Posted by | February 5, 2011 13:44 | Filed under: Top Stories

Think Progress has compiled a list of facts about Ronald Reagan that are rarely mentioned as the myth surrounding his legacy grows. Conservatives have no real leader now, so they’ve constructed one and given it the Reagan persona. As we approach the 100th birthday of the iconic president, this puts things in perspective.

  • Reagan was a serial tax raiser. As governor of California, Reagan “signed into law the largest tax increase in the history of any state up till then.” Meanwhile, state spending nearly doubled.
  • Reagan nearly tripled the federal budget deficit. During the Reagan years, the debt increased to nearly $3 trillion, “roughly three times as much as the first 80 years of the century had done altogether.”
  • Unemployment soared after Reagan’s 1981 tax cuts. Unemployment jumped to 10.8 percent after Reagan enacted his much-touted tax cut, and it took years for the rate to get back down to its previous level. Meanwhile, income inequality exploded.
  • Reagan grew the size of the federal government tremendously. Reagan promised “to move boldly, decisively, and quickly to control the runaway growth of federal spending,” but federal spending “ballooned” under Reagan. He bailed out Social Security in 1983 after attempting to privatize it, and set up a progressive taxation system to keep it funded into the future.
  • Reagan did little to fight a woman’s right to chose. As governor of California in 1967, Reagan signed a bill to liberalize the state’s abortion laws that “resulted in more than a million abortions.”
  • Reagan was a “bellicose peacenik.” He wrote in his memoirs that “[m]y dream…became a world free of nuclear weapons.”
  • Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million undocumented immigrants. Reagan signed into law a bill that made any immigrant who had entered the country before 1982 eligible for amnesty.
  • Reagan illegally funneled weapons to Iran. Reagan and other senior U.S. officials secretly sold arms to officials in Iran, which was subject to a an arms embargo at the time, in exchange for American hostages. Some funds from the illegal arms sales also went to fund anti-Communist rebels in Nicaragua — something Congress had already prohibited the administration from doing.
  • Reagan vetoed a comprehensive anti-Apartheid act. which placed sanctions on South Africa and cut off all American trade with the country. Reagan’s veto was overridden by the Republican-controlled Senate.
  • Reagan helped create the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden. Reagan fought a proxy war with the Soviet Union by training, arming, equipping, and funding Islamist mujahidin fighters in Afghanistan. Reagan funneled billions of dollars, along with top-secret intelligence and sophisticated weaponry to these fighters through the Pakistani intelligence service. The Talbian and Osama Bin Laden — a prominent mujahidin commander — emerged from these mujahidin groups Reagan helped create, and U.S. policy towards Pakistan remains strained because of the intelligence services’ close relations to these fighters.
By: Alan

Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.

  • Look_A_Squirrel

    But Reagan left the country – and the world – in far better shape than he found it. He revived a moribund economy with tax cuts that was so robust it lasted through the Clinton years. He single-handedly oversaw the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    He loved the country, unlike the traitor in the White House today.

    • jasperjava

      Yeah, Reagan was like Joshua at the battle of Jericho, single-handedly bringing down the Berlin wall with one word.

      Your simple-minded hero worship is embarrassing.

    • William

      Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.

      • Randy Stephenson

        Just wondering how long it took to unwind the Carter Admin ?

    • jasperjava

      Traitor in the White House? You mean the one who sold weapons to Iran and used the proceeds to illegally fund terrorist death squads? The one who called the Afghan Mujahadin (who later morphed into Al Qaeda and the Taliban) “The moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers”. The one who refused to impose sanctions on Saddam Hussein after he gassed the Kurds? The one who sent Rumsfeld to shake Saddam’s hand after Saddam used nerve gas against children? The one who “cut-and-ran” from Lebanon after hundreds of Marines were murdered? The one who negotiated with terrorists and hostage-takers, and traded arms for hostages?

      Name one thing that Obama has done that could be considered against the interests of the United States, loser. Being Black does not make him a traitor. It’s rather those who sign a letter to sabotage sensitive negotiations whose loyalty we should question.

