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Reagan's legacy


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On another topic, 2smart4u asked me whether I would "concede" that Reagan was one of our greatest presidents despite not having a law degree. A law degree has nothing to do with it. I've never suggested that a president should have a law degree, so I don't know where you're getting that.

I thought the broader question whether Reagan was a great president deserved a topic. I'll address my answer to my fellow American, 2smart4u. I'm delighted that we're actually beginning a discussion. Let's see how long we can keep it up and how far we can take it.

You ask a fascinating question about Reagan: fascinating because I believe the end of the Bush presidency and the current economic crisis mark the end of the Reagan era in American politics.

If you count a great president as one who transforms his country, then Reagan was great; but by that definition many leaders whom we do not admire would be called great. So I don't accept that definition. I believe that transformation is one quality of a great president, but in addition the president must also have done the country good in the process.

Reagan accomplished many good things in the short term, but he did them at the expense of our long-term welfare. For that reason I think history will look on his era as a march backward instead of a leap forward, and on him as a Pied Piper who led the country where it viscerally wanted to go, but not where it needed to go. I would summarize the Reagan era as one of selfishness and myopia. Having given up on the Kennedy-esque ideal of "ask what you can do for your country," the American people turned inward when the demands of the world were exactly the opposite. The tragic irony is that this era has made American decline, as all great powers have previously declined, much more likely. We could have avoided this, but that is not the road we took under Reagan or are on now.

Consider Reagan’s accomplishments.

1. He restored a sense of national pride. On the other hand, excessive nationalism has an ugly history.

2. He ended a period of economic malaise and ushered in a period where Americans felt it was “morning in America.” On the other hand, he did it by mortgaging the future, ignoring long-term needs and forestalling needed changes we should have spent the past twenty-eight years making. He also did it by dumbing down our politics and our civic life together as a people.

3. He called the Democratic party to task for corruption and inefficiency, but instead of bringing in an era of responsibility, he replaced Democratic failures with Republican failures. He promised to balance the federal budget, but did exactly the opposite.

4. He ended unnecessary and wasteful programs, but also ended or scaled back many good programs like funding for the arts. In the end, government was just as wasteful at the end of his term as it was at the beginning.

5. He may have hastened the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the credit some people give him for this is excessive. The Soviet Union collapsed mainly for economic and internal political reasons, and would probably have done so regardless of Reagan's policies. He may have hastened it a bit.

The reasons I believe history’s assessment of Reagan will be mainly negative are:

1. He ushered in an era of profligacy by telling us we could have whatever we wanted without paying for it. He replaced tax and spend with borrow and spend. Never would there be another tax, he implied, but services would continue. He helped make us irresponsible as a people.

2. As a result, we began accumulating massive debts, both as a nation and as individuals. We have buried ourselves in debt largely because of Reagan’s governing philosophy, which has held sway all these years, to the point that no American politician dares to admit that he would propose a tax increase, no matter how necessary it might be.

3. He told us government was the problem. This has led to an era of knee-jerk conservatism, which is no better than knee-jerk liberalism was, and in many ways is worse.

4. He made us arrogant as a nation and as a people. American exceptionalism is a very bad idea, which we are about to find out if we do not change course.

5. He ignored the essential need to develop alternative energy sources. We could have embarked on a major research project during the 1980s. President Carter had just stated the urgency of that. Reagan told us what we wanted to hear: that cheap oil would continue forever, even if we had to obtain it by military force, and there would never be a price to pay. This is perhaps the main reason for our current state of affairs today.

6. He neglected and harmed the middle class. Except for a short reversal during the Clinton years, the income gap has grown to obscene proportions during the Reagan era, precisely because of his laissez-faire economic philosophy. Capitalism is the best among imperfect systems, but it must be controlled and regulated. Reagan told us it wasn’t necessary, and we were foolish enough to believe him.

7. He disconnected reason from politics, replacing substance with form. This came at the worst possible time in our history, just as television and even the newspapers were in their transition period into all-entertainment (at the expense of reality). We needed someone to counteract this trend, not encourage it. See Paddy Chayefsky’s film “Network” to understand what I’m referring to. It’s fiction, but it’s spot on.

8. He undermined respect for the judiciary and for fundamental Constitutional principles like church-state separation. He also politicized the courts in an unprecedented way, thereby threatening the Constitution’s separation of powers.

