Ronald Reagan true myths

Image Hosted by Newsweek March 9, 1987

Five myths about Ronald Reagan’s legacy

Friday, February 4, 2011

On Sunday, America celebrates the , whose presidency is a touchstone for the modern conservative movement. In 2011, it is virtually impossible for a major Republican politician to succeed without citing Reagan as a role model. But much of what today’s voters think they know about the is more myth than reality, misconceptions resulting from the passage of time or from calculated attempts to rebuild or remake Reagan’s legacy. So, what are we getting wrong about the Gipper?

1. Reagan was one of our most popular presidents.
It’s true that Reagan is popular more than two decades after leaving office. A CNN/Opinion Research poll last month gave him the third-highest approval rating among presidents of the past 50 years, behind John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton. But Reagan’s average approval rating during the eight years that he was in office was nothing spectacular – 52.8 percent, according to Gallup. That places the 40th president not just behind Kennedy, Clinton and Dwight Eisenhower, but also Lyndon Johnson and George H.W. Bush, neither of whom are talked up as candidates for Mount Rushmore.

During his presidency, Reagan’s popularity had high peaks – after the attempt on his life in 1981, for example – and huge valleys. In 1982, as the national unemployment rate spiked above 10 percent, Reagan’s approval rating fell to 35 percent. At the height of the Iran-Contra scandal, nearly one-third of Americans wanted him to resign.

In the early 1990s, shortly after Reagan left office, several polls found even the much-maligned Jimmy Carter to be more popular. Only since Reagan’s 1994 disclosure that he had Alzheimer’s disease – along with lobbying efforts by conservatives, such as ’s , which pushed to rename Washington’s National Airport for the president – has his popularity steadily climbed.

2. Reagan was a tax-cutter.

Certainly, Reagan’s boldest move as president was his 1981 tax cut, a sweeping measure that slashed the marginal rate on the wealthiest Americans from 70 percent to 50 percent. The legislation also included smaller cuts in lower tax brackets, as well as big breaks for corporations and the oil industry. But the following year, as the economy was mired in recession and the federal deficit was spiraling out of control, even groups such as the Business Roundtable lobbied Reagan to raise taxes. And he did: The was, at the time, the largest peacetime tax increase in U.S. history.

Ultimately, Reagan signed measures that increased federal taxes every year of his two-term presidency except the first and the last. These included a higher gasoline levy, a 1986 tax reform deal that included the largest corporate tax increase in American history, and a substantial raise in payroll taxes in 1983 as part of a deal to keep Social Security solvent. While wealthy Americans benefitted from Reagan’s tax policies, blue-collar Americans paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes when Reagan left office than when he came in.

3. Reagan was a hawk.

Long before he was elected president, Reagan predicted that the Soviet Union would collapse because of communism’s inherent corruption and inefficiency. His forecast proved accurate, but it is not clear that his military buildup moved the process forward. Though Reagan expanded the U.S. military and launched new weapons programs, his real contributions to the end of the Cold War were his willingness to negotiate arms reductions with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and his encouragement of Gorbachev as a domestic reformer. Indeed, a USA Today poll taken four days after the fall of the Berlin Wall found that 43 percent of Americans credited Gorbachev, while only 14 percent cited Reagan.

With the exception of the , Reagan also disappointed hawkish aides with his unwillingness to retaliate militarily for terrorism in the Middle East. According to biographer Lou Cannon, the president called the death of innocent civilians in anti-terror operations “terrorism itself.”

In 1987, Reagan aide Paul Bremer, later George W. Bush’s point man in Baghdad, even argued that terrorism suspects should be tried in civilian courts. “A major element of our strategy has been to delegitimize terrorists, to get society to see them for what they are – criminals – and to use democracy’s most potent tool, the rule of law, against them,” Bremer said. In 1988, Reagan signed the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which stated that torture could be used under “no exceptional circumstances, whatsoever.”

4. Reagan shrank the federal government.

Reagan famously declared at his 1981 inauguration that “in the present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” This rhetorical flourish didn’t stop the 40th president from increasing the federal government’s size by every possible measure during his eight years in office.

Federal spending grew by an average of 2.5 percent a year, adjusted for inflation, while Reagan was president. The national debt exploded, increasing from about $700 billion to nearly $3 trillion. Many experts believe that Reagan’s massive deficits not only worsened the recession of the early 1990s but doomed his successor, George H.W. Bush, to a one-term presidency by forcing him to abandon his “no new taxes” pledge.

