Pro-Gun Safety, Pro Tax-Increasing, Pro Borrow-and-Spend Ronald Reagan would be no more welcome in today’s GOP than Jesus would be welcome in the elaborate, tax-exempt evangelical compounds where wealthy televangelists exploit the elderly, the frightened, the sick and the plain old suckers that follow them. And one of the most infuriating aspects to GOP lies today is that Ronald Reagan is held up as some sort of adored, religious figure when it comes to the supposed foundations of their conservative ideology.
Ronald Reagan was pro gun control. He tried to ban assault weapons. He was a deficit spender beyond belief (He was even quoted correctly by Dick (Darth) Cheney as saying deficits don’t matter). Hardly the stuff of conservative legends. He raised taxes eleven times and still increased the national debt by 300% during his tenure. He even implemented the largest single Social Security/Medicare tax increase in history, to ostensibly cover the human wave of Baby Boomers who would one day hit retirement.
Then he went about spending not only that new influx of taxes, but went on such a spending spree that he had to raise taxes 10 more times in an effort to fund his runaway spending. Seven out of his eight years in office, President Reagan raised taxes.
By today’s standards, the Gipper would easily qualify for status as a back-stabbing, treacherous RINO [Republican in Name Only].
Yet every weekday morning, Joe Scarborough, drones on rudely and inaccurately about “entitlement” reform (while whispering defense waste reform). He obsesses over the national debt without having even a basic understanding of how macro-economics works. Of course, most Americans don’t either, so he exploits that weakness with his consistent drivel about the dangers of government borrowing. Surrounded by his “Yes-peeps” he rarely shows his face when someone knowledgeable shows up on his show, the with the cowardice of most Republicans, he attacks them in print or in tweets. Ostensibly so that his right-wing “buddies” in Congress won’t freeze him out of their insider meetings.
God forbid we reform the outrageous $2.50 we patients and insurance companies pay for each aspirin that hospitals charge us. No, we must penalize our elderly and ill rather than reform the system that’s causing the real problem…price gouging by the for-profit medical industry.
It’s even against the law for Medicare, the single largest re-seller of life-saving pharmaceuticals in the world, to negotiate prices. Wal-Mart, Walgreens or CVS can and do, but not Medicare! It’s prohibited by law. Of course the GOP insists that it’s Medicare that’s the problem, not price-gouging by big pharmaceuticals, or over-testing doctors who own the testing equipment, the clinics, and lease them back to each other at the expense of Medicare. Odd how the very best hospitals in the country pay their doctors by the hour and do not allow such crooked bill carousels that Medicare has to pay.
It’s either stupidity or ignorance for the likes of Joe Scarborough to come along now and blame Democrats for not being willing to penalize the very people that have paid this extra tax that President Reagan implemented in 1983, because of reckless and sometimes treasonous spending of Republican administrations while blaming the Democrats.
In his State of the Union Address, 1983, President Reagan called for many of the exact same actions that President Obama has called for, except that the Reaganites call President Obama a “tax-and-spend” liberal while they refer to President Reagan as a “conservative icon”.
1–Here are a few quotes from President Reagan’s State of the Union speech in 1983. See if they sound like something you would hear from today’s GOP or President Obama:
- When the Speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader, and I performed the bipartisan — or formed the bipartisan Commission on Social Security, pundits and experts predicted that party divisions and conflicting interests would prevent the Commission from agreeing on a plan to save social security. Well, sometimes, even here in Washington, the cynics are wrong. Through compromise and cooperation, the members of the Commission overcame their differences and achieved a fair, workable plan. They proved that, when it comes to the national welfare, Americans can still pull together for the common good.
- There are elements in it, of course, that none of us prefers, but taken together it performs a package that all of us can support. It asks for some sacrifice by all — the self-employed, beneficiaries, workers, government employees, and the better-off among the retired — but it imposes an undue burden on none. And, in supporting it, we keep an important pledge to the American people: The integrity of the social security system will be preserved, and no one’s payments will be reduced.
