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WaPo - How would Ronald Reagan have fared at last night’s GOP debate?


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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/2011/08/25/gIQAx6vECK_blog.html?hpid=z1

There’s no doubt who won last night’s Republican presidential debate: Ronald Reagan. He even got a montage set to the Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony. But the funny thing is that if the actual Ronald Reagan had been on that stage defending his actual record, he would almost certainly have lost. In fact, he would have been destroyed.

The real Ronald Reagan was a conservative. There’s no doubt about that. But he was also a pragmatist. After cutting taxes dramatically in 1981 only to see deficits rise dramatically, Reagan began rapidly raising taxes: In 1982, he signed into law a tax increase that wiped out a third of his tax cut. In 1983, he agreed to a gasoline tax for infrastructure investment and, in 1984, another $50 billion tax hike. All in all, between 1982 and 1984, he raised taxes four times to help tamp down deficits.

Then there was the tax reform act of 1986, which raised corporate taxes. When William Niskanen, Reagan’s chief economic adviser, heard about the plan, he said, “Walter Mondale would have been proud.” And there were the Social Security reforms, which raised taxes on the Social Security benefits of high-income retirees. Oh, and under Reagan, the federal government’s payroll rose by 61,000. Under Clinton, payrolls fell by 370,000.

I want to be very clear: My point isn’t to suggest that Reagan was some closet liberal. This is still the president who signed one of the largest tax cuts in history. My point is to say Reagan was a conservative who was willing to compromise with reality. And that’s not something I heard a lot of on the stage last night.

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Reagan was labeled a idiot back in the day and too extreme.

my how times have changed

Sounds like after Reagan was in office, actually implemented some of the more "extreme" measures that he campaigned on, and saw the results having a negative impact he was pragmatic enough to modify his stances and temper the huge tax cuts with later tax increases. Do you really think that any of the current Republican nominees out there would have the intestinal fortitude to do that? Or could get beyond their ideologies? Maybe, but in looking at who is up there and how rabid their base has become I have a hard time believing it, personally.

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Reagan was labeled a idiot back in the day and too extreme.

my how times have changed

Not that much has changed. The GOP keeps going in the same idiotic/extreme direction. :pfft:

(but yeah, Reagan does get credit for recognizing some problems and making some corrections)

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Sounds like after Reagan was in office, actually implemented some of the more "extreme" measures that he campaigned on, and saw the results having a negative impact he was pragmatic enough to modify his stances and temper the huge tax cuts with later tax increases. Do you really think that any of the current Republican nominees out there would have the intestinal fortitude to do that? Or could get beyond their ideologies? Maybe, but in looking at who is up there and how rabid their base has become I have a hard time believing it, personally.

Why yes I do, at least two of them....one other one is capable,but I'm not certain he has true ideologies :)

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Why yes I do, at least two of them....one other one is capable,but I'm not certain he has true ideologies :)

Which candidates do you think would have the gumption to stand up to the Tea Partiers and say something like "Ok, these tax breaks I implemented are having deleterious effects. I'm going to propose some tax increases to offset the deficit problems they seem to be causing" given how most of the candidates are actively running head first with the Tea Party themes as a core part of their campaign?

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Why is Regan held up as some sort of Champion to Republicans?

I get that his spending bankrupted the USSR and won us the Cold War but are we in a Cold War today?

And didn't Regan bust up legal unions and overspend the budget so much that it started the fall out that got us here where we are today?

And didn't the last two years of his term in office (which is 25% of his time there) see him completely lose touch with reality with his altimers?

I really don't understand why followers of this idiology hold him up like this

And for that matter

Why do Democrats hold up Bill Clinton with the same regard?

This was the man who was almost impreached after he lied to a grand jury about his "improper" relations with that woman and embarrassed the country

And this was the man who went in with guns blazing to pass health care reform and fail miserably

And the country was attacked under his watch and he let Osama off the hook when he had him which directly led to 911

I don't get why people who follow that idiology think so highly of him either

In answering the question, I think all you would have heard from Regan was the sounds he makes when he's aslseep..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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Which candidates do you think would have the gumption to stand up to the Tea Partiers and say something like "Ok, these tax breaks I implemented are having deleterious effects. I'm going to propose some tax increases to offset the deficit problems they seem to be causing" given how most of the candidates are actively running head first with the Tea Party themes as a core part of their campaign?

All three Governors have the stones imo

I do think you err by reducing it to just tax increases though,more than one way to skin a cat.

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And for that matter

Why do Democrats hold up Bill Clinton with the same regard?

I don't think we do.

Most Democrats see Clinton as a good president who was the first Democrat to complete two full terms since FDR. Most Democrats praise his political skill and are obviously pleased with the results of his eight years. But, no one praises him as some great liberal champion or a saint.

He failed on national healthcare. He signed welfare reform. He was far too eager to embrace center-right Third Way policies when he did not need to do so. And he had no self control in his personal life, which ultimately cost Gore the term that would have solidified the gains of the Clinton years and prevented the disasters of the W years.

I'm generally positive on Clinton, but you will never hear a Democrat treat him the way Republicans do now. Hell, we don't even treat JFK that way.

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Candidate Reagan would have finished middle of the pack last night, actual President Reagan would have been called a RINO and booed off the stage. With the exception of Huntsman (and maybe Romney when he isn't trying to pander to the teabaggers) this is a platform of wingnuts and loons that have no clue about how things work in the real world.

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Why is Regan held up as some sort of Champion to Republicans?

I get that his spending bankrupted the USSR and won us the Cold War but are we in a Cold War today?

.....

i hear that all the time... but i have never seen it actually supported. I may be wrong (once again, i would like to see the evidence) but it is my understanding that soviet military budgets consistently either basically held the line or moderately decreased during the time period when they were supposedly bankrupting themselves to responf to the Reagan military build -up....

what actually DID happen was that their revenues disappeared. Russia then, as today, is entirely dependent upon oil. It is Saudi Arabia north. Oil prices collapsed in the 1980s because of the Iran Iraq war, and as a result the USSR's revenues collapsed, and then their budget colapsed. If you look at USSR military spending AS A PROPORTION of the total budget, it soared in the 1980s---- but that is not the same thing at all.

---------- Post added September-9th-2011 at 03:53 PM ----------

I would just like to point out that both of you are full of ****. Dems love them some Clinton.

there is the clear odor of ***** here, but i think you have the source misplaced :)

Dems may love 'em some Clinton... but to imply that scale is ANYTHING close to the Republican deification of Reagan is simpy absurd.

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Clinton lost me when he refused to endorse free needle programs. He acknowledged it was better policy from an HIV spreading perspective. He acknowledged the CDC report showing on average every dollar spent providing free needles saved the government more than a dollar in costs incurred to the government. He said it was good science, but he wasn't going to champion it because it was bad politics. That decision is when he lost me.

Years later I read about the position his administration and every one since on the issue of preserving patent law on life saving meds. Morally, I have a very hard time supporting the drug companies as they allow millions to die while hiding behind our patent law, and they abuse even those with new applications leading to additional lengths for existing patents. People hung up on abortions should look at the millions dieing every year from lack of access to HIV drugs or malaria drugs or ....We could do better, I will say Clinton was a good to very good president when it comes to politics. As a leader of the richest most powerful country, he didn't lead us to do great things with what we had. (my oppinion only)

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