The number of federal employees grew from 2.8 million to 3 million under Reagan, in large part because of his buildup at the Pentagon. (It took the Democratic administration of President Bill Clinton to trim the employee rolls back to 2.7 million.) Reagan also abandoned a campaign pledge to get rid of two Cabinet agencies – Energy and Education – and added a new one, Veterans Affairs.

5. Reagan was a conservative culture warrior.

Reagan’s contributions to the culture wars of the 1980s were largely rhetorical and symbolic. Although he published a book in 1983 about his staunch opposition to abortion (overlooking the fact that he had legalized abortion in California as governor in the late 1960s), he never sought a constitutional ban on abortion. In fact, Reagan began the odd practice of speaking to anti-abortion rallies by phone instead of in person – a custom continued by subsequent Republican presidents. He also advocated prayer in public schools in speeches, but never in legislation.

In 1981, Reagan unintentionally did more than any other president to prevent the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling from being overturned when he appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court. O’Connor mostly upheld abortion rights during her 25 years as a justice.

No wonder that home-schooling advocate Michael Ferris was one of many right-wing activists complaining about Reagan by the end of his presidency, writing that his White House “offered us a bunch of political trinkets.”

Will Bunch is the author of “: The Right-Wing Distortion of the Reagan Legacy.” He is a senior writer for the Philadelphia Daily News and a senior fellow with Media Matters for America.

dyst wrote:

When I think of Reagan, I think of those frigid 6 months after his inauguration as he cut funds to places like St. Elizabeth’s facility to allow the poor and infirm be caught by that imaginary “safety net” of support services for the poor, sick, or mentally ill.
I remember the landscaped parks in front of State and Treasury Dept and other federal bldgs filling day by day with the displaced, sick, festering, disoriented people released from St. E’s. 5 days a week, I walked by these grates as each month after Reagan’s inauguration, and every day, more and more dazed, frightened people seemed to appear in the park.
I think there was no greater justice than Reagan’s long disability from Alzheimer’s (although he reclined in luxury and 24 hour comfort). I hope it was somehow unpleasant, but I doubt it was. I’ve also wondered that more USA citizens were not outraged to learn his physician had diagnosed him with this condition in his first years as president.
Guess between his own dementia, and his famous optimism for America, he forgot to notice those people suffering on the grates.
2/5/2011 5:53:43 PM

funkey wrote:
gotta love bill cantillon. just makes statements up and treats them as fact. his own fantasy world…
2/5/2011 5:48:22 PM

manbearpig4 wrote:
So now the WaPost is giving space to Media Matters dumpster divers?
Heckofajob WaPost.
Here’s 5 myths about Will Bunch:
1. He is intelligent
2. He has any character
3. He is truthful
4. He is worthy to even contemplate President Reagan
5. He is worth this post
2/5/2011 5:46:01 PM

Mikeystyle wrote:
Reagan’s best qualities are exactly what Sarah Palin and the Tea/GOP are against: he was friends with Tip O’Neil, willing to compromise and raised taxes to tackle the debt (after tripling it first).
2/5/2011 5:37:37 PM

TrueLies2 wrote:
You can try to drown the American people with whatever lies (truth) you can think of (history), the bottom line is that Reagan:
1) took the lead of American forces storming Beirut in response to the attack on our soldiers.
Armed with just a bible and his Colt .45, bare-chested and brazen, the Gipper single-handedly ran the commie muslims out of their hiding places. What gets lost in this great account (fable), is that St Ronny got these heathens to their knees, and instead of ripping their heads off, personally accepted their converstion to xtianity. (first miracle for the beatification)
2) Ron remained devout to his one and only true love (himself), to the day he died. What ‘mommy’, as he typically referred to Nancy, the female that broke up his holy marriage, will soon disclose? Ron had very odd sexual tendencies- the term ‘mommy’ was a pseudonym for ‘your most heavenliness, Mistress Nancy’ (true!) After all, Ronny was an actor, and y’all know what those Hollywood types are about.
3) Darkforce, Reagan’s baptismal name as a member of the Church of Disciples- allegedly a Satanic cult founded in Peoria,, did all he could, akin to the closet gay preachers (and politicians) who strike out at the very essense of who they are- to show he was mucho macho. When work got slow in Hollywood, Darkforce, er- Ron, ventured to Brazil, where he starred in a number of B movies- one including his costar, Betty Page.
4) Ronaldo (as he really liked to be called after his Brazilian movie days) loved a good yarn. In fact (true), he offered his comments to Tom Clancy’s textbook of terrorism (fiction) that detailed how to hijack a commercial airliner to attack key American targets. (way to go Tom; rumor has it that he became a person of interest by the Bush2 DOJ).
5) St Sarah is allegedly the love child of Ronaldo and Jean Kirkpatrick (or was that Stapleto?). Not the typical fling though- the coupling was moderated by aliens. She just recently found out the truth, which is the REAL reason she abdicated her duties.
2/5/2011 5:25:50 PM

