One would think that Republicans, purportedly fiscally conservative, would embrace an ecomic policy that favored economic growth.
So why do Republicans rally around the stupid anthem: “Anything governmetn does is evil?”
Reaganism failed. Reaganomics quadrupled our national debt.
Ronald Reagan was bad for America.
The debate over the “public option” in health care has been dismaying in many ways. Perhaps the most depressing aspect for progressives, however, has been the extent to which opponents of greater choice in health care have gained traction — in Congress, if not with the broader public — simply by repeating, over and over again, that the public option would be, horrors, a government program.
Washington, it seems, is still ruled by Reaganism — by an ideology that says government intervention is always bad, and leaving the private sector to its own devices is always good.
Call me naïve, but I actually hoped that the failure of Reaganism in practice would kill it. It turns out, however, to be a zombie doctrine: even though it should be dead, it keeps on coming.
Let’s talk for a moment about why the age of Reagan should be over.
First of all, even before the current crisis Reaganomics had failed to deliver what it promised. Remember how lower taxes on high incomes and deregulation that unleashed the “magic of the marketplace” were supposed to lead to dramatically better outcomes for everyone? Well, it didn’t happen.
To be sure, the wealthy benefited enormously: the real incomes of the top .01 percent of Americans rose sevenfold between 1980 and 2007. But the real income of the median family rose only 22 percent, less than a third its growth over the previous 27 years.
Moreover, most of whatever gains ordinary Americans achieved came during the Clinton years. President George W. Bush, who had the distinction of being the first Reaganite president to also have a fully Republican Congress, also had the distinction of presiding over the first administration since Herbert Hoover in which the typical family failed to see any significant income gains.
And then there’s the small matter of the worst recession since the 1930s.
Sevenfold = 700%. Remember that. The top .01 percent of Americans saw their real incomes rise 700% under Ronald Reagan. The rest of us? 22%.
Look: Reagonomics was an abysmal failure.
I don’t know if I’ll survive the Bush Recession. And that thought, that reality, that real fear, keeps me up at night.
Democrats need to grow a pair, as former Governor Howard Dean said recently.
And Reagan-worshipping Republicans need to be voted out of office.