In dubious honor of a man who was once the President of the United States, here’s a list (from Think Progress) of how the GOP has completely rewritten the truth of their venerable champion into something that resembles a freakish stroke lad in a Neo-Con Fan-fic rag (wipe that visual from your data banks!).
1. Reagan was a serial tax raiser
As governor of California, Reagan “signed into law the largest tax increase in the history of any state up till then.” Meanwhile, state spending nearly doubled. As president, Reagan “raised taxes in seven of his eight years in office,” including four times in just two years. As former GOP Senator Alan Simpson, who called Reagan “a dear friend,” told NPR, “Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times in his administration — I was there.” “Reagan was never afraid to raise taxes,” said historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited Reagan’s memoir. Reagan the anti-tax zealot is “false mythology,” Brinkley said.
2. Reagan nearly tripled the federal budget deficit.
During the Reagan years, the debt increased to nearly $3 trillion, “roughly three times as much as the first 80 years of the century had done altogether.” Reagan enacted a major tax cut his first year in office and government revenue dropped off precipitously. Despite the conservative myth that tax cuts somehow increase revenue, the government went deeper into debt and Reagan had to raise taxes just a year after he enacted his tax cut. Despite ten more tax hikes on everything from gasoline to corporate income, Reagan was never able to get the deficit under control.
3. Unemployment soared after Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts.
4. Reagan grew the size of the federal government tremendously
5. Reagan did little to fight a woman’s right to chose.
6. Reagan was a “bellicose peacenik.”
7. Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants.
8. Reagan illegally funneled weapons to Iran.
9. Reagan vetoed a comprehensive anti-Apartheid act.
10. Reagan helped create the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.
I remember Reagan being full of shit. I remember how he threw handfuls of his staff under the bus during Iran/Contra. I remember the union busting that was the foundation for the current GOP’s war on the working class. I remember how he used to say one thing and do another.
But now I remember, in hindsight, his being a duplicitous president – or – a president used by his neo-con buddies during his Alzheimer disease to further their insane vision of the world at war – regardless, Reagan was a liar and a fraud, and is directly responsible for nearly all the bad behavior of the modern Republican Party.He began the mass sale of jobs to the third world that Newt and the gang perfected in the 90’s. He negotiated with terrorists, and committed treason.
In the classic “I learned it from watching YOU, Dad!” cliche, the modern GOP finds no problem AT ALL with lying to get ahead, to character assassination to win, to making shit up – bumper sticker sized – to lull their gullible base with “no-think” platitudes and slogans – taking thought completely out of the process of being a GOP voter.
Reagan made the GOP dumber, meaner and soulless.*
I did, however, appreciate how he talked about America, to Americans. It was crap, sure – American Exceptionalism at it’s most craptastic, but, as a kid, even a kid who paid attention to politics and knew Reagan was a liar – I liked how much he liked talking about America.
So, happy birthday, asshole. I’m sure your corner of hell is extra special. Your legacy lives on as a political doctrine of ever changing bullshit and lies – your life a malleable tableau of other people’s bad ideas.
*Democrats … well, they still have no one to blame but themselves.