    • Progressive Republican

      Wow. What a load of [crap].

      Are you a bigger idiot, or liar?

  • Bobby Stone
  • Alana_Miller

    They also forget he died of Alzheimers, which started showing up in his second term.

  • https://lasers.llnl.gov/ Obewon

    nightflyer956’s constitutional illiteracy is confirmed by worshiping a convicted Torturer, who was fined $5,000 and forced by the U.S. Milt to resign! “Discussion on Allen B. West”-Dumped by voters in his ‘specially crafted’ RWNJ district after 1 term, and then by P.J. Media for anti-Semitism. What a fumb duck!

    • nightflyer956

      Allen West was NEVER convicted of anything, get your facts straight. Google voter fraud/Allen West election, the voting machines are still locked up as a result of the law suits against the Supervisor of Elections in that county and while you’re at it try reading the Constitution and tell me where it says the Government has the authority to take one mans money and turn around and give it to someone else or for that matter, another country.. Curious, how did Allen West’s name get thrown into this, I thought this was a thread about Ronald Reagan?

  • Mmoose

    and now a joke to lighten mood………..
    > Bob: “Did you hear about the
    Obama administration scandal?,

    > Jim: “You mean the Mexican gun
    running?”

    Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “You mean SEAL Team 6?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “You mean the State Dept.
    lying about Benghazi?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “You mean voter fraud?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “You mean the military not
    getting their votes counted?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “The NSA monitoring our
    phone calls, emails and everything else?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “You mean the of drones in
    our own country without the benefit of the law?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “Giving 123 Technologies
    $300 Million and right after it declared bankruptcy and was sold
    to the Chinese?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “You mean the president
    arming the Muslim Brotherhood?”

    > Bob: “No the other one:.

    > Jim: “The IRS targeting
    conservatives?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “The DOJ spying on the
    press?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “Sebelius shaking down
    health insurance executives?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “Giving SOLYNDRA $500
    MILLION DOLLARS and 3 months later they declared bankruptcy and
    then the Chinese bought it?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “The NSA monitoring our
    phone calls, emails and everything else?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “The president’s ordering
    the release of nearly 10,000 illegal immigrants from jails and
    prisons, and falsely blaming the sequester?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “The president’s threat to
    impose gun control by Executive Order in order to bypass
    Congress?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “The president’s repeated
    violation of the law requiring him to submit a budget no later
    than the first Monday in February?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “The 2012 vote where 115%
    of all registered voters in some counties voted 100% for Obama?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “The president’s
    unconstitutional recess appointments in an attempt to circumvent
    the Senate’s advise-and-consent role?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “The State Department
    interfering with an Inspector General investigation on
    departmental sexual misconduct?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “Clinton, the IRS, Clapper
    and Holder all lying to Congress?”

    > Bob: “No, the other one.”

    > Jim: “I give up! … Oh wait, I
    think I got it! You mean that 65 million low-information voters
    who don’t pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers and stuck
    us again with the most pandering, corrupt administration in
    American history?”

    > Bob: “THAT’S THE ONE!”

    • Hirightnow

      Lies are not jokes, with the exception of your genital size.

      • Mmoose

        Yes, very infantile but that’s okay, it only reflects your intellect. Good day.

        • tracey marie

          very appropriate, teababblers do have tiny penis’s

          • Randy Stephenson

            That’s not what your mom said ;)

            • tracey marie

              ewww, she died over 40 years ago…necrophilia is so baggerish

              • Randy Stephenson

                You have no idea how old I am..son

                • tracey marie

                  son? you must have alzheimers, an old necrophiliac

                  • Randy Stephenson

                    Well I know you used to be a son I guess a visit to Helsinki can change things

                    • tracey marie

                      trolling me over a 3 day old comment, hilarious

                    • Randy Stephenson

                      This is Entertainment !!

        • Hirightnow

          You deserve no more.

        • Hirightnow

          You deserve no more.

