|New Civilization News: Reagan|
Category: Government, Public Sector
16 comments8 Jun 2004 @ 01:59 by vibrani : Right on!
Reagan did things from which we still haven't recovered. I always called him the great puppet, and avoider. The puppet because it seemed like was reading speeches as a front for others; and an avoider because of his putting his hand to his hear and shaking his head and smiling, saying he couldn't hear when reporters would ask him questions. The man ruined California, and he did nothing positive for this country that I could see. JFK and Nixon should get credit for helping to take down the Berlin Wall, not Reagan. Reagan just came in at the end to grab the glory. And Grenada? What a joke! It sickens me that an airport, and a freeway in my city named for him, and that there is a chance he could be on a dime intead of FDR. Oh yes, another pet name I had for Reagan was "old lizard face." Tells you how much I think of the man (and what he knew about ETs but didn't say). I'll always remember him as falling asleep while the Pope talked lol. Can someone explain to me why people are crying because he's dead? Why people want to walk around his coffin?
8 Jun 2004 @ 01:59 by jazzolog : The Great Taxer
The New York Times
June 8, 2004
The Great Taxer
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Over the course of this week we'll be hearing a lot about Ronald Reagan, much of it false. A number of news sources have already proclaimed Mr. Reagan the most popular president of modern times. In fact, though Mr. Reagan was very popular in 1984 and 1985, he spent the latter part of his presidency under the shadow of the Iran-Contra scandal. Bill Clinton had a slightly higher average Gallup approval rating, and a much higher rating during his last two years in office.
We're also sure to hear that Mr. Reagan presided over an unmatched economic boom. Again, not true: the economy grew slightly faster under President Clinton, and, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the after-tax income of a typical family, adjusted for inflation, rose more than twice as much from 1992 to 2000 as it did from 1980 to 1988.
But Ronald Reagan does hold a special place in the annals of tax policy, and not just as the patron saint of tax cuts. To his credit, he was more pragmatic and responsible than that; he followed his huge 1981 tax cut with two large tax increases. In fact, no peacetime president has raised taxes so much on so many people. This is not a criticism: the tale of those increases tells you a lot about what was right with President Reagan's leadership, and what's wrong with the leadership of George W. Bush.
The first Reagan tax increase came in 1982. By then it was clear that the budget projections used to justify the 1981 tax cut were wildly optimistic. In response, Mr. Reagan agreed to a sharp rollback of corporate tax cuts, and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of G.D.P., the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton's 1993 tax increase.
The contrast with President Bush is obvious. President Reagan, confronted with evidence that his tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, changed course. President Bush, confronted with similar evidence, has pushed for even more tax cuts.
Mr. Reagan's second tax increase was also motivated by a sense of responsibility or at least that's the way it seemed at the time. I'm referring to the Social Security Reform Act of 1983, which followed the recommendations of a commission led by Alan Greenspan. Its key provision was an increase in the payroll tax that pays for Social Security and Medicare hospital insurance.
For many middle- and low-income families, this tax increase more than undid any gains from Mr. Reagan's income tax cuts. In 1980, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates, middle-income families with children paid 8.2 percent of their income in income taxes, and 9.5 percent in payroll taxes. By 1988 the income tax share was down to 6.6 percent but the payroll tax share was up to 11.8 percent, and the combined burden was up, not down.
Nonetheless, there was broad bipartisan support for the payroll tax increase because it was part of a deal. The public was told that the extra revenue would be used to build up a trust fund dedicated to the preservation of Social Security benefits, securing the system's future. Thanks to the 1983 act, current projections show that under current rules, Social Security is good for at least 38 more years.
But George W. Bush has made it clear that he intends to renege on the deal. His officials insist that the trust fund is meaningless which means that they don't feel bound to honor the implied contract that dedicated the revenue generated by President Reagan's payroll tax increase to paying for future Social Security benefits. Indeed, it's clear from the arithmetic that the only way to sustain President Bush's tax cuts in the long run will be with sharp cuts in both Social Security and Medicare benefits.
I did not and do not approve of President Reagan's economic policies, which saddled the nation with trillions of dollars in debt. And as others will surely point out, some of the foreign policy shenanigans that took place on his watch, notably the Iran-contra scandal, foreshadowed the current debacle in Iraq (which, not coincidentally, involves some of the same actors).
Still, on both foreign and domestic policy Mr. Reagan showed both some pragmatism and some sense of responsibility. These are attributes sorely lacking in the man who claims to be his political successor.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
8 Jun 2004 @ 02:54 by vaxen : Gee...
a two in one! (Articles that is) plus a link! What's this place coming to anyway? Ever hear of 'debt based 'economy?' (What's economical about it?) That's what you have in the United States. All very neatly run by the thieves in 'the Fed.' Of course the 'Federal Reserve' has a monopoly on printing the fiat script you call money (Jekyll Island) and then they charge exhorbitant interest on that and on and on and on...You might do well to study 'fractional reserve banking.' Then find out who really runs 'your country.' You may be surprised to find out that 'it ai'nt Washington' bubby. Thanks for the articles but...
PS: You may wish to further educate yourself by studying 'The Santa Clara Decision' of 1886. Very enlightening, indeed, towards understanding the present predicament of the so called 'economy.'
8 Jun 2004 @ 09:44 by Quinty @220.127.116.11 : The Song of the Far Right
Grant the old buzzard the proprieties of death. Even Nixon received his obsequies, with an over the top oration by Clinton. I remember receiving a petition asking me to sign in order to put Reagan's face on the dime. I didn't immediately get that they wanted to replace FDR's. That's what it's all about, folks. And now we have to put our hopes into the malleable spines of Democrats, who often fear saying anything which isnt nice." We live by various myths in this country. One, is that we are the greatest, and better than everyone else in the world. Another is the myth that if Donald Trump can make it you can too. And that if you don't it is your fault. Somewhere back there in time I can remember when we clearly understood that many of these myths were lies, hiding the true intent of the mythologers. That they simply didn't want to pay taxes and had contempt for the poor. But the myth of a powerful self sufficiency seems to have done the trick. For an excellent example of the power of self sufficiency and raising yourself up by the bootstraps let us quickly look at Exhibit A: George W. Bush. A man who would be lucky to be the manager of the shoe department at Walmart had it not been for his family.
8 Jun 2004 @ 15:16 by jazzolog : All About Ronnie
I suppose I ought to write a little personal reminiscence about Ronnie, since he had effect on my life at a couple of important junctures. As I moved from 12 to 13, my interests changed from cars to baseball players to movie stars in about the space of time it takes for a couple of glands to activate. I'd meticulously cut out pictures of the machines and people involved in these crazes, and tape them to the wallpaper in my room. Obviously at the end of this particular year, redecorating was in order in there. The male film stars I chose, before Brando came along, were pretty much governed by whose movies came out and who was featured in Photoplay. Alan Ladd and Joel McCrea were there because I loved Westerns. I'd write them fan letters (c/o their studios) and in those days you usually got a reply with a photograph, often autographed. In 1954, Ronald Reagan strapped on a gunbelt and made Law And Order (about a sheriff who has to finish off Preston Foster before he can get married). I liked his style, and the next year he made Tennessee's Partner which had the added attraction of gorgeous Rhonda Fleming. I wrote him, and he sent me a nice photo. He seemed quiet, really sincere, a true nice guy.
By the mid-50s in our family, people started getting judged according to what they advertised...particularly by my mother. Reagan started showing up in magazines smoking and selling cigarