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Tilting at Windmills

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February 6, 2011

WHEN THE RIGHT PEOPLE PICK THE WRONG HERO.... There was a fascinating moment on Friday's edition of Rush Limbaugh's radio show. Mike Stark called in and asked why conservatives adore Ronald Reagan's legacy, given the less-than-conservative policies the former president embraced in office, including several tax increases.

Limbaugh refused to answer, instead asking, "Where did you get this silly notion that Reagan raised taxes?"

As Reagan's 100th birthday puts the 40th president back in the spotlight today, there's plenty of coverage about his life, his two terms, and his legacy. Naturally, then, there's plenty of angles to consider, including the fact that Reagan wasn't a very good president, though his reputation has clearly benefited from an aggressive, well-financed, highly-motivated public-relations campaign.

But the angle that strikes me as most relevant today is the fact that today's conservatives have chosen a hero they don't really understand, and would actually find pretty offensive if they stopped to think about it. Perhaps the most insightful thing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has ever said is when he noted last year that Reagan "would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today."

Walter Shapiro had a good item the other day highlighting Reagan's record on taxes, in particular, which he said has been "airbrushed by 21st century conservatives."

Even though Reagan persuaded a Democratic Congress to approve his massive 1981 rate reductions, the Gipper reversed field in 1982 to staunch the deficit and agreed to a tax increase (equal to about one-third of the original cuts). That single act of tax realism would have prompted today's tea party movement to denounce Reagan as a RINO (Republican in Name Only) and to threaten to find a real conservative to challenge him in the GOP primaries.

That was nothing compared to the tax-code apostasy of Reagan's second term. He championed, and in 1986 signed into law, a sweeping bipartisan tax reform bill that (warning: be sure you are sitting down before reading further) raised capital gains taxes. In one of the great progressive reforms of the last half century, Reagan eliminated tax loopholes and special preferences like capital gains in exchange for lowering individual tax brackets. At the core of Reagan's tax reform triumph was the liberal principle that unearned income (stock market swag) should be treated the same ways as an autoworker's wages.

If anything, this is understating the case. In his first term, Reagan raised taxes when unemployment was nearing 11% -- imagine trying this today -- and proceeded to raise taxes seven out of the eight years he was in office. It's a fact that's terribly inconvenient on a day like today, but "no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people" as Reagan.

Of course, it's not just taxes. Given the totality of Reagan's record, it's amazing the Tea Party wing of the Republican base doesn't consider him a villain who betrayed everything they cherish.

I'm reminded of something Rachel Maddow said last year:

"He signed a bill that gave amnesty to undocumented immigrants. He grew the size of the federal government and the budget, added a whole new cabinet level agency and added tens of thousands of government workers to the federal payroll.

"He tripled the deficit. He bailed out and expanded social security with a big fat tax increase. He raised corporate taxes by hundreds of billions of dollars. He raised taxes on gasoline.

"He, in fact, signed into law the largest tax increase in history. He supported federal handgun controls. He called for a world without nuclear weapons.

"He was Ronald Reagan."

I'd also note that as governor, Reagan increased spending, raised taxes, helped create the nation's first state-based emissions standards, signed an abortion-rights bill, and expanded the nation's largest state-based Medicaid program (socialized medicine).

As president, Reagan also met with our most hated enemy without preconditions, and illegally funneled arms to Iran.

During his first two years, conservatives resented Reagan and openly explored challenging him in the 1984 primary. In his second term, the right condemned his talks with the Soviets, and blasted his tax increases. There's a reason the Washington Monthly generated quite a bit of interest with our 2003 cover story on Reagan's "liberal legacy."

Reagan "would have a hard time getting elected as a Republican today"? Reagan would have a hard time not getting laughed off the Republican stage today.

But this isn't what we're supposed to think. GOP activists have imbued Reagan with almost supernatural powers, and the Republican National Committee has quite literally referred to him as Ronaldus Magnus. Most of the time, the gushing, borderline-religious-like love for the former president in conservative circles falls somewhere between sycophantic and nauseating.