So why was Reagan so popular? In fact, his popularity faded in the middle of his second term, after the Iran-contra scandal. But he was popular because we got the candy without having to pay for it. The American economy entered 1981 with tremendous reserves. He neglected to tell us that our children would have to pay for his and our depleting them. During his era, which is just now about to end, our manufacturing base has been allowed to erode and we have borrowed obscene an amount of money, which is now fueling China’s rise to replace us. This is all traceable to Reagan’s feel-good political economics.

The better course would have been investing in our future, a process Bill Clinton began but was able to take only so far because Republicans controlled Congress during most of his two terms. We should have had a research and development program for new energy sources, concomitant development of new manufacturing industries, a far saner approach to budgeting, and continued regulation of financial institutions that were only becoming more complex and therefore in need of regulation. In short, we should have been planning for our future instead of expecting unregulated capitalism to bring it magically into place. Because Reagan did not believe in government, and managed to convince the American people that he was right, none of that happened, which is why we have the problems we have today.

There is much more to say, but that's probably more already than most people care to read.

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Thank you Paul, for a superb essay on Ronnie Raygun's exaggerated life.

There was always something "B" movie about that president. Oh right, his act of public speaking! Raygun at the podium was highly polished plastic and I wonder if Nancy (tarot cards first x-ray lady) did his hair with black shoe polish..........

Raygun is Iran-contra.

Raygun is "I don't recall that" stated robotically when his ass was under examination.

Raygun is "catsup is a veggie." (for American schoolchildren, nice)

Raygun is "greed is good."

Raygun is record national debt................

"The result has been unprecedented government debt. Reagan has tripled the Gross Federal Debt, from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion. Ford and Carter in their combined terms could only double it. It took 31 years to accomplish the first postwar debt tripling, yet Reagan did it in eight."

The above quote is taken from this source, read ALL of it:

http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=488

It's no wonder so many Americans can't find Iraq on the map and think Barack Obama is a Muslim! Blind, gluttonous American bigots who maintain the fraudulent legacy of Ronnie Raygun should be congratulated for the status of America today. Phonyism is now Americanism. :angry:

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Thank you Paul, for a superb essay on Ronnie Raygun's exaggerated life.

There was always something "B" movie about that president. Oh right, his act of public speaking! Raygun at the podium was highly polished plastic and I wonder if Nancy (tarot cards first x-ray lady) did his hair with black shoe polish..........

Raygun is Iran-contra.

Raygun is "I don't recall that" stated robotically when his ass was under examination.

Raygun is "catsup is a veggie." (for American schoolchildren, nice)

Raygun is "greed is good."

Raygun is record national debt................

"The result has been unprecedented government debt. Reagan has tripled the Gross Federal Debt, from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion. Ford and Carter in their combined terms could only double it. It took 31 years to accomplish the first postwar debt tripling, yet Reagan did it in eight."

The above quote is taken from this source, read ALL of it:

http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=488

It's no wonder so many Americans can't find Iraq on the map and think Barack Obama is a Muslim! Blind, gluttonous American bigots who maintain the fraudulent legacy of Ronnie Raygun should be congratulated for the status of America today. Phonyism is now Americanism. :angry:

This is a perfect example of the kind of people that side with Paul.

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Guest Phony is Paul and Manscape
Thank you Paul, for a superb essay on Ronnie Raygun's exaggerated life.

There was always something "B" movie about that president. Oh right, his act of public speaking! Raygun at the podium was highly polished plastic and I wonder if Nancy (tarot cards first x-ray lady) did his hair with black shoe polish..........

Raygun is Iran-contra.

Raygun is "I don't recall that" stated robotically when his ass was under examination.

Raygun is "catsup is a veggie." (for American schoolchildren, nice)

Raygun is "greed is good."

Raygun is record national debt................

"The result has been unprecedented government debt. Reagan has tripled the Gross Federal Debt, from $900 billion to $2.7 trillion. Ford and Carter in their combined terms could only double it. It took 31 years to accomplish the first postwar debt tripling, yet Reagan did it in eight."