Billcantillon wrote:
3 Soviet Gulag prisoners are sharing stories of how they got there:
Prisoner 1 says, “I came to work five minutes late and was accused of sabotage.”
Prisoner 2 says, “I came to work five minutes early and was accused of spying.”
Prisoner 3 says, “I came to work on time and was accused of being a Swiss secret agent.”
You leftists can thank Reagan and other Republicans for defeating the Soviet Union.
Or you can continue being ignorant leftists.
2/5/2011 5:23:45 PM

Dornage wrote:
While every bit of this is true, it’s exactly what happens to every presidency, let alone history in general.
People revere JFK because he was assassinated. The article even pointed out Reagan’s popularity soared after his attempted assassination. JFK’s successful one left a permanent positive rating. The man’s arrogance nearly had us all killed. He also began the pointless massacre of Americans in Vietnam. Bush is hated for a handful of military deaths by comparison. Had he survived, he would have been vilified worse than Nixon ever was.
And Clinton? Really? The great power that was America’s last heyday economically was built upon scams and corruption. Does he take that blame? Nope.
Forty years from now it’s unimaginable what Bush & Obama’s legacy will become. At present, neither should fair well. History has a way of erasing errors or amplifying them. Only time can tell.
2/5/2011 5:15:36 PM

Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief wrote:
quoting a CNN poll… and an article in the Washington Post as the medium… is like asking Al Queda if the US is full of infidels and then seeing the results on Al Jazeera.
You are asking a crazy lunatic fringe element the answer to a question you already know their opinion of.
Your CNN polls have been shown to intenionally skew the sample by whatever margin you want to present. They are meaningless, or worse… intentional propaganda.
Will this paper ever report news again?
Fabricating stories and promoting a liberal agenda designed to destroy the Constitutional Democratic Republic is not what a newspaper does… Unless you are the Pravda on the Potomoc (Washington Post)
2/5/2011 5:00:14 PM

Assvendas wrote:
NetRing Brazilians BY REAGAN
2/5/2011 4:58:31 PM

newagent99 wrote:
raggun.. worst president til bush and obama.
2/5/2011 4:43:26 PM

billcantillon wrote:
SupportAndDefendTheConstitution wrote: “The author is a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, an organization whose sole purpose is to tear down Republicans and rail against FoxNews.”
That goes without saying when you’re talking about WAPO writers (except for George and Charles.)
2/5/2011 4:39:11 PM

CamachoR1 wrote:
I noticed some folks here claiming the Berlin Wall and the USSR both came down “on Reagan’s watch”–not true.
* Reagan left office Jan ’89
* Berlin Wall came down Nov ’89 (Bush I was President, does he not deserve any credit?)
* USSR dissolves Dec ’91 (again during Bush I Presidency)
As all Presidents since FDR, Reagan did have a hand in USSR’s demise. He didn’t do it single-handedly and revisionists need to get their timelines straight.
2/5/2011 4:36:41 PM

mehuwss wrote:
And as opposed to many of the Republicans who hail Reagan’s legacy, Reagan was immigrant friendly and legalized several million illegal immigrants.
2/5/2011 4:36:12 PM

SupportAndDefendTheConstitution wrote:
I have to laugh at a lot of these comments. Liberals would have us believe they are the cerebral ones but the whole “Republicans bad, Democrats good” thing isn’t the most nuanced position.
This opinion piece is hardly surprising. The author is a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, an organization whose sole purpose is to tear down Republicans and rail against FoxNews.
2/5/2011 4:35:24 PM

billcantillon wrote:
dnahatch1 wrote: “Ever heard of China, the communist nation we must now grovel before because Reaganomics has destroyed our economy”
Leftism destroted the economy, not Reaganomics.
China adopted captialism, partially because of Reagan’s defeat of the U.S.S.R.
Next leftist fallacy?
2/5/2011 4:23:56 PM

bebahru1 wrote:
A current PBS documentary is more revealing than this well written article.
Hold on to your seat! Before being employed by corporate giant General Electric, RR was a union supporting liberal Democrat. How can this truth be squared with a President who was a union buster (aircraft controllers) and had no empathy for the poor. Yet, RR claimed to be Christian! The Republicans needed an actor to pull the wool over our eyes and they succeeded following the pattern of General Electric.
2/5/2011 4:22:10 PM