We can debate why this has happened, but I'm of the opinion that it's the result of a scarcity of Republican heroes. Over the last 146 years, exactly how many GOP presidents do contemporary Republican activists actually like? There's Reagan, and there's no one else.

Dems have a more diversified list, ranging from Jefferson to Jackson, Roosevelt to Truman, JFK to Clinton, and maybe someday, Obama.

Reagan, conversely, gets all the love, because his party isn't proud of anyone else except Lincoln. That makes the adulation understandable, but it doesn't give it value.

Steve Benen 12:10 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (51)

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Comments

Given the totality of Reagan's record, it's amazing the Tea Party wing of the Republican base doesn't consider him a villain of everything they hold dear.

Why would they consider his record?

You libruls with all yer borin' ol' facts 'n' logic 'n' stuff. When'll you ever learn it's just about America 'n' freedom 'n' d'mocr'cy?

Posted by: bleh on February 6, 2011 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "... it's amazing the Tea Party wing of the Republican base doesn't consider him a villain of everything they hold dear ..."

The only thing the Tea Partiers "hold dear" is to slavishly and unquestioningly believe, say and do whatever the Koch brothers pay Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to tell them to believe, say and do.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 6, 2011 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

It is a callous, cold-hearted thing to attack our patron saint of small government and low taxes. That you are using facts does not make it any less forgivable.

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on February 6, 2011 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

El Rushbo knows very well that the Gipper raised taxes. He's denying reality to piss off liberals and persuading his audience that the Tea Party's Reagan was and is the only Reagan. This is pure psych-ops.

Posted by: BrklynLibrul on February 6, 2011 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

It is heretical to use the truth about Saint Ronald of Raygun in front of the true believers.

The following link lists 10 things that the true believers will call you a liar if you tell them:

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/05/reagan-centennial/"

Just because the true believers believe what they have been taught to believe does not make it anything other than true, because that is what they believe and belief is more important than facts!

Posted by: AmusedOldVet on February 6, 2011 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

While Reagan performed as an adequate center-left politician of our modern era, he opened the door and helped creat the environment that our modern lobbyist now enjoys, especially the Christian right.

This, more than any legislation, makes him a hero of the GOP; allowing the 'free market' to inform the politics and policies of the far right.

One dollar, one vote.

Posted by: Malovich on February 6, 2011 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

FYI, here is an exchange I had with a Reagan administration staffer on Facebook yesterday.

Me: "It is worth asking if the actual Reagan (not the mythological Reagan) would be acceptable to today's republican party. After all: "He despised nuclear weapons, torture, killing innocents in anti-terror operations, and he raised taxes when reasonable people told him it was necessary.""

Scot: "Neil - that is why so many of us "Reaganites" have trouble stomaching the GOP since 1996. "W" and his administration was the antithesis of Reaganism. It is very difficult for true Reaganites to be enthusiastic about the current crop of 2012 Presidential hopefuls."

Posted by: wvng on February 6, 2011 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

The Rightards prove that you really can fool some of the people all of the time.

Not only that, but you can really push the envelope and dream up all kinds of radical shit just to see where the Rightards might draw the line at disbelief, and find a new edge for the envelope every day.

So, not only can you fool some of the people all of the time, they will help you fool themselves. It doesn't get any better than that.

Posted by: jcricket on February 6, 2011 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

We can debate why this has happened, but I'm of the opinion that it's the result of a scarcity in Republican heroes. Over the last 146 years, exactly how many GOP presidents do contemporary Republican activists actually like? There's Reagan, and there's no one else.

exactly. eisenhower? the right doesn't like ike anymore. there's that whole interstate highway system thing, sending troops to arkansas, that military/industrial complex speech.

nixon? forget watergate. the right could forgive him for that. his big problem: he created the epa, osha, went to china etc. way way to liberal.

george h.w. bush? he raised taxes in a most public way. can't cover that up.