The above quote is taken from this source, read ALL of it:

http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=488

It's no wonder so many Americans can't find Iraq on the map and think Barack Obama is a Muslim! Blind, gluttonous American bigots who maintain the fraudulent legacy of Ronnie Raygun should be congratulated for the status of America today. Phonyism is now Americanism. :angry:

Paul wants to step in crap and you want to eat it. This come from the same people who thrived during the Regan years thinking life is good. Then years later things start going bad and it goes back to the name calling. Regan did things, he performed, and not like your Democratic desk thumping Clinton, but actually made things good in the US for a while. I guess you forget that the USSR at that time and what a danger it did pose to the US? So go on and bash the dead, thats what you do. If thats what you and your boyfriend Paul want your legacy to read, then so be it. Since obviously you are not "man" enough to step and and do something about this situation or just too lazy too.

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Paul wants to step in crap and you want to eat it. This come from the same people who thrived during the Regan years thinking life is good. Then years later things start going bad and it goes back to the name calling. Regan did things, he performed, and not like your Democratic desk thumping Clinton, but actually made things good in the US for a while. I guess you forget that the USSR at that time and what a danger it did pose to the US? So go on and bash the dead, thats what you do. If thats what you and your boyfriend Paul want your legacy to read, then so be it. Since obviously you are not "man" enough to step and and do something about this situation or just too lazy too.

It's not hard to see who got Reagan elected and who has been supporting his political successors.

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Guest wildbill

Old Dutch's legacy is summed up in a few word's "Makka Lonna Ho, Makka Channy Hey! "Power without knowledge is power lost" Montesquieu

Google Ralphsteadman.com. Click on the news section. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the article in the Yorkshire Post. Read Ralph's own words in the last paragraph of that article and then review the entire website for insite into Jester 3's mind

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The question could well be asked whether the United States as a nation is better off now than it was 28 years ago. Technological advances have helped us keep pace, but in terms of our national reserves we are deeply in debt. That is a direct result of Reagan's philosophy of non-governance.

We have done practically nothing to plan or prepare for energy independence. That is also a direct result of Reagan's contempt for government.

We are the only developed nation in the world without a national health care policy, as a result of which we have 47 million Americans uninsured. Our health statistics are not where they should be considering our vast wealth. That is a direct result of Reagan's contemptuous attitude toward government.

Our children are falling behind in science and math education. That is a direct result of the undoing of the Kennedy philosophy of public-spirited idealism and its replacement with the Reagan philosophy that greed is good. If anything like this had happened in the 1960s, the government would have acted to impress upon Americans the vital importance of staying competitive in education. Americans would have seen this as a patriotic duty and would have responded. We would not be falling behind the rest of the world.

Income distribution is more unequal than at any time since just before the Great Depression. This is a direct result of Reagan's policy of trickle-down, supply-side economics. George H. W. Bush had the good sense to call it voodoo economics when he was running against Reagan, but became a convert because it was politically popular.

In foreign affairs, we have lost our standing in the world community. That is an indirect result of the false idea of American exceptionalism that Reagan sold us and Palin spoke of briefly on Thursday evening.

During the Reagan era, we have done more to destroy our status as a great power than I ever imagined we might. This era has been bizarre and perverse. We have planted the seeds of our own fall from great power status and watched as the weed grew and spread.

A great president transforms his country into something better, not something worse. He prepares it to confront the future, instead of rendering it unable to do so.

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Guest Patriot
The question could well be asked whether the United States as a nation is better off now than it was 28 years ago. Technological advances have helped us keep pace, but in terms of our national reserves we are deeply in debt. That is a direct result of Reagan's philosophy of non-governance.

We have done practically nothing to plan or prepare for energy independence. That is also a direct result of Reagan's contempt for government.

We are the only developed nation in the world without a national health care policy, as a result of which we have 47 million Americans uninsured. Our health statistics are not where they should be considering our vast wealth. That is a direct result of Reagan's contemptuous attitude toward government.

Our children are falling behind in science and math education. That is a direct result of the undoing of the Kennedy philosophy of public-spirited idealism and its replacement with the Reagan philosophy that greed is good. If anything like this had happened in the 1960s, the government would have acted to impress upon Americans the vital importance of staying competitive in education. Americans would have seen this as a patriotic duty and would have responded. We would not be falling behind the rest of the world.

Income distribution is more unequal than at any time since just before the Great Depression. This is a direct result of Reagan's policy of trickle-down, supply-side economics. George H. W. Bush had the good sense to call it voodoo economics when he was running against Reagan, but became a convert because it was politically popular.