Draesop wrote:
Reagan, to me, is synonymous with “constructive engagement” with the murderous apartheid regime in South Africa and the entertainment of an Angolan rebel elader in the White House while American-made explosives were being used to kill and disable innocent Angolans through the use of land mines. I can understand rich white and racist America wanting to put Reagan’s name in that little sentence about “we”, “trust” and God.
“Mr Gorbahev, tear down these walls” is just part of a hyped up collection of bovine feathers meant to neutralize some of the facts like the puerile use of American resources in South America and the age and illness related loss of intellectual abilities while ‘the most powerful amn in the world’. I read Aesop’s Fables, Grimms Fairy Tales,Hans Christian Andersen and a host of novels. I learned from them but did not take them as actual occurrences once I matured. President Reagan did well for himself with his gifts. He was absolutely no help to America.
2/5/2011 4:20:30 PM

billcantillon wrote:
Here’s the book that tells the truth about Reagan:

2/5/2011 4:19:02 PM

DrainYou wrote:
The millionaires and billionaires, who saw their U.S. tax rates plummet while Reagan was in the Oval Office (unlike blue-collar workers, who actually paid more to the government by the time Reagan left office, thanks to a hike in the payroll tax), are just one part of the most calculated myth-making machine in American history.
During his time in office, Reagan was a divisive figure with very average approval ratings, who started his eight-year run with a surge in unemployment and ended with a scandal (Iran-Contra) so serious that nearly a third of Americans thought he should resign. It was the 1980s, when the fictional words of Gordon Gekko that “greed is good” rang true for too many Americans, when a disastrous deregulation of the savings-and-loan industry foreshadowed the financial mayhem done in Reagan’s name.
Reagan is also the Bonzo responsible for people on unemployment having to pay Federal Taxes on their checks. As if it’s not insulting enough to be on unemployment to begin with, that man was responsible for cutting it even further. He let the Fairness Doctrine expire – thus paving the way for FAUX News. He seems to have overturned the Sherman Anti-Trust act, allowing the resurgence of monopolies not long after the Federally mandated breakup of AT&T.
Repugs – TEAR DOWN THIS MYTH !!!!.
2/5/2011 4:18:47 PM

RepubliCult wrote:
There are more than 5 myths to expose, a clearer understanding of his deeds and words must include:

- Reagan’s election was based largely on his tough stand against terrorism, reiterated forcefully throughout his campaign, and as emphatically stated here in the final 1980 presidential debate where he promised, “NO Negotiations with terrorists of any kind!” This turned out to be an astonishingly great lie, as we learned in 1986 Reagan had not only been negotiating with Iranian terrorists for years, he had in fact caved-in to their demands, resulting in Reagan secretly supplying our military weapons to the only terrorist regime on earth that chanted, “Death to America!” – Talk about a “Great Capitulator!” At least part of his legacy on this at the very least is the almost nuclear Iran.

- Wag the Dog! In 1983 Reagan disarmed the Marines while ordering them into Beirut, as he forbid them to load bullets in their guns! This was a first for an American Commander In Chief: Disarming the men in his own armed forces. When 241 Marines died as they were unable to defend themselves against an attacker, and then the news media began to broadcast footage of the horrible disaster that included the US troops who were guarding the barracks saying they couldn’t have bullets in their guns (!!!), Reagan went into full “Wag The Dog” mode. Grenada was invaded, killing mainly innocent civilians, but the news media loved an American military victory. Then Reagan went on TV to mislead America about the circumstances of the Marine’s barracks bombing, declaring to the nation that the Marines fired their guns at their attacker (not true). Having been the very commander who ordered Marines into Beirut with unloaded weapons, Reagan knew better, but it would look more favorable upon him to spin a lie and give grieving Americans some solace with a false belief that these Marines put up a valiant fight with the enemy. He shifted the focus off Beirut. It worked, the news media and the people bought it, every news story was about Grenada, and “Wag the Dog” was a resounding success! I firmly believe that had a democratic president ever behaved in this way he would have been evicted from office, yet the GOP completely ignores this tragedy of his presidency. They never talk about it. It should be widely known that Reagan is the originator of the “Wag the Dog” ploy to distract the American people and media from what is really happening. Wag the Dog was him switching the national focus to Grenada and away from Beirut. I also believe the case can be made that Reagan’s entire presidency was “Wagging the Dog” to distract and mislead Americans on what he was doing to the country, as he projected a facade of “sunny optimism” while selling our future to corporations and bankrupting our treasury.