george w. bush? too fresh a memory. everyone remembers how he screwed up. but give the right a few years and his reputation will be rehabilitated, not to the extent of reagan of course. but he will be remembered fondly by the right despite his expansion of government (medicare part b), his support of immigration reform etc.

the funny thing about lincoln is that he was a believer in government as an actor to do good, unlike the party to day. he raised taxes to fight a war, did the whole land grant university thing, the homestead act, the intercontinental railroad. he's sort of like reagan in a way. he's still admired within the party but everyone forgets the details of his administration. if a GOPer today came up with a line like 'government of the people, by the people, for the people,' he or she would be laughed off the republican stage.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on February 6, 2011 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

One of Rush's favorite slams of liberals is they value symbolism over substance, which is, of course, yet another example of Right Wing projection.

Posted by: martin on February 6, 2011 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan was effective in articulating a conservative vision, even if his policies did not always live up to that vision. His rhetoric resonated with many people, including quite a few who up to then had voted for Democrats.

Posted by: rachelrachel on February 6, 2011 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

If Reagan was so liberal, what did he do for conservatives?

He legitimized contempt and malice as political motives.

Posted by: cld on February 6, 2011 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

It's important to occasionally note that Steve Benen continues to hold high the "Hardest Working Blogger on the Net" award, as evidenced again today with seven "conspicously intelligent" posts by noon on Sunday. Thanks, Steve.

Posted by: chi res on February 6, 2011 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone care to take a crack at saying Reagan was more leftist than Jimmy Carter?

Posted by: cld on February 6, 2011 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Given the totality of Reagan's record, it's amazing the Tea Party wing of the Republican base doesn't consider him a villain of everything they hold dear.

Not that amazing, really. In order for the Tea Party idiots to think Reagan a villain, they would first have to think, and they have demonstrated that thinking isn't their cup of tea.

Posted by: David Bailey on February 6, 2011 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

What Reagan contributed to today's right was the art of denial. Remember "Facts are stupid things"? You can't dismiss him as just an actor, he was a complicated and accomplished man, but he was also a creature of Hollywood to his bones. Reagan himself wouldn't have recognized the real Reagan. (And that's not an Alzheimer's joke.)

Posted by: henryfingjames on February 6, 2011 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

a hero they don't really understand, and would actually find pretty offensive if they stopped to think about it

reagan was a belligerent bully, a racist, a union-buster, a liar, a cheat, a plutocrat, a dolt, and he loved to denigrate the less fortunate, the downtrodden, and the disadvantaged. What's not for a conservative to love?
.

Posted by: pluege on February 6, 2011 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Given the totality of Reagan's record, it's amazing the Tea Party wing of the Republican base doesn't consider him a villain of everything they hold dear."

There is a phrase for this - "Ignorance is bliss"

Posted by: Mark-NC on February 6, 2011 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

These are the exact same groupies who grovel over J.H.Christ saying he walks on water and his poop don't stink. Never mind that he loathed their hypocritical ilk and catered to the underclass.

Posted by: chopin on February 6, 2011 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

In case anyone missed it:

http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011020504/revisiting-reagan-nightmare

Posted by: jhm on February 6, 2011 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

"today's conservatives have chosen a hero they don't really understand"

Why would conservatives use different criteria for choosing their hero's than they use for all their other policy decisions?

Posted by: J. Frank Parnell on February 6, 2011 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

All the Reagan hypocrisy examples have missed my personal favorite. He placed tariffs on foreign manufacturers to protect an American industry and union jobs.

"The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum's special exhibit, "Born to be Wild: Vintage and Celebrity Motorcycles," chronicles the history and tradition of motorcycle culture from around the world. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan imposed a temporary tariff on imported Japanese motorcycles which helped Harley-Davidson stave off bankruptcy and ensured that the classic American motorcycle manufacturer would continue to produce higher-quality bikes. This exhibits honors President Reagan's role in preserving the American motorcycle industry."

