Hoover, a globally experienced engineer, believed strongly in the Efficiency Movement, which held that the government and the economy were riddled with inefficiency and waste, and could be improved by experts who could identify the problems and solve them. He also believed in the importance of volunteerism and of the role of individuals in society and the economy. Hoover, who had made a small fortune in mining, was the first of two Presidents to redistribute their salary. When the Wall Street Crash of 1929 struck less than eight months after he took office, Hoover tried to combat the ensuing Great Depression with government enforced efforts, public works projects such as the Hoover Dam, tariffs such as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff, an increase in the top tax bracket from 25% to 63%, and increases in corporate taxes. These initiatives did not produce economic recovery during his term, but served as the groundwork for various policies incorporated in Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. After 1933, he became a spokesman in opposition to the domestic and foreign policies of the New Deal. In 1947, President Harry S. Truman brought him back to help make the federal bureaucracy more efficient through the Hoover Commission. The consensus among historians is that Hoover's defeat in the 1932 election was caused primarily by his failure to end the downward economic spiral, although his support for strong enforcement of prohibition was also a significant factor. Hoover is generally ranked lower than average among U.S. Presidents.
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