    • mmmjv

      ” 65 million low-information voters who don’t pay taxes and get free stuff from taxpayers”

      That is pure bullshit, a statistic made up by the teabag crowd

    • Progressive Republican

      Witness a witless Teandertal’s (Yeah, I know that’s needlessly redundant) version of ‘humor’.

      ha

  • Foundryman

    Man, need to save this comment page. If anyone ever needs proof how the right wing ignores facts they proved it here.

  • Michael

    Still better than Obama.

  • Klatuu 1

    More than 25 years since he left office, and more than 10 years after he died, Liberals are still fighting the ghost of Ronald Reagan. Why? Two main reasons, I think. First, because the narrative that he was such a good president it totally out of their control, and not controlling the narrative is the most hateful place on Earth to a Liberal. Second, because there is no narrative about Obama being a great president, or even a mediocre president for that matter, they desperately need to avoid touting his record. In short, attacking old, dead presidents (which is irrelevant to contemporary concerns) who were good at being president is a lot easier than defending a currently sitting president (which is relevant to contemporary concerns) who is truly inadequate.

    Conservatives defend this narrative around Reagan, although with far less vigor than Liberals attack it, because it’s about the only narrative they own, and because they suck at controlling narratives in general. To be fair, Reagan’s greatness is a little over-stated. Time does that, though, and since he’ll never directly influence American politics again, there’s no harm in it.

    The good news for the Libs is, that 25 years after he leaves office, they won’t have to defend Obama’s legacy as a great president. The only argument will be over who was more feckless & incompetent, Obama or Carter.

    So, to Liberals, thanks for the worst president of the modern era.

    To Conservatives, it’s been 26 years since you gave us a good one. It will be 28 years in 2016. How ’bout you step up your game? Here’s a tip: His name should be something other than “Bush”.

    Kudos to Alan Colmes for having the prescience only two years into the Obama era that he perceived the need to divert attention away from how bad Obama would suck and saw the need to try to convince us that Reagan sucked, too. Way to get out in front of it, Mr. Colmes.

    Sincerely,

    Some Jerk Who Loves America More Than He Cares About Your Labels

    • jasperjava

      President Obama will be remembered as the greatest President since FDR. Too bad that your vicious hate prevents you from seeing it.

      • Randy Stephenson

        Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha..keep up the standup.

      • Randy Stephenson

        Fdr? really Eleanor could of run the Country better. Obam followed this and failed ALSO…But Roosevelt the economist is unworthy of emulation. His first goal was to reduce unemployment. Of his own great stimulus package, the National Industrial Recovery Act, he said: “The law I have just signed was passed to put people back to work.” Here, FDR failed abysmally. In the 1920s, unemployment had averaged below 5 percent. Blundering when they knew better, Herbert Hoover, his Treasury, the Federal Reserve and Congress drove that rate up to 25 percent. Roosevelt pulled unemployment down, but nowhere near enough to claim sustained recovery. From 1933 to 1940, FDR’s first two terms, it averaged in the high teens. Even if you add in all the work relief jobs, as some economists do, Roosevelt-era unemployment averages well above 10 percent. That’s a level Obama has referred to once or twice — as a nightmare.

        The second goal of the New Deal was to stimulate the private sector. Instead, it supplanted it. To justify their own work, New Dealers attacked not merely those guilty of white-collar crimes but the entire business community — the “princes of property,” FDR called them. Washington’s policy evolved into a lethal combo of spending and retribution. Never did either U.S. investors or foreigners get a sense that the United States was now open for business. As a result, the Depression lasted half a decade longer than it had to, from 1929 to 1940 rather than, say, 1929 to 1936. The Dow Jones industrial average didn’t return to its summer 1929 high until 1954. The monetary shock of the first years of the Depression was immense, but it was this duration that made the Depression Great.

        • Progressive Republican

          The prolongation of the Depression can be laid at the feet of the GOP and their years-long whine about how we can’t afford the New Deal and how ineffective it was. Having worn FDR down, he capitulated. This, in turn, jumpstarted the Depression with renewed vigor forcing us to wait for WWII to regain what was lost in ’37.