Posted by: Jim7 on February 6, 2011 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Rush Limbaugh simply feeds the ignorance of his audience, who listen to him and only to him. I'm wondering why any intelligent person would expect him to do anything else.

Posted by: JEA on February 6, 2011 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

cld: "He legitimized contempt and malice as political motives."

yep...

"government is the problem" Never need to make gov't part of the solution. It goes directly against Lincoln's "gov't. of the people, by the people and for the people"

Posted by: golack on February 6, 2011 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Mush Limbaugh:Where did you get this silly notion that Reagan raised taxes?

And there you have it.

That encapsulates the American RightWing in a nutshell.


Posted by: Joe Friday on February 6, 2011 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

The political center has shifted so far to the right such that Reagan's politics are now way left of center in today's insane world. Reagan was certainly no lefty. He was a union-buster, "greed-is-good" became the watch phrase of time in office, and thanks to Iran-Contra, government officials are no longer accountable for what they do in the name of the American people. While he wouldn't publicly condone torture, rendition, unlimited illegal detention, or assassination, he had no problem if other countries did it for us or to their citizens. He was no less a lover of dictators under our control than any other president, with the exception of Carter, and his intellectual depth was thinner than a coat of paint. The rubes loved him, and still do.

Posted by: rrk1 on February 6, 2011 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget the MISSILES that Reagan sold to IRAN. Hmmm, where's that little tidbit in the hagiography?

Posted by: Mac on February 6, 2011 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan's record as president was consistent with his record as governor where spedning increased at 13.65% a year, there were major tax inxreases almost every year and in '67 he signed into law the most liberal abortion law in the country. What did he do for conservatism? As president he tilted the playing field in favor of the superrich in myriad ways, and he completed the Southernfication of the Republican Party.

Posted by: Jose Padilla on February 6, 2011 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone hasn’t seen NBC’s ‘Meet the Republicans’ from this morning, I’m afraid it’s time that some authority stepped in and institutionalized poor Peggy Noonan. The woman has completely lost touch with reality.

Slipped the surly bonds of Earth”, indeed.


Posted by: Joe Friday on February 6, 2011 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

I think we can discount almost anything Limbaugh claims to be true out of hand based on his long track record of lies and distortions and his ongoing addiction problems. I agree Reagan was a horrible President, but it was a better public performance than most of his movies. I worked in HR in DHHS when Reagan was in office and we had to clean up after this administration for years after they left. There were multiple instances of new agencies suddenly appearing in new Offices or Departments after hundreds of employees had been fired and then filed class action lawsuits because they saw their former work had reappeared in some new entity. And it had to reappear, because in almost every case no laws where changed, or even taken into consideration, by this gang or nitwits. My brethern in the Resolution Turst Corporation after the S & L disaster had it even worse. Reagan seemed like a nice fellow one could enjoy a cocktail with but as a President, God help us if we ever get one worse (George W. Bush excepted).

Posted by: max on February 6, 2011 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

The comment by Walter Shapiro that a democratic congress cut taxes manages to be both incorrect and misleading. One, he is incorrect as the GOP took over the Senate in 1980. Two, he misleads as there was a conservative working majority in the House, what with Republican reps. and right wing Democratic members such as the then democratic Phil Gramm. Remember the Boll Weevils!

Posted by: ANDY on February 6, 2011 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

The problem that Republicans have is, who else have they got?
Democrats can venerate Clinton, Carter, Kennedy and FDR. All had their flaws, but all did lots of good stuff too. The only Democratic president who left office truly disgraced was Johnson, and even he is praised now for civil rights, War on Poverty, medicare, etc.
But who, besides Reagan, can the poor Republicans venerate -- Nixon? Ford? Bush pere et fils? Don't think so. Eisenhower still gets some Republican street cred, but his military-industrial complex speech is not one that today's Republicans want to remember either. So that leaves them with President Jelly-Bean.

