Was Reagan so great?

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keelba's picture
keelba
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Was Reagan so great?

This is a little off topic but may turn into a fun debate. Anyways, I have a coworker that is completely enamored of Ronald Reagan. There is nothing you can say to tarnish this man's opinion of the the late President. Anyhow, we got into a discussion a few days ago about him and it is my opinion that Ronald Reagan was not quite as great as some might believe. So I wanted to see what readers here thought about him.

To start, let me say that the man had great charisma, reunited the people and dealt strongly with foreign countries. However, at what cost? The argument I get is all about the Reaganomics, how he lowered taxes which was supposed to increase revenues to the government. And yet, the national debt soared during his two terms. How is it possible to tax less yet spend more? Through the magic of deficit spending, that's how. He brought in the roaring 80s and set a precedent for every President to follow and we are paying the price for that fun today.

Now I will concede that Reagan was handed a rough economy from the onset. One could argue that he did what he had to do. Perhaps if he had stayed in office another 16 years he might have turned the deficit around and we wouldn't be in the mess we're in but the simple fact is, the debt soared during his term and nothing was ever done about it. I believe the economy at that time was going through some adjustments and should have been left to run its course, painful as it might have been, but instead it was injected with drugs (debt) and for a short time the nation got high from it. Now we're going through the withdrawals exactly the same way that people from just a few years ago got high from borrowing against their homes only to have to pay for it now.

Anyway, I could go on and on but I'd like to hear others' opinions. I'm not trying to sell the idea the Reagan was the devil as he really did do many good things, I'm just saying that he wasn't quite as great as this one person seems to think and is at least partly responsible for where we are today. Maybe I'm completely off my rocker but I also think that, inspite of the many deficiencies President Carter had, he also did some good things but people dismissed him because he didn't tell the people what they wanted to hear (read his energy speech: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carter/filmmore/ps_energy.html). It was much easier for people to love Reagan because he borrowed from the future to pay for today and got us away from the horrid gas saving cars of the 70s and gave us SUVs while lowering our taxes. And it was easier to reject the man that told us we had it too good and we needed to cut back in our lives. I guess whether you consider yourself Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal it will bias your opinions but what are the facts?

--Kevin

SteveS's picture
SteveS
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Re: Was Reagan so great?

You know I think you answered it all with the Carter reference. Presidents that make the present look great are revered, those that try to do long range planning at some present cost are reviled. And of charisma is a big factor (see Sarah Palin).

strabes's picture
strabes
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Re: Was Reagan so great?

presidents are largely irrelevant UNLESS they fight against the people who control them.  as long as they just push the agenda fed to them by the permanent government forces surrounding them, they are basically representatives for Trilateral and the CFR (the Wall St powers, the corporatocracy, the mil-ind complex, the people that run Fed/Defense/State/Treasury/CIA/Justice).  so evaluating presidents is mostly a waste of time because it's doing what the CFR wants you to do...to go along with the media propaganda that presidents are the top of the pyramid and ignore the fact that CFR is really in charge.  

so Reagan and Carter, along with Obama, Bush Jr, Clinton, Bush Sr, Ford, Nixon, Johnson were all playing for the same team.  JFK was the last prez who tried something different...actually leading people from the bottom-up and trying to shut down aspects of the Wall St / DC empire (stop Vietnam, shutdown CIA, issue money outside the Fed's debt system).  

Quote:

I guess whether you consider yourself Republican or Democrat, Conservative or Liberal it will bias your opinions but what are the facts?

exactly.  that's the problem.  if people would stop bucketing themselves into the 2 camps made for them by the establishment we might be able to get somewhere.  otherwise both camps take us down the same path...central planning from the debt-driven Wall St / DC empire, slowly moving toward fascism...the combination of left and right, big government and big business, which treats everything "small," including us humans, as a widget in a processing plant.  

poisonivy113's picture
poisonivy113
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Re: Was Reagan so great?

Reagan was about freedom and about less government intrusion into our lives. That's the bottom line and that was his main appeal. 

The current administration is about increasing government control in every aspect of our lives. Those that stand in line for "free Obama money from his stash" find that appealing. 

That's the phiisophical difference. 

