I was amused to watch the unveiling of Ronald Reagan's statue in the Capitol Rotunda.
Republicans, in particular, were almost worshipful of President Reagan
I thought that was a perfect illustration of where the Republican party is now.
Reagan changed politics in America in fundamental ways, none of them good.
He brought the concept that tax cuts by them selves were good into the public stage and Republicans have embraced that idiocy ever since. Tax Cuts unmatched by spending cuts DO NOT stimulate the economy long term. They have a clear short term stimulative affect, the same as increasing domestic spending (President Obama's stimulus package is a clear example). The problem with tax cuts it they tend to be permanent while spending increases tend to be temporary.
Shrub got a supposedly temporary tax cut passed and then immediately started campaigning to make it permanent. Those tax cuts never paid for themselves. Reagan's tax cuts never paid for them selves. At least Reagan (and Bush 41) acknowledged that and put forward huge tax increases to keep the budget from going completely out of control. Shrub never got the idea that huge deficits are fundamentally bad for the economy long term.
President Reagan famously said that government wasn't the solution, it was the problem. Another idiocy that has been enthusiastically embraced by the Republican party. That led to deregulating the S&L industry and the resulting S&L bailout. That led to the breakdown of barriers between commercial and investment banks and was a major contributor to the current near depression. Regulation is neither inherently good or bad. Its a tool. History has repeatedly demonstrated that unconstrained capitalism is destructive of society, the cycles of boom and bust hurt far more than they help. But, following Reagan, Republicans still believe in this silly mantra of deregulate, deregulate, deregulate. Without thought or balance, just deregulate.
President Reagan gave us Star Wars, a hole into which we have dumped hundreds of billions of wasted dollars that might succeed in protecting us from North Korea or Iran, but would be utterly useless in protecting us from a nation with more than 10 or 15 weapons. And would be completely useless in protecting us from the stolen nuc smuggled into this country in a shipping container.
And that doesn't even get into Iran-Contra
I know Republicans (and some Democrats) worship at Reagan's feet.
But its time to stop
Time for a rational reexamination of the Reagan legacy for the disaster it was.
I do not believe that History will be kind to Reagan
Nor should it be.
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