Wednesday, December 7, 2011

When Ronny says you're wrong

It has long been the habit of the GOP to equate themselves and their policies to Ronald Reagan. Reagan is heralded on the Right as the greatest conservative President of all time. "He cut taxes and stimulated the economy!" they say. "He slashed the size of government and we had an economic boom!" Unfortunately, neither of these assertions are true, and the Dems have shown a stronger adherence to Ron's policies than the new GOP.

Let's start by pointing out that Ronald Reagan cut taxes, but then raised them 11 times because of the recession he faced. He didn't just let deficits sit, but acted to pay them off. He raised capital gains, raised income, and raised estate taxes. It's true that Reagan cut the size of the government in some places, but he ballooned it in others, and the cuts he did make caused some serious problems. It was pretty clear that his small-government policies didn't actually do anything for the economy, but his tax policy did.

Today, Reagan is deified, and there is no conservative in office that doesn't fawn over him. In a recent debate, the question was posed like this to conservatives: "Aside from Ronald Reagan, who do you believe is the best President of America?" That pretty much sums up the mentality of the Right.

So what do the people of the Reagan administration think of the policies of the neo-cons? They don't seem to like them all that much. This article, written by a member of Reagan's administration, is a great example of how the Right has become incredibly conservative over the years, to the point where their own patron saint of conservatism would have balked at their policies and been labeled a socialist. It provides strong evidence for the conservative shift of politics in America in recent years/decades, and how the modern GOP is beyond the extreme of their predecessors.

The article points specifically to the GOP failing to support a bill that prolongs the tax cut on middle-class Americans that pays for it by adding a small surtax on millionaires. The argument by the GOP was that such a tax would effect job creation for small businesses, but the original bill had a special exemption for small businesses. They would get a similar tax cut to middle Americans on payrolls for new hires, a way to encourage job growth. In other words, the GOP stopped a bill that would have lowered taxes, and created jobs, to stand on the third leg of their mantra, which is to protect the interests of big business and the wealthy. If the roles had been reversed and the GOP had put forth this bill and the Dems had stopped it, we'd never hear the end of it. As it is, the GOP is trying to explain away their argument, and doing a very poor job of it at the moment.

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