghanistan just so that he could keep the Soviets away. The only reason why he was elected was because people were angry with Gerald Ford for pardoning Richard Nixon after the Watergate Scandal.

So why is it that he failed? Critics believe that Carter paid too much attention to detail. He would often back down from disagreements and was quick to move away when attacked by political rivals. He appeared to be indecisive and ineffective, and did not define his priorities well enough. He seemed to be distrustful and uninterested in working with other groups, or even with Congress when controlled by his own party, as well as fellow Democratic senators.

I believe that Jimmy Carter has achieved more in his diplomacy after Presidency than while he was in office.

2. James Buchanan:

Buchanan was the 15th President of the United States, holding office between 1957 and 1961. He left his post on the eve of the Civil War, leaving office 39 days before the war began. I’ve included him on this top ten list because I feel that he rubbed salt on the wounds between Successional States and the Union States. He supported the Dred Scott decision, which refused to protect African Americans under the constitution, and added Kansas as a slavery state. This put slavery issues on a state level. In making such decisions, he caused greater tensions between the North and the South. By the time he left office, popular opinion polls were against him, and the Democratic Party had split into two. Interestingly enough, President Buchanan once aspired to a presidency that would rank in history with that of George Washington. He never came close.

1. Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

The recession came to an end five years ago, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.  So President Obama had plenty of time to produce a sturdy recovery plan for his country.  In fact, since the American historical record is the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery, Obama should have had an easy time generate a booming recovery in these 5 years.

Obama likes to flaunt that the U.S. is doing better now than during recession. Well, duh!  But every recovery is better than the recession, by definition.  So that means babkas to everyone else.

The right measure for President Obama’s record is not to compare the recovery to the recession, but to compare Obama’s recovery with other Presidents’ recovery plan from other recessions since the Great Depression.  By these measures, what is clear is that Obama and his administration has produced the worst recovery since the Great Depression. That is a record that is worse than what all other Presidents who has faced a recession since the Great Depression. And this alone puts President Obama at the top of the list of the worst U.S. President in U.S. History.

The only good thing that came out of President Obama’s Presidency was the assassination of Osama bin Ladin, the perpetrator of the September 11, 2001 attacks. bin Ladin was found and shot in his compound in Pakistan.