Thursday, August 27, 2009

Good comment worth reposting- The Real Ronald Regan

Sometimes I get a kick out of the uber-conservatives that quote Ronald Regan and his tax policies. What they sometimes forget, or fail to mention, is that Regan also presided over some of the largest tax increases in modern history. Thank you Bob Haran for his insightful comment.

How Reagan Closed Budget Gap

Many people who calls themselves Reagan Conservatives forget that before Ronald Reagan was elected as President of the United States in 1980, he was governor of California from 1967-75.

Reagan's election as governor in 1966 was his first public office. During the 1964 presidential campaign he served as cochairman of California Republicans for Goldwater.

After defeating incumbent Democrat Governor Pat Brown with 58 percent of the vote, Governor Reagan went on to establish a conservative record in restricting the size and cost of state government.

Just as Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer inherited a huge budget deficit from Democrat Governor Janet Napolitano, Republican California Governor Ronald Reagan inherited a huge budget deficit from Democrat California Governor Pat Brown.

What did Reagan do, how did he handle the budget disaster he inherited from his Democrat predecessor. Reagan immediately ordered a hiring freeze of new state employees and then cut the state budget across the board by 10 percent.

The father of Reaganomics did something else that may come as a shock to the blind followers of Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform. Working with a cooperative state legislature, Reagan was able to obtain an increase of the state income tax together with welfare reform legislation that striped the less needy from the rolls and increased benefits for those that met higher eligibility requirements. By cutting expenses and increasing revenue, Reagan was able to close the budget deficit he inherited from his Democrat predecessor.

Fast forward 40 years and doesn't that sound familiar? Isn't that the same as what Conservative Republican Governor Jan Brewer is trying to do to solve Arizona's budget problem, cut expenses and increase revenue? It seems that the only difference between what Reagan did and what Brewer is advocating is instead of raising the income tax, Arizona will cut the income tax to stimulate spending and temporarily increase the sales tax by one penny to increase revenue to help close the gap. .

There is one important difference between Reagan and Brewer however, Reagan didn't have uncooperative state senators like Pamela Gorman and Ron Gould obstructing solving his budget crisis, Brewer and Arizona does.

Bob Haran,
American Conservative Republican

1 comment:

Candyman said...

Ronald Reagan is a great historical figure and conservative icon because of his long record of opposing tax increases. When running for President, Jack Kemp helped bring Reagan's team along with the supply-side economic theory that he espoused his the rest of his career.

To suggest even before then that Reagan was a "tax hiker" or a "proponent of higher taxes" is intellectually disengiuous.

Reagan was a Democrat at one time. Reagan was pro-choice on abortion at one time. Reagan was a union President at one time. Reagan, as President (with a liberal Congress) signed budgets that dramatically increased federal spending.

However, one would also be intellectually dishonest to use those facts and argue that a good conservative (like Reagan) one must support policies of the old Democratic party like Reagan did at one time.

Or in order to be a good conservative like Reagan, one must support abortion rights like Reagan did at one time.

Or in order to be a good conservative like Reagan, one must oppose private ballots in union elections as union leaders do because Reagan was President of a union.

Or in order to be a good conservative like Reagan, one must support increased government spending on liberal social programs.

It's nonsense. It's raised because Governor Brewer made the absurd comment when she addressed the Legislature and laid out her five point plan. Only two points seemed to be brought up repeatedly since that time by the Governor. 1. We can't REALLY cut spending in a meaningful way; and 2. We must increase taxes on Arizona working families by $3 billion in the depths of a recession.

BOTH of those positions are positions that Reagan opposed vigorously as he built a record as a conservative that we all admired. He spoke eloquently about the opposite -- fighting the tax and spend mentality that Governor Brewer has championed.

And to suggest to be a good Republican one must "support the Governor" is absurd. She was never elected Governor. She has no mandate to fight spending cuts and increase taxes. It's a lesson we should have learned from our mothers in childhood. "But Mom, ALL the other kids are doing it!" "Well if all the other kids jumped off a cliff would you do that too?"

Not my quotation, but it fits: "Unity is the siren song of tyranny, not the call to genuine progress."