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.