- He is most famous for having barked at the Berlin wall in Germany, “Tear down this wall!” And ever since, the GOP has tried to claim him all the credit for the years hard work and sacrifice by so many others in Russia, Poland, Western Europe, and the multitude of fellow Americans for changing the Soviet Union. As if angrily shouting at a wall could ever pass for courageous leadership and truly affect change, I challenge any GOP and Tea Party member to stand in front of any real – or metaphorical – wall and shout sound bites. Then let’s all just see what does NOT happen… At the walls on our southern border shout at Mexico, “Don’t cross this wall!”, or on Wall Street or our inner cities shout, “Stop robbing people now!”, or back to those same inner cities, “Don’t ever shoot people!” Won’t work because affecting major change, and toppling governments, does not come merely from angry sound bites, it never ever has.

- Under Reagan “We outspent the Soviet Union, which caused it’s collapse.” Hardly. We outspent everyone else in the world too! Yet no other country collapsed. Ironically, it now appears we are the ones who seem about to collapse! Another irony is that if it is ever proven that such massive Federal deficit spending really does solve our problems, the main tenet of conservatism is disproved!
- Ever since Ronald Reagan employed appealing to visceral anger and famously issuing threats like The Dirty Harry Remedy , “Go ahead make my day!”, which he barked at members of Congress, conservatives have tried to out-Reagan each other with their statements laced with anger and violent language. To “card carrying members of the Reagan Cult”, ever since Reagan authorized and utilized such language, it’s forever okay for these Reagan worshipers to continue to do the same. No other president had heretofore threatened congress with lethal force for disagreeing with him, until Reagan.
-AIDS crisis
-October Surprise
-Reagan inherited a country free of gangs, but left office with violent gangs infesting nearly every town and city across the country, and “Random violence” “drive by shootings” being all too common.
+ so much more!
2/5/2011 4:18:40 PM

Obama_TRAITOR_in_Chief wrote:

quoting a CNN poll… and an article in the Washington Post as the medium… is like asking Al Queda if the US is full of infidels and then seeing the results on Al Jazeera.
You are asking a crazy lunatic fringe element the answer to a question you already know their opinion of.
Will this paper ever report news again?
Fabricating stories and promoting a liberal agenda designed to destroy the Constitutional Democratic Republic is not what a newspaper does… Unless you are the Pravda on the Potomoc (Washington post)2/5/2011 11:41:40 AM

geo030865 wrote:
I think the real difference between republicans and liberals is republicans need some group to hate and blame for our problems rather than take repsonsibility for them and find solutions to fix them. Republicans can win unless they run against something. Rarely do they win elections because they did a good job, its usually vote for me if you hate the other guy. Even George W, a two term republican president kept us in a perpetual us vs them mentality that dominates republican politics today. We have gone from americans that would unite for a common cause to americans hating each other based on R or D. We are more divided now that we were before the civil rights movement. And thats bad.
2/5/2011 11:40:43 AM

tarquinis1 wrote:
AverageJane wrote:
No matter how hard I try not to, every time I see him on TV as president, I can’t help but think that he was a mediocre actor. Thanks for reminding the rest of the country that he was a mediocre president too.
2/5/2011 11:37:57 AM

TheDoGoodGauge wrote:
In an earlier career not only was Reagan an actor he was the president of actors union. Union and Republican are two words a devoted GOP member are not allowed to say in the same sentence. Reagan was less a Republican president than a spokesperson for the GOP.
I can say George H. Bush and Bill Clinton were presidential leaders. I’m not saying they were good or bad, just that they were in charge, unlike Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. I’m still undecided with Barack Obama, though he certainly has the intelligence to lead. I question if Barack can lead based on the his values illustrated before his election. I fear someone has shown him the money and the focus of the citizens has been lost.
The United States has three distinct powers of government. The Legislative, Judicial, and Executive. The Legislative is broken into two houses which attempt to spread the authority across the states down to the individual person. The Judicial system attempts to spread ideology among a small number of members to provide equal justice for all. Though the executive branch has many cabinet members the citizens nominate a single individual to lead.
The presidential office was not intended for a figure head as an affront to a hidden agenda. Or an agenda where the citizen is second class to the moneyed interest.
Ronald Reagan may have been a good man, but as a president he was acting on the behalf which did not represent the common man. George H. Bush understood the ramifications of Voodoo Economics when running against Ronald Reagan in the 1980 Republican primary. Thirty years later, not a single president is willing to question an economic policy so contrary to Democracy.
I remember Ronald Reagan as president played by an actor and affront to voodoo economics paid for by the GOP.
If the discussion is about great Republican presidents you need to go back to Theodore Roosevelt, though Dwight Eisenhower was good in his own right. Too many cross examine our current time with the period which Teddy’s cousin Franklin dealt with. I suggest Teddy’s approach was more appropriate for our economic turmoil.
2/5/2011 11:37:36 AM

