The controversial Economy Act of 1933 is signed into law, slashing $243 million in government salaries and pensions, and veterans' benefits. Despite the economic crisis, super majorities of American economists, policymakers, and the general public believed that the federal government needed to balance the budget and avoid deficit spending, to avoid putting further strain on the bond market which would negatively affect government borrowing costs, banks, corporations, and foreign investors. From 1929 to 1933, the total debt owed by the U.S. government rose from $16.9 billion to over $23 billion.
The Securities Act of 1933 is enacted, requiring the registration of all sales and purchases of financial securities, as well as the disclosure of critical financial information about the firms involved. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was established the following year, which helped combat insider trading and reducing transaction risk.
The Civil Works Administration is created, which would employ over 4 million people and distribute over $400 million in funds for work programs through its end on March 31, 1934, when it would be replaced by the more permanent Works Progress Administration.
Prohibition is repealed at the national level. 18 states continue with state-level prohibition. The end of Prohibition hurts organized crime, allows legal employment in alcoholic drink production, and increases state tax revenues.