In foreign affairs, we have lost our standing in the world community. That is an indirect result of the false idea of American exceptionalism that Reagan sold us and Palin spoke of briefly on Thursday evening.

During the Reagan era, we have done more to destroy our status as a great power than I ever imagined we might. This era has been bizarre and perverse. We have planted the seeds of our own fall from great power status and watched as the weed grew and spread.

A great president transforms his country into something better, not something worse. He prepares it to confront the future, instead of rendering it unable to do so.

"Income distribution" ?? There's a tenet of a socialist society. This is the world that Obama wants. A world where hard work and initiative are rewarded with higher taxes to be "re-distributed" to those with less initiative and less inclination to work for a living.

Somehow I don't think our founding fathers whose hard work as frontiersmen shaped this great country would approve of "income re-distribution".

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Guest 2smart4u
The question could well be asked whether the United States as a nation is better off now than it was 28 years ago. Technological advances have helped us keep pace, but in terms of our national reserves we are deeply in debt. That is a direct result of Reagan's philosophy of non-governance.

We have done practically nothing to plan or prepare for energy independence. That is also a direct result of Reagan's contempt for government.

We are the only developed nation in the world without a national health care policy, as a result of which we have 47 million Americans uninsured. Our health statistics are not where they should be considering our vast wealth. That is a direct result of Reagan's contemptuous attitude toward government.

Our children are falling behind in science and math education. That is a direct result of the undoing of the Kennedy philosophy of public-spirited idealism and its replacement with the Reagan philosophy that greed is good. If anything like this had happened in the 1960s, the government would have acted to impress upon Americans the vital importance of staying competitive in education. Americans would have seen this as a patriotic duty and would have responded. We would not be falling behind the rest of the world.

Income distribution is more unequal than at any time since just before the Great Depression. This is a direct result of Reagan's policy of trickle-down, supply-side economics. George H. W. Bush had the good sense to call it voodoo economics when he was running against Reagan, but became a convert because it was politically popular.

In foreign affairs, we have lost our standing in the world community. That is an indirect result of the false idea of American exceptionalism that Reagan sold us and Palin spoke of briefly on Thursday evening.

During the Reagan era, we have done more to destroy our status as a great power than I ever imagined we might. This era has been bizarre and perverse. We have planted the seeds of our own fall from great power status and watched as the weed grew and spread.

A great president transforms his country into something better, not something worse. He prepares it to confront the future, instead of rendering it unable to do so.

Paul, Paul, Paul. My head is spinning. You spun that post so fast I had to hold on to my chair so I wouldn't fall on the floor. Leave it to a liberal to totally trash one our greatest presidents. Are you forgetting that it was Reagan who took down the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc. Anything negative you can say about Reagan pales in comparison to eliminating the greatest threat the U.S. has ever faced, a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. According to your essay, Reagan had no redeeming qualities and nothing worthwhile came out of the Reagan presidency. Surely a man of your superior intellect knows better than that.

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Paul, Paul, Paul. My head is spinning. You spun that post so fast I had to hold on to my chair so I wouldn't fall on the floor.

"Spin" is sometimes used as a euphemism for "telling a truth that disagrees with my ideology". Your post is an example of that.

Here's a clue for all you right-wingers, since you're obviously in need of one: When your ideology conflicts with reality, it isn't reality that's in error.

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Paul, Paul, Paul. My head is spinning. You spun that post so fast I had to hold on to my chair so I wouldn't fall on the floor. Leave it to a liberal to totally trash one our greatest presidents. Are you forgetting that it was Reagan who took down the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc. Anything negative you can say about Reagan pales in comparison to eliminating the greatest threat the U.S. has ever faced, a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. According to your essay, Reagan had no redeeming qualities and nothing worthwhile came out of the Reagan presidency. Surely a man of your superior intellect knows better than that.

Apparently you didn't read what I wrote. Come on, my fellow American. You can do better than that. I gave Reagan credit insofar as I think it is due. You're conceding that his presidency was a disaster economically and culturally. All you're arguing is that he took down the Soviet Union single-handedly. The fact is that the Soviet Union collapsed from within for economic and political reasons. Reagan's aggressive policies may have hastened it, but that's all. Many people saw it coming, including the great visionary Paddy Chayefsky. See the film "Network." It's as spot on as anything you'll see anywhere else.