Ultimately, the real difference in terms of total spending isn't all that much, as many people have pointed out on this forum. We have evolved over many, many years to have a large amount of people dependent on various programs. The government spends so much money things the government shouldn't be involved in - paying farmers not to grow crops, funding arts, bribes in bills unrelated to the content of the bill to secure a particular senator's vote. I could go on and on but I won't. Take social security, medicare, defense out of it -there's still TONS of money being wasted wantonly no matter who the president is. Probably has a lot to do with career senators/ representatives. Regardless of who is in charge, cutting back on spending will be very difficult without getting rid of career politicians who basically buy votes by promising free goodies. But part of the problem is also the voters who vote for the one promising the most free goodies. This won't happen until more people take the red pill. 

Everyone that I know who (legally) immigrated to the US from communist nations (eg USSR, Cuba) say that the are very disturbed by the similarities between the current administration and the governments they came here to escape. They are flabbergasted, saying the never in their wildest dreams though the would hear those types of polices being proposed by the government of the USA. 

Even though both have spend plenty of money, I'd much rather have someone Reganesque in charge. At least then I wouldn't have to be concerned about my freedom. Worst case scenario/ SHTF - I"d rather experience that in an atmosphere of freedom than oppression. It's hard for me to imagine Reagan (or even -gasp- George W Bush!)  banning guns, ownership of non hybrid seeds, or gold. It's easy for me to imagine Obama doing that.

 

strabes's picture
strabes
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Re: Was Reagan so great?

freedom was his philosophy, but he failed.  unfortunately reality didn't match his philosophy since 1) the secret national security apparatus and "continuity of govt" plans got ramped up significantly under his little pest VP Bush, and 2) he didn't understand the lack of freedom that eventually comes under the massive Fed/Wall St/corporatocracy machine.  he apparently thought debt-based illusion of growth from Wall St was real growth so he gave Merrill chief Regan the Treasury.  that's a huge mistake the right makes. central planners on Wall St are now proving themselves even more dangerous than central planners in DC.  the key is to not just disempower DC but also Wall St so we can get back to a republic where towns/states/people run things.  

 

presidentbyamendment's picture
presidentbyamendment
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Posts: 64
Re: Was Reagan so great?

Picture a poster of Ronald Reagan in foxhunting attire resting casually

with his boot up on the bumper of a Bentley, toasting the hounds with

a snifter of Courvoisier, with the caption "STUPIDITY SUCKS. AND DEBT IS NOT WEALTH."

 

Welcome to the Reagan Correction.

RH

presidentbyamendment.com

andrewo's picture
andrewo
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Re: Was Reagan so great?

How much  of the correction was due to Ronnie and how much to Paul Volker? Or was it a marriage made in heaven?

I clearly remember that the liberal media spent endless column inches beating him up - endless crap about how old he was etc etc

But he did the business

In 1983 (near the end of the Jimmy Carter fiasco) a colleague of mine sold his house and bought US 10 year govt bonds at just under 20% interest. The guy left that company shortly afterwards but he must have made an absolute killing. Within months Carter was booted out and the USD revalued and revalued. Inflation dropped to near zero. Where are you now Jeff?

I think that in many ways Obama is going to be another Carter. Liberal and well intentioned but financially incompetent. He will leave the USD in tatters and inflation heading toward 10%.

 

 

 

 

Morpheus's picture
Morpheus
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Posts: 1200
Re: Was Reagan so great?

I no longer pay attention to what the stage actors say.

They are not in charge but merely put in place to give us the illusion of both choice and control of our destiny. And you'd have to be a fool to believe that you have either.

Doug's picture
Doug
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Re: Was Reagan so great?

andrewo

Quote:

In 1983 (near the end of the Jimmy Carter fiasco) a colleague of mine sold his house and bought US 10 year govt bonds at just under 20% interest.

I don't know what this does to your thesis, but Reagan took office in January 1981, two years before your scenario.

Doug

green_achers's picture
green_achers
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Re: Was Reagan so great?

Carter wasn't the saint many make him out to be (with hindsight after 30 years of Reaganism and the resulting mess we're living through now.)  He actually started the whole deregulation thing.

But he did make a small, toothless attempt to talk to the people about energy.  And, as anyone who has studied the subject since the early 70's knows, the subject of energy pretty much ends in a bummer.  People don't like a bummer.  They like their fantasies.  Every president since then has learned the lesson very well.  Too bad the current one came along when it's too late to change the subject.

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