Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tired of hearing about Reagan all the time.

It seems that every time someone on the right is asked to come up with an alternative for fixing the economy to President Obama's economic programs they invariably suggest that we do what Reagan did. It's always 'Reagan this, Reagan that.'

Of course they do have one point right. Reaganism has dominated the national paradigm for the past quarter century. Even Democrats were debating Republicans over who could do the best job of cutting taxes, deregulating businesses and shrinking the size of the government.

But what in the end has thirty years of Reagan dominated philosophy done for us? It has increased the national debt by 1300%, it included such lowlights as the S&L bailout (if you think that massive taxpayer bailouts of banks that made bad decisions about real estate were something new, they're not,) Michael Milken and the junk bond crisis, recessions beginning in 1991, 2001 and 2007, Enron and the present housing crisis that is requiring bank bailouts on a scale that dwarfs even the S&L bailouts.

In fact the only years during the Reagan era when we did have a balanced budget was following the CLINTON TAX INCREASE (that was also when we grew 20 million + jobs in only eight years.

Yet it seems that for some of these folks they have grown Reagan into some kind of infallible myth. It's been more than twenty years since the man left office (in fact young people registering today weren't even born when he left office) and the old twentieth century solutions of 'tax cut, trickle down, deregulate' just haven't worked in the 21st century (note that the Dow was down about 25% between January 20, 2001 (inauguration day when George W. Bush entered office) and the same date eight years later.

So it's time to apply some new, 21st century solutions. John McCain advocated for smaller government and more tax cuts. If that's what people want then that's what they could have voted for. But they didn't. They voted for a candidate who promised to raise taxes on the wealthy, pledged to implement real health care reform and promised to improve the environment through better government oversight.

The era of Reagan is now over. And after 28 years, none too soon.

3 comments:

cpmaz said...

Something tells me you just wrote your way off of the Club For Growth Christmas card list because of your heresy.

Oh wait...you weren't on the list anyway? Never mind. :))

Indy Voter said...

Here are some more points about Reagan that the slavering Reagan-idolaters don't like being reminded of:

(1) Reagan also agreed to tax increases in 1982 and 1983, and the 1986 "revenue-neutral" tax act was also revenue-positive. The '82 tax hike was the largest ever tax increase at the time.

(2) Reagan (and the Republican congresscritters of the era) worked with the Democrats to modify Social Security to preserve it rather than try to mortally wound it as was attempted by Bush and the Republican 109th Congress in 2005.

sandyh said...

Reagan was a flip flopper on major issues. One has to question the reason for the radical change in his middle years and who influenced him and why. Greed and money seems to be the answer.

And he was apparently a very ill man for much of his presidency. He was manipulated by all kinds of forces from astrology to the Oil Cartel. His Vice President and the neocons seem to be the major culprits.

Much of the myth, as is pointed out by Indy Voter, is a lie. His agenda and performance didn't practice what he preached at all.

But it really doesn't matter any longer because younger voters don't know who he was or even care. They must look at his movies and wonder what the big attraction was.

Besides, Bush has overtaken Reagan as the new icon of the conservative cause. He failed so miserable and in such a dramatic way that no myth will ever exist about Republican policies for at least a century.

It is interesting to go back and see the descrepencies between the Reagan myth and what he really did. That being said he was really a much better actor than those movies suggest.

You can't beat that crazy old grandfather performance for warmth and humor.