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"Income distribution" ?? There's a tenet of a socialist society. This is the world that Obama wants. A world where hard work and initiative are rewarded with higher taxes to be "re-distributed" to those with less initiative and less inclination to work for a living.

Somehow I don't think our founding fathers whose hard work as frontiersmen shaped this great country would approve of "income re-distribution".

Income re-distribution is happening right now as a result of deregulation. It happens every bit as much in capitalist economies as it does in socialist economies.

In an unregulated capitalist economy, wealth concentrates into the hands of a few over time. The disadvantages of that are (1) that the middle class is eventually destroyed and (2) substantial economic opportunity becomes possible for a progressively smaller number of people. That is why we have seen the middle class shrink under every Republican president since Reagan. His governing philosophy doesn't make sense in the modern world.

Corporate CEOs aren't being paid 350 times the salary of their average employee because they're working that much harder or are worth that much more. They're being paid those exorbitant sums because a privileged few have constructed an insiders' game in which they alone are allowed to leverage the system. That doesn't reward hard work and productivity. It just rewards gaming the system. That's the class warfare we have to worry about: the super-rich gaining control of all the wealth and shutting everyone else out. It hasn't quite happened yet, but that's the road we have been on under Bush.

You're wrong about Obama. He does not want a socialist society and neither do I. He simply recognizes that this isn't the 18th century any more. Our founding fathers envisioned a system of property and commerce in which everyone had an opportunity to succeed. You're overlooking the sea changes that have occurred since the late 18th century. In that time, we have gone from a mainly local economy, through an historically brief period of national economy, into the current era of the global economy. Giant multi-national corporations are every bit as much a threat to freedom as any government. Obama is not suggesting socialism. He's proposing a system of checks and balances so that the system works for everyone. That's not radical socialism. It's fairness and common sense.

You can't make sense out of any of this unless you account for the power of giant multi-national corporations. The most famous work on economics from the framers' time is Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations. Conservatives often cite it because it argues for free markets, but they overlook Smith's caveat that any form of concentrated wealth or power that influences a market destoys the essence of the system.

Fellow American, let's continue this dialogue. But we can't have it if you're just going to ignore everything that has happened in the past 225 years. Think about the role the global economy plays in this, and then let's discuss it further. But make sure your answer accounts for that reality.

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Paul, Paul, Paul. My head is spinning. You spun that post so fast I had to hold on to my chair so I wouldn't fall on the floor. Leave it to a liberal to totally trash one our greatest presidents. Are you forgetting that it was Reagan who took down the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc. Anything negative you can say about Reagan pales in comparison to eliminating the greatest threat the U.S. has ever faced, a nuclear war with the Soviet Union. According to your essay, Reagan had no redeeming qualities and nothing worthwhile came out of the Reagan presidency. Surely a man of your superior intellect knows better than that.

LOL!

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Somehow I don't think our founding fathers whose hard work as frontiersmen shaped this great country would approve of "income re-distribution".

What do ypu think they'd say about the treasonous act of selling weapons to an enemy, another Reagan 'accomplishment'?

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What do ypu think they'd say about the treasonous act of selling weapons to an enemy, another Reagan 'accomplishment'?

Invoke Bush doctrine #2 - the President is the unitary executive, the Fount of the State.

Therefore, by definition, the President can do no wrong. When Reagan sold Iran our weapons, then obviously, the Iranians were not our enenemies. :lol:

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Guest 2smart4u
Apparently you didn't read what I wrote. Come on, my fellow American. You can do better than that. I gave Reagan credit insofar as I think it is due. You're conceding that his presidency was a disaster economically and culturally. All you're arguing is that he took down the Soviet Union single-handedly. The fact is that the Soviet Union collapsed from within for economic and political reasons. Reagan's aggressive policies may have hastened it, but that's all. Many people saw it coming, including the great visionary Paddy Chayefsky. See the film "Network." It's as spot on as anything you'll see anywhere else.

The primary reason for the Soviet Union collapse was trying to keep up with Reagan's "Star Wars" military spending buildup. Rather than debate Reagan's pro's and con's, I'd rather focus on Barack Obama. I have serious concerns with Obama's character; his connections with Bill Ayres, Rev. Wright, and Rezco.