The SS fund was supposedly increased via a payroll tax increase in 1983 by conservative icon Ronald Reagan. In selling the plan to America, Reagan specifically designated the need for the increase in order to cover the Baby Boomers that have begun retiring recently. In Reagan’s subsequent address to the nation, he allowed House Leader, Republican Senator Howard Baker to proclaim the following in raising taxes to continue necessary funding of Social Security and Medicare
- “It is perhaps one of the littlest noticed but most important aspects of the civility of American Government that on occasion we rise above politics: we rise above confrontation; and we address, on a bipartisan basis the great challenges and issues that confront the Republic. Sometimes it’s been on issues of war and peace. Sometimes it has been on issues of the rights and opportunities of minorities and individuals within our country, once on the salvation of the Union itself.
- But there’s a uncanny understanding in the American political system that sometimes there are issues that are more important than any of us, or perhaps all of us, taken together. The preservation of the social security system is one of those issues. And in the uniquely American way, those of us who participate in government, Republicans and Democrats together, public and private citizens, gathered together and subordinated our own views to those of the welfare of the majority.
- Mr. President, I commend you, sir. I commend the members of this Commission. I commend my colleagues in the Congress, the committees directly involved, and those members who are so intimately involved in this sensitive political issue on a successful conclusion of another chapter in the real greatness of the American political system; that is, the subordination of our own particular political ambition in favor of the greater good.”
2—Another passage from that 1983 State of the Union Address by President Reagan:
- “Nearly half a century ago, in this Chamber, another American President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in his second State of the Union message, urged America to look to the future, to meet the challenge of change and the need for leadership that looks forward, not backward.
- “Throughout the world,” he said, “change is the order of the day. In every nation economic problems long in the making have brought crises to [of] many kinds for which the masters of old practice and theory were unprepared.” He also reminded us that “the future lies with those wise political leaders who realize that the great public is interested more in Government than in politics.”
- So, let us, in these next 2 years — men and women of both parties, every political shade — concentrate on the long-range, bipartisan responsibilities of government, not the short-range or short-term temptations of partisan politics.
- The problems we inherited were far worse than most inside and out of government had expected; the recession was deeper than most inside and out of government had predicted. Curing those problems has taken more time and a higher toll than any of us wanted. Unemployment is far too high. Projected Federal spending — if government refuses to tighten its own belt — will also be far too high and could weaken and shorten the economic recovery now underway. (Now I know that line would drive today’s conservatives crazy)
- This recovery will bring with it a revival of economic confidence and spending for consumer items and capital goods — the stimulus we need to restart our stalled economic engines. The American people have already stepped up their rate of saving, assuring that the funds needed to modernize our factories and improve our technology will once again flow to business and industry.
Reagan ran up huge debts with tax cuts to the wealthy, which he funded with IOUs to the Social Security Trust Fund. Then, after President H.W. Bush moderately added to the deficit, President Clinton managed to squeeze out a government surplus, which he handed over to George W. Bush.
Things went a tad askew from there. GWB spent the surplus by issuing a two rounds of Income tax cuts ( as did George W. Bush), then proceeded to drive the debt into the stratosphere by fighting two unnecessary wars with IOUs to, yes, the Social Security Trust Fund, out of guilt and to distract the publics attentions that it was under his and Darth Cheney’s watch that the worst terrorist attack in history occurred on the continental United States.
Conservatives gripe publicly about having to borrow from China to pay for this spending spree under President Obama, which is not actual spending, but a combination of the massive reduction in taxes collected from out-of-work Americans brought on by Bush’s economic collapse, and the increase in outlays for unemployment and foodstamps for the same reason.
But it’s OBAMA’S spending? Please. What hypocrisy.
One last item. It makes absolutely NO sense to tax the most vulnerable and lower-income families for Social Security and Medicare while the high-income earners are exempt from doing so. Again, our system is backwards.
At the very least, there should be no cap on earnings subject to Social Security. Why on earth would we exempt wages and net earnings over $113K from Social Security and Medicare? It’s stupid, it’s unfair, and it should be changed…..immediately.
And with gleeful hypocrisy, the GOP, rants on with their lies.