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The Truth About Ronald Reagan That Conservatives Ignore

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.

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Alan Colmes is the publisher of Liberaland.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    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?