Posted by: Cathie from Canada on February 6, 2011 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

As a staunch Democrat, I can say that I don't claim Jackson as a political forbear, but the others I'm proud of, for the most part. I'm even proud of Jimmy Carter who, for all his flaws as a communicator and politician, had a lot of substantive policy accomplishments. Among these accomplishments was actually cutting energy imports and taking real steps towards alternative energy. Of course, Ronald Reagan overturned Carter's visionary energy policies, but no one wants to talk about that.

Posted by: JD on February 6, 2011 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan ran a hugely corrupt administration (James Watt, Watt-Pierce-Dean at Interior and HUD, the S&L scandal, Burford & Gorsuch at the EPA, and so on and so forth). Worse, we never did get to the bottom of several very questionable episodes, especially the Iran Contra mess. Had we done that, then arguabley we would have cleaned out a bunch of conservative republicans and would never have ended up with Bush & Cheney, and we would have maintained the hard-won practice of not tolerating incompetent and corrupt administrations, and again would not have ended up with two terms of Bush the lesser.

Posted by: N.Wells on February 6, 2011 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Jimmy Carter was one of the worst presidents in history. He surrendered the entire economic conversation to Republicans and made religious mania politically acceptable.

Any good he might have accomplished is trivial in comparison.

Posted by: cld on February 6, 2011 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

LBJ b. 27 August 1908
FDR b. 30 Jan 1882

Did we note their 100th birthdays?

Posted by: cld on February 6, 2011 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan's own son said that, basically, he had no idea what was going on during his last few years in office. That's why the TeaPartiers love him....they have no idea either. Reagan was a joke and his policies were nowhere close to the policies the GOP would have us to believe he put forward. It's all a big lie - the hallmark of the Republican Party.

Posted by: T2 on February 6, 2011 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

There were plenty of genuinely right-wing things Reagan did as president, though. For the most part he created a climate that said "Greed was good" and pushed the idea that a social safety net was a giveaway to undeserving people.

Posted by: Blue on February 6, 2011 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

I think that lately they've been trying to rehabilitate Herbert Hoover who had some pretty admirable traits, if only it hadn't been for that Great Depression thingy. They can't worship their one legit R hero because of the Emancipation Proclamation and the war that they are still fighting.

I come from a traditional Republican family (i.e. business, not religion). I can remember my aunt referring to the Reagan administration at the time as "those liberals in the White House", but she worships him now. She gives a lot of lip service to the magic old man in the sky now too, although He was certainly not part of the equation back in the day.

Posted by: Stella Barbone on February 6, 2011 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

I have to agree , as much as there is to admire of Jimmy Carter his sickening piety gags me still .
Reagan on the other hand was an arch manipulator for whom the destruction and death of people was just , "biddness" .
Reagan will need to be satisfied with the understanding that despite his smiling malevolence , he sits to the rear of the Prescott Walker Boosch nightmare . Gips won't mind taking a back seat to the gentrified Prescott Walker Boosch aristocrats . After all is said and done he knows his place as a good little servant , grinning amiably . Just like the victims of the racism he ushered in as a candidate , beneath the time and dignity of an Ivy League frat boy , both the pranksters and drunks . Little Boots will call him "Cookie" .

Posted by: FRP on February 6, 2011 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Now now Steve you drag the critters out from Platos cave and tell the truth about what they know to be real they are going to call you a liar and demand to be put back.

Posted by: Kill Bill on February 6, 2011 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan kowtowed to terrorists more than any modern President. He armed Iran right after a whole slew of terrorist actions against us.
The hypocrisy is appalling. this is the guy who in the campaign said never negotiate with terrorists yet who then negotiated with Iran while carter was in office, and who armed bin laden to the teeth when we had ample evidence bin laden was committing war crimes.

Posted by: Mk on February 6, 2011 at 7:44 PM | PERMALINK

"LBJ b. 27 August 1908
FDR b. 30 Jan 1882
Did we note their 100th birthdays?"

No. We are on track to get a national holiday for it (on top of presidents' day, because that is for sub-messianic presidents), if not Mt Rushmore modification, the next time the GOP has unified control of govt.