When Obama was organizing his campaign in Chicago, his first meeting was in Ayres living room. He knew of Ayres background as a domestic terrorist who was involved in bombings in the U.S. but apparently was unconcerned with his anti-American sentiment.

Just this fact alone should disqualify Obama for President. Why do you give Obama a pass on this when you would absolutely be hysterical if this were McCain? Add to this Rev. Wright, Obama's pastor for 20 years, a racist hate-monger. Obama sat in that church for twenty years and listened to the vile racist venom spewing from this man. He stayed in the church for 20 years and actually let this racist baptise his daughters. He apparently agreed with that garbage, otherwise why did he stay there for over 20 years. Again, he gets a pass from you.

You want to debate various topics, yet your far left views are so unyielding as to make any give and take on an issue difficult.

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The primary reason for the Soviet Union collapse was trying to keep up with Reagan's "Star Wars" military spending buildup. Rather than debate Reagan's pro's and con's, I'd rather focus on Barack Obama. I have serious concerns with Obama's character; his connections with Bill Ayres, Rev. Wright, and Rezco.

When Obama was organizing his campaign in Chicago, his first meeting was in Ayres living room. He knew of Ayres background as a domestic terrorist who was involved in bombings in the U.S. but apparently was unconcerned with his anti-American sentiment.

Just this fact alone should disqualify Obama for President. Why do you give Obama a pass on this when you would absolutely be hysterical if this were McCain? Add to this Rev. Wright, Obama's pastor for 20 years, a racist hate-monger. Obama sat in that church for twenty years and listened to the vile racist venom spewing from this man. He stayed in the church for 20 years and actually let this racist baptise his daughters. He apparently agreed with that garbage, otherwise why did he stay there for over 20 years. Again, he gets a pass from you.

You want to debate various topics, yet your far left views are so unyielding as to make any give and take on an issue difficult.

Well, how about Sarah Palin's husband who was a member of a group of Alaskans who wanted to succeed from the union? Last summer she made a video for them and told them to keep up the good work. What about her pastor who labels innocent women as witches and incites a riot to have her run out of town?

Why don't you focus on that?

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The primary reason for the Soviet Union collapse was trying to keep up with Reagan's "Star Wars" military spending buildup. Rather than debate Reagan's pro's and con's, I'd rather focus on Barack Obama. I have serious concerns with Obama's character; his connections with Bill Ayres, Rev. Wright, and Rezco.

When Obama was organizing his campaign in Chicago, his first meeting was in Ayres living room. He knew of Ayres background as a domestic terrorist who was involved in bombings in the U.S. but apparently was unconcerned with his anti-American sentiment.

Just this fact alone should disqualify Obama for President. Why do you give Obama a pass on this when you would absolutely be hysterical if this were McCain? Add to this Rev. Wright, Obama's pastor for 20 years, a racist hate-monger. Obama sat in that church for twenty years and listened to the vile racist venom spewing from this man. He stayed in the church for 20 years and actually let this racist baptise his daughters. He apparently agreed with that garbage, otherwise why did he stay there for over 20 years. Again, he gets a pass from you.

You want to debate various topics, yet your far left views are so unyielding as to make any give and take on an issue difficult.

With all due respect to you, my fellow American, merely characterizing my views through your own obviously partisan lens does you no credit. You asked for this discussion, and in response I gave you eight solid reasons why Reagan's legacy is a tragic one for our country. Instead of engaging on any of those points, you just ignore them. I have no problem if you don't wish to discuss any of those points, but it would do you greater credit if you would at least acknowledge that the points were made and say a little something, such as "hey, I never thought of that" or "I never saw it that way before, Paul, I'll think about it." And I don't think you can properly argue, as Palin has done, that this is lookin' to the past, because the Reagan ideology is still informing the entire Republican party. It is currently dominant.

I understand your point about our arms build-up under Reagan and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet system, and I've told you, there's a grain of truth in it. However, the USSR could have refused to bankrupt itself by trying to compete with us militarily, accepted a subordinate status as a military power (since they knew we weren't likely to be aggressive in the same ways as they were) and at least kept its system together for a while longer. The bigger point is that the USSR wouldn't have collapsed if it hadn't been weak to begin with. Was hastening that collapse worth the cost? I'm inclined to think not, since it was coming anyway.