insider9909 wrote:
Today’s neocons have morphed the “real” Ronald Reagan into some sort of modern day mythical “jesus” figure. In fact, in addition to almost every “fact” about the mythical Reagan being an abject lie, he was guilty of high crimes and misdeameanors and should have been impeached for breaking US law. Instead of standing up for himself, he allowed Ollie North to take the fall for him. In and of itself a truly dishonorable thing.
So don’t give me this “Saint Reagan” schtick. It’s a blatant lie, fabricated by the right winger chicken hawks anti-government religious reich members.
2/5/2011 11:34:20 AM

thejames1225 wrote:
mitt1968 wrote:
drankland wrote:
Don’t turn on Fox News tomorrow unless you want to see some of the world’s most revolting people having multiple orgasms all over each other.

That’s exactly what your witnessing at the leftist WP today with the world’s most revolting people having multiple orgasms all over each other spewing vile ignorant insults at Reagan.
Yes well, they they go again, what’s new.
These are the same orgasmic morons you will find at one of the weekly Palin hating columns using all their brain power to utter such things as:
Palin is a witch
Palin is and evil witch
Palin is a moron
This is all they got.
The Good News, this is small minority of Americans.
Reagan was rewarded by Americans with a second term in a landslide victory of ALL but ONE state.
To the ignorant Reagan/Palin hate mongers this means 56 of all 57 states.
2/5/2011 11:33:12 AM

Benson wrote:
newagent99 wrote:

“reagan had NOTHING to do with the USSR collapsing.”


See the wiki page “Predictions of Soviet Collapse”
Reagan had more to do with it than your partisan reading materials would have you believe.
2/5/2011 11:31:30 AM

geo030865 wrote:
UncleSam2 wrote:
Nice job of rewriting history…there you go again, liberals.
Uncle Sam
I think the liberals give him more blame than he deserves and the conservatives give him more credit. But the way the republicans blame Obama for everything wrong with this county the last 40 years you really have no right to argue with liberals about Reagans history.
2/5/2011 11:31:27 AM

tunkefer wrote:
Benson wrote: wrote:
Reagan’s whole Presidency was a myth!!!. He was nothing special. A great actor as POTUS maybe. The rest was right wing spin and propaganda


Luckily, the Soviets bought it and collapsed under their own weight.
The Soviet economic collapse was inevitable before Reagan even took office. True, he kept up the pressure on them but no more than any prior president.
2/5/2011 11:30:05 AM

newagent99 wrote:
to_robert wrote:
Reagan was great and especially after 4 years of nation-wide emotional depression.

poor republicans.. they need to be treated like children to have good feelings about the USA..
while Carter proposed getting AMerica off foreign Oil, and moving forward in solar and wind, Reagan insisted we could just having import more, more , more and turn up the heat.
While Carter was a religous man he strongly believed in separation of church and state, Reagan called America “Christian”, while Carter worked for equal pay and employment opportunites for everyoone, Reagan wanted “state’s rights” to discrimate incoded in the constitution.
I;’m an adult ,I would opt for Carters realizism over Reagans baby talk anyday.
2/5/2011 11:24:36 AM

Benson wrote: wrote:
Reagan’s whole Presidency was a myth!!!. He was nothing special. A great actor as POTUS maybe. The rest was right wing spin and propaganda


Luckily, the Soviets bought it and collapsed under their own weight.
2/5/2011 11:23:27 AM

geo030865 wrote:
Lets not forget that during the 80′s policies were enacted to limit working americans from student loans and grants, while giving americans more direct access to cocaine and guns. Is this Reagans fault alone? Of course not. Did the crack cocaine explosion happen on his watch? Yes it did. I can remember saying to myself as a late teen young adult back in those days, gee, its easier to get a kilo of cocaine on consignment and a gun than it is to get a loan or grant for school. Thats not right. I cant speak for all races of people but as a black person I can say crack cocaine ruined black families for three generations and still counting and set the black community back at least 30 years. Is that Reagans fault? No, but no president should allow that to happen on his watch if you have the resources to prevent it.
2/5/2011 11:22:57 AM wrote:
Reagan’s whole Presidency was a myth!!!. He was nothing special. A great actor as POTUS maybe. The rest was right wing spin and propaganda
2/5/2011 11:20:26 AM

chynna12169 wrote:
Oh my Gawd…why are we digging this dead man up…let’s focus on the PRESENT & Let that man rest in peace.
2/5/2011 10:30:19 AM

ggwalt wrote:
Benson wrote:
“What’s funny is that progressives claim that Reagan wasn’t a good president, but are tripping all over themselves to compare Obama to Reagan.”