Posted by: mol on February 6, 2011 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan, like Thatcher, embraced Hayek.

They call themselves conservative but they are actually neo-liberal IE Laissez Faire.

Some conservatives are starting to figure it out. They actually wanted to create huge deficits.
http://flaglerlive.com/8577/david-stockman-reagan-nixon-bush-trickledown

Of course there are two sides to every coin and some smart folks said hey lets use this theory to get rich off government. And they did under the guise of being 'conservatives'

Posted by: Kill Bill on February 6, 2011 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

"... conservatives have chosen a hero they don't really understand, and would actually find pretty offensive if they stopped to think about it."

Keep in my that this is not unique. The same can be said of another conservative hero, Jesus. Jesus never said anything about abortion or homosexuality but the New Testament, on hundreds of occassions talks about helping those less fortunate and on scores of occasions speaks of giving up most, if not all, of your wealth to do so. So Jesus was fairly forward for his time on women's rights. Tie these all together and Jesus was quite the liberal social safety netter.

Posted by: Matt Alam on February 6, 2011 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Ummm. Last time I checked, under the Constitution Congress is empowered to raise taxes (or lower them). The President can veto, but it does no service to the separation of powers to say that Reagan raised taxes. This is the same mistake that Candidate Obama made by proposing change without also mentioning that he could not deliver change without the Congress.

Posted by: Independent Voter on February 6, 2011 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

"Limbaugh refused to answer"

Well, he did answer eventually, although only after the caller was off the air and couldn't point out the problems with Limbaugh's answer. Limbaugh's answer was pretty rambling, but key points seem to be:

1) "Ronald Reagan fought for America. He loved America."

That's a strange defense, not only because it applies to Obama as much as to Reagan, but because a lot of people on the political right don't seem to have a lot of love for America, or at least not for their fellow Americans. The iconic example of this would be Sarah Palin, with her distinction between "real Americans" and the rest of us, but Rush Limbaugh plays to the same sentiment (or at least used to back when I listened to him).

2) "He feared where the left, based on history, wanted to take the country."

In other words, people on the right like Reagan due to identity politics.

3) "Ronald Reagan set the stage for the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan defeated Soviet communism without firing a shot."

Finally, an actual accomplishment, or at least a claimed accomplishment. I'd say that Truman's policy of containment set the stage for the end of the Cold War. By the time Reagan took office, the Soviet Union was in serious trouble. I can't think of anything that Reagan could have done that would have kept the Soviet Union from collapsing.

Posted by: Kenneth Almquist on February 6, 2011 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

It may be around already, but you people need to see this stuff:
http://newsjunkiepost.com/2011/02/06/the-disastrous-legacy-of-ronald-reagan-in-charts/

Posted by: neil b on February 6, 2011 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

Independent Voter,

Ummm. Last time I checked, under the Constitution Congress is empowered to raise taxes (or lower them). The President can veto, but it does no service to the separation of powers to say that Reagan raised taxes.

Reagan SIGNED seven large tax increases into law in eight years, two of which remain the largest tax increases in peacetime history.

How’s that work for ya ?


Posted by: Joe Friday on February 6, 2011 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

Over the last 146 years, exactly how many GOP presidents do contemporary Republican activists actually like? There's Reagan, and there's no one else.

Noted wingnut John Fund recently stated on Bill Maher that Calvin Coolidge was his favorite modern president (around four minute mark).

Posted by: ang on February 7, 2011 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, how I love to read you guys talking about Ronald Reagan. There were, indeed, tax increases during Reagan's time in office--many related to Continuing Resolutions, "Deficit reduction," Highway revenue, Social Security, etc. Most were tied to deals that guaranteed cuts in Discretionary Domestic spending. For the record, there were tax cuts of $275.3 Billion dollars, and Tax increases of $132.7 Billion dollars during his presidency, for a Net DECREASE of $142.6 Billion. Those are my kind of tax "increases."

Posted by: BillyBobSchranzberg on February 7, 2011 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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