This is a topic on Reagan's legacy, so I'm not willing to have a discussion about Obama's assocations here. If you want to have the discussion, then open a separate topic, but if you do it, please make your case in a thoughtful and intelligent way. Tell us how you think these associations are likely to affect his ability to serve as our president. It's not obvious, any more than McCain's former membership on an organization populated mainly by fascists and Nazis obviously "disqualifies" him. I could have made that case, but I haven't because I don't think McCain is a fascist or a Nazi, or sympathetic to any of their nefarious aims. He shouldn't have allowed his name on that group's letterhead or served with the group as a new Congressman, but I don't see how that is likely to interfere with his ability to serve and execute the office faithfully to our interests. Other things would, in my opnion, but not that. Make your case against Obama, in a separate topic, in an intelligent and reasoned way, and then I'll have that discussion with you.

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So why don't the right wingers want to discuss this topic? The economy is in the toilet because we followed the Reagan prescription of borrow and spend, both in our national life and in our personal lives. You can complain that the Democrats didn't stop it either, but you know damn well that any Democrat who tried to tell the people that the borrowing and spending couldn't last would be dismissed as a naysayer, scolded for lecturing the American people and voted out of office. The Republicans would have waved their stupid little banners and shouted their brainless slogans and the American people would have kept voting them in as long as the candy and the cake and the other goodies kept coming.

Too many of the American people bought a bill of goods. They wanted to believe that we could have it all and not pay for it. So we borrowed to support our addiction to consumption. We have reached the end of our rope, and the whole world is in economic meltdown. The fact that it didn't happen sooner only proves how strong our economy was and how many resources we had to squander.

We liberals told you this was going to happen.

I'm not referring to the Congressional Democrats. I'm talking about real liberals, of whom there are very few in public office any more: Liberals who understand that government has a role to play in the economy, such as funding research and development for alternative energy sources beginning 35 years ago, so we wouldn't be in this mess today. Jimmy Carter, of all people, told us this, but he wasn't personally a strong leader, his message seemed to pessimistic and you didn't want to listen. You didn't want to think either.

If you bought the politics of the Reagan era, I'm talking to you. You did this. You voted for this. You asked for this. Too many Americans bought the feel-good politics of ignorance and denial. Now we all suffer.

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Guest 2smart4u
So why don't the right wingers want to discuss this topic? The economy is in the toilet because we followed the Reagan prescription of borrow and spend, both in our national life and in our personal lives. You can complain that the Democrats didn't stop it either, but you know damn well that any Democrat who tried to tell the people that the borrowing and spending couldn't last would be dismissed as a naysayer, scolded for lecturing the American people and voted out of office. The Republicans would have waved their stupid little banners and shouted their brainless slogans and the American people would have kept voting them in as long as the candy and the cake and the other goodies kept coming.

Too many of the American people bought a bill of goods. They wanted to believe that we could have it all and not pay for it. So we borrowed to support our addiction to consumption. We have reached the end of our rope, and the whole world is in economic meltdown. The fact that it didn't happen sooner only proves how strong our economy was and how many resources we had to squander.

We liberals told you this was going to happen.

I'm not referring to the Congressional Democrats. I'm talking about real liberals, of whom there are very few in public office any more: Liberals who understand that government has a role to play in the economy, such as funding research and development for alternative energy sources beginning 35 years ago, so we wouldn't be in this mess today. Jimmy Carter, of all people, told us this, but he wasn't personally a strong leader, his message seemed to pessimistic and you didn't want to listen. You didn't want to think either.

If you bought the politics of the Reagan era, I'm talking to you. You did this. You voted for this. You asked for this. Too many Americans bought the feel-good politics of ignorance and denial. Now we all suffer.

KOOL-AID ALERT !!

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"Income distribution" ?? There's a tenet of a socialist society. This is the world that Obama wants. A world where hard work and initiative are rewarded with higher taxes to be "re-distributed" to those with less initiative and less inclination to work for a living.

Socialist? Like partial bankownership? Like funding luxury vacations for insurance company execs? Brought to you my a Republican administration?

Somehow I don't think our founding fathers whose hard work as frontiersmen shaped this great country would approve of "income re-distribution".

Yet you're stupid enough to believe the founding fathers tasked us with nation building other than our own?

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