          Had FDR been less timid and followed his advisor’s advice (as did some European countries) the Depression might not have lasted so long so strongly.

    • OldLefty

      Reagan was probably one of the worst presidents, which is why they had to ramp up the Ronald Reagan Legacy Foundation when he was barely out of office.

      I did not realize this was so old.

    • mmmjv

      I knew you were full of bullshit after reading the first statement, where you try and make like it’s us liberals who are obsessed with Reagan. It’s conservatives who are obsessed with Reagan, trying to make him out to be the greatest President ever and damn near declaring him a saint. What you call “fighting the ghost of Ronald Reagan” is in reality nothing more than us responding to the bullshit and setting the record straight.

      As for Obama he’ll go down as one our our greatest Presidents. As for attacking old dead Presidents Woodrow Wilson has been dead a hell of a lot longer than Reagan, so hasn’t Johnson

  • Randy Stephenson

    We do know how the current is/was supplying the Mexican drug cartel weapons to kill women children, US citizens. $13t with a T in debt , Benghazi, Voter fraud, Highest unemployment since depression? etc etc etc, want to compare apples to apples Alan?

  • nmgene

    everyone knows alan colmes is a leftie loonie liar !!!!! I lived through the Reagan years in Calif and as President. The unemployment rate was like 14% when he was elected President and he cut it in half his first year in office. Alan Colmes shouldnt be allowed on the internet with his lies just as he isnt allowed on Fox anymore. He is disgusting !!!!!

    • Progressive Republican

      And you’re either a liar or an idiot.

      Tell me which.

    • 6660splendidday

      Nobody that tells the truth about anything is allowed on Fox anymore.

  • Progressive Republican

    “…swung so far to the left…”?

    Seriously?

    Dude, I want some of whatever hallucinogen you’re on. It’s gotta fun.

    Either that, or you’re psychotic, in which case nevermind.

    The right has moved very much farther to the right. Those once considered extreme (like Sen. Goldwater) now seem almost centrist.

    He noticed this before his death, btw, and the Rethuglicons have accelerated that movement since.

  • https://lasers.llnl.gov/ Obewon

    St. Ronnie’s Triple National (public) Debt legacy. Meet Executive Order 12333: The Reagan rule that lets the NSA spy on Americans! http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/meet-executive-order-12333-the-reagan-rule-that-lets-the-nsa-spy-on-americans/2014/07/18/93d2ac22-0b93-11e4-b8e5-d0de80767fc2_story.html

  • 6660splendidday

    Reagan’s Legacy;

    1) Increased the National Debt by
    189% ($998 billion to $2.6 trillion)

    no one else comes close.

    2) Converted
    millions of high paying union jobs into low paying nonunion jobs.

    3)
    Cut spending on healthcare leaving ex- servicem­en, disabled
    people,

    and old without any support and left to rot on streets.

    4) Doubled
    the number of poor in the country.

    5) Turned the US from the major exporter
    of manufactur­ed goods in the

    world to major importer of
    manufactur­ed goods.

    6) Turned US from a net importer of raw
    natural resources into a

    nation that exported raw natural resources (just
    like a third-worl­d country).

    7) Funded terrorists and tried to
    trade arms for hostages.

    8) Funded and aided Saddam with his WMD.

    9)
    Reagan encouraged corruption­, allowing Contractors to sell $25
    toilet

    seats to military for $360 and $8 hammers for $120.

    10) Reagan cut
    income taxes on working class but increased payroll

    taxes and mandated
    contributions­ to Medicare and Social Security

    but did so in
    such a way that top 1% paid 15% less than they did

    before by limiting their
    deductions on first $61,000 but the

    working poorest had theirs increased
    15%.

    11) Reagan took a staggering 436 vacation days at his ranch in 8
    years.

    12) Allowed Rupert Murdoch to circumvent the immigratio­n
    laws to

    purchase American media sources.

    13) Ignored the impending AIDS
    epidemic because it mostly affected Them People.
    14) Encouraged
    neo-conservatives and their fanatical religion to enter politics.

    ##