I’m not claiming he “wasn’t good”. He was merely mediocre and has been totally overblown by the right. As for making comparisons, it’s the righties like you who brought up this absurd idea that Reagan would be handling the Egyptian crisis differently. It’s pure unadulterated speculation, and totally pointless.
Obama has only been in office two years after inheriting a mess of epic proportion. I think it’s a little premature to be judging his presidency. All I can say about it at this point is “so far so good”. I’d give him relatively high scores in most areas. The economy is improving and unemployment just took a dip, which is an encouraging sign. Healthcare reform is a huge accomplishment, one that has alluded former Republican presidents. He’s accomplished many other things as well in just two short years. It’s the righties who are making comparisons, and ignoring the FACTS on Reagan’s record. Sadly, all the righties who get their information from Fox “news” are living in an alternate universe where facts truly have no meaning. And if you’re part of Glenn Beck’s little paranoid universe, I really feel sorry for you. Must be a tough place to be. People suffering from paranoid delusions are not a happy bunch.
2/5/2011 10:28:37 AM

thejames1225 wrote:
Feb 2,2011
Treasuries fell for a fifth day and the dollar gained after the U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to the lowest level since April 2009.
Wow that’s too bad,
Obama has spent us into oblivion with increasing unemployment.
Reagan took over after the abysmal Carter with a worse mess then today, double-digit inflation, high unemployment and a prime interest rate of 21.5 percent, the highest since the Civil War. Overseas problems had also proliferated — the energy crisis, the red-tinged Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the unbalanced SALT II treaty, the brutal Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, falling dominoes in Africa, the American hostages in Iran. The Vietnam syndrome that permeated and obstructed U.S. foreign policy was reinforced by Carter’s incompetence.
Yes, sixty straight months of economic growth, the longest uninterrupted period of expansion since the government began keeping such statistics in 1854. Nearly fifteen million new jobs were created — a total of eighteen million by the time Reagan left office. Just under $20 trillion worth of goods and services, measured in actual dollars, were produced from 1982 to 1987.
Thanks Reagan and Happy Birthday to a great president and a great American.
2/5/2011 10:27:33 AM

derekcarstairs wrote:
When Reagan entered the Presidency in 1981, the marginal individual income tax rate ranged from 16% to 37% for those with taxable income from $3,400 to $39,050. These are the rates that applied to the blue-collar workers, not the wealthy. When Reagan left office in 1989, the tax rate applicable to these same blue-collar workers was 15%.
The statement that Reagan raised the taxes of blue-collar workers is simply false, but that won’t stop the Washington Post and the libs from stating otherwise repeatedly.
In my earlier post, I also pointed out that Reagan drastically reduced corporate income tax rates and the maximum individual income tax rates, i.e., the tax rates applicable to companies and businessmen. Cutting the taxes rates of companies and businessmen leads to new jobs and stimulates the economy. Get over this class envy and recognize that financially successful people and companies are necessary for a strong economy.
2/5/2011 10:27:20 AM

kchses1 wrote:
The false belief found in conservative circles that Reagan won the cold war wrong. There is no history books were you will find that conclusion for the simple reason it isn’t true. “The suggestion that any American Administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic-political upheaval in another great country on the other side of the world is intrinsically childish and silly. No great country has that sort of influence on the internal development of another.” George Kennon.
It is a self serving myth created by self serving people.
2/5/2011 10:24:40 AM

Ddoiron1 wrote:
ChangeWhat wrote:
Soetoro Foreign Policy Designed to Weaken America. Lib’s love for their Precious grows deeper…..
WikiLeaks cables: US agrees to tell Russia Britain’s nuclear secrets:
The US secretly agreed to give the Russians sensitive information on Britain’s nuclear deterrent to persuade them to sign a key treaty, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.
From a U K Right Wing Conservative Rag; That all the Evidence you have?
2/5/2011 10:22:02 AM

rcc_2000 wrote:
Benson wrote:

Reagan challenged Gorbachev to “tear down that wall”. Gutsy move at the time.
Contrast that with Obama’s handling of Egypt, where Obama reads about the riots in the streets and then meekly asks Mubarak to start his transition out of office.
I’m not criticizing Obama. I’m just saying Reagan was gutsy to look at the leader of another superpower without blinking.


