Here's Krugman trying to spin the prolonged slump of the 1930's on 'balancing the budget'. This insightful riposte to conservatives arguing the New Deal was bad for the economy was seen as 'devastating' by Steve Benen. That really depends on your priors, I guess.
FDR did try to keep the budget balanced, as the Keynesian idea that deficits produced growth was not conventional wisdom for any subgroup for another 20 years (the General Theory was published in 1936, after all). I think such spending does not have an expansionary effect, though I suppose the industry thinks it does by a 60-40 margin. Still, you had an insane number of new government programs and tax increases that could be called typical liberal programs in the New Deal: price controls, Social Security, work relief, unemployment insurance, the cartelization of big business, minimum wages, slaughtering 6 million pigs, leaving fruit in the fields to rot, government-granted privileges for labor unions, government works projects, higher taxes, etc. Only on the budget deficit would the 1930's fall in the category as 'conservative', so that's all the Left has to explain why this didn't work. As a fiscal conservative, I would gladly trade a big budget deficit for lower taxes, spending, and regulations.