Monday, February 11, 2008

The Reagan Myths

Watching Republican presidential candidates fall over themselves trying to convey themselves as "Reaganites" was enough to make me disgorge my lunch. So many people embrace Reagan as this mythical figure is irritating to me. Reagan proposed and accomplished huge tax cuts yet never articulated where he would pay for them. He blamed Congress for the deficits that his administration incurred, yet he never, and I mean never, articulated what should have been cut. He increased military spending, and would not countenance reductions regarding Social Security or Medicare which represented a huge proportion of federal spending.

On many levels, Reagan was one of the worst Presidemts of the United States. He bought some temporary prosperity by going into debt, an option available to all of us, if we are so inclined, and in fact, we seem to be inclined. But Reagan was a Keynesian on steroids, going well beyond any self-respecting Keynesian would go.

And now, it seems that Republicans embrace the myths of Ronald Reagan, much to the hazard of our Republic. Cutting taxes, without articulating which expenditures you are going to forgo doesn't make sense at a national level any more than they would at a personal level. But Republicans seem all too eager to embrace short-sided tax cuts for short-term political benefit. It is amazing to me that people worship the myths of Reagan. Of course, I've seen equally implausible myths believed in with great sincerity.

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