Republican Party of Bad ideas
- From: Middle Class Warrior <middle_class_warrior1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 17:59:28 GMT
Barack Obama suggested the GOP was the party of ideas during the Reagan years. However, Reagan was a controversial figure. His legacy is circumspect. The Wikipedia view is objective and is presented below:
Reagan's legacy is mixed, with supporters pointing to a more efficient and prosperous economy, a peaceful end to the Cold War, and a world safer from the threat of nuclear war. Critics argue that his economic policies caused huge budget deficits, quadrupling the United States national debt, and that the Iran-Contra affair lowered American credibility.
Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D., President of the Heritage Foundation said that Reagan "helped create a safer, freer world," and said of his economic policies: "He took an America suffering from 'malaise'... and made its citizens believe again in their destiny." Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post, however, stated that Reagan was "a far more controversial figure in his time than the largely gushing obits on television would suggest,". Mark Weisbrot, co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, determines Reagan's "economic policies were mostly a failure."
Reagan's ability to connect with the American people earned him the laudatory moniker, "The Great Communicator". Simultaneously, his ability to — according to Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder — "do almost anything [wrong] and not get blamed for it" earned him the nickname "the Teflon President".
Reagan's biggest failure ere his tax policies that fragmented the Middle Class. One third of the Middle Class became wealthy and the other two thirds remained stagnant or went backward. Reagan fundamentally used regressive tax policies to create a larger Republican base. This coupled with excessive military spending left the country with a huge deficit that George H.W. Bush was unable to overcome. Bush has continued the regressive tax policies of Reagan to nearly double the deficit in 7 years and concentrate even more wealth among the top quintile of American earners.
Bush even continued the "death tax" banter that has nothing to do with Income Tax. The suspension of this tax greatly the top 5000 families in the US and actually problems for charitable organizations because the Estate Tax encouraged wealthy Americans to contribute to charities to save on their taxes. it is not surprising Bush is very focused on continuing his tax policies when he leaves office. These policies primarily benefit the people who make more than $500,000 a year.
Its easy for a Republican to promise tax breaks without details. if fact, Rudy Giuliani is in Florida promising the biggest tax break ever after he is elected president. Is that really possible with Democratic House and Senate that should increase in membership? When do you reach the point that tax cuts are no longer feasible?
We are there now. President Bush has wasted American taxes on a pointless war and concurrently cut the top two tax rates for Americans producing record deficits. Now we have a new $150 billion tax stimulus package and may already be in a recession.
Is Bush that much different than Reagan? the policies are nearly identical. The big difference is that Bush started a really large war which wasted the resources of the nation. He continued the regressive tax policies of Reagan, but Bush lacks the effective communication skills of the Teflon president. Reagan did a lot of bad things but he could smile at you and make you think he had your best interests at heart. Most Americans know that Bush and Cheney are putting the screws to the Middle Class and the working man.
In 2008 we now know that Reagan ideas did not work. Perhaps Obama thinks he is the new Ronald Reagan and a man of ideas. If so, America needs to see some of these ideas soon. Obama seems to be positioning himself to the right of Hillary Clinton. Inspirational speeches are great, but the devil is in the details. America needs some good ideas and the Democratic party has a historic opportunity to provide them. So far most of the new ideas seem to coming form Hillary not Obama.
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