A) I do not think this article said that he was not gutsy, just that the GOP has created a revisionist version of history that is not inline with the truth. I voted for Reagan, I liked Reagan over-all but had issues with Iran-Contra and Ed Meese. Reagan was the perfect person to get us out of the post Vietnam guilt/depression America faced and made most Americans proud to be Americans. He was a great President, but to twist his legacy to conform to Tea Party values (or lack there of)is a slap in the face to his legacy.
B)Obama in his handling of Egypt so far has been pretty good. Mubarak has been an ally of the US. The next government in Egypt is unlikely to be as pro-US. We do not know how this will play out and to demand he resign could lead to violence and lessen the chances of a peaceful transition to a moderate Government.
C) The US does not need to play king maker in the middle east. Or response has been measured and logical.
2/5/2011 10:20:15 AM

Benson wrote:
What’s funny is that progressives claim that Reagan wasn’t a good president, but are tripping all over themselves to compare Obama to Reagan.
I would have thought the spinning would have stopped when they awarded Obama a Nobel Peace Prize for continuing ALL of Bush’s policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no significant changes.
2/5/2011 10:17:25 AM

ChangeWhat wrote:
pjwertz wrote:
Were it not for the republican revisionist history spin machine, the gop would probably occupy, maybe, 3% of all electoral offices.
and yet you got your smarmy pasty butt kicked in Nov and your destructive deceptive leftist ideology is but a sliver of a fraction of acceptance.
2/5/2011 10:16:22 AM

Dwdave67 wrote:
There are so many exaggerations about Reagan as told by conservatives… Reagan did NOT defeat the USSR, his economic policies laid the groundwork for the collapse of the middle class we now are experiencing and is policy of tax cut and borrow policy has led directly for the 14 trillion that we now have in debt. Reagan was a mediocre president like Clinton. Style over substance.
2/5/2011 10:16:11 AM

ddoiron1 wrote:
Peterjdennis wrote:
An inconvenient truth from the MSM. Congress holds the purse strings in this country. Congress controls spending. The MSM portrays Clinton and the last great fiscal President, and it has nothing to do with the Republicans taking over Congress for the first time in 50 years. In 2006, when the Dems took back over congress, we had a 5% unemployment rate and a very manageable 16% deficit to GDP. 4 years after Pelosi rule, we have 9% unemployment and Greek-like 96% deficit to GDP.
Bush GDP was based on Housing with his New Construction policies and the growing Housing Bubble caused by his American Dream Downpayment Act of 2003 followed by his Zero Downpayment ACT of 2004 providing High priced homes for Low wage workers. Higher Unemployment and Cut off Unemployment Benefits caused those Home owners to fail paying their house notes and Crashed the Banks.
2/5/2011 10:15:05 AM

diakhateus wrote:
“Reagan’s contributions to the culture wars of the 1980s were largely rhetorical and symbolic.Although he published a book in 1983 about his staunch opposition to abortion …he never sought a constitutional ban on abortion. In fact, Reagan began the odd practice of speaking to anti-abortion rallies by phone instead of in person – a custom continued by subsequent Republican presidents.”
And we keep wondering what’s the matter with Kansas…
2/5/2011 10:14:49 AM

Miss_Fedelm wrote:
ChangeWhat wrote:

How does it feel to be a member of the gullible and naive. A member of the ever shrinking loud annoying liberal minority?


Did Glenn Beck think this one up for you?
2/5/2011 10:14:13 AM

Benson wrote:

It just happened to occur on Reagan’s watch, so he was given far too much credit.

Sorry, but most scholars disagree with you.
There are of course the pundits who would like to rewrite history, but the fact remains that the Soviet Union DID fall on his watch. THAT, you can’t rewrite and shouldn’t diminish.
Harry Papasotiriou writes: “The Soviet Union certainly collapsed of its own weight, but Reagan helped speed up the process.”
2/5/2011 10:13:47 AM

Ronald Reagan true myths

About Jerry Frey

Born 1953. Vietnam Veteran. Graduated Ohio State 1980. Have 5 published books. In the Woods Before Dawn; Grandpa's Gone; Longstreet's Assault; Pioneer of Salvation; Three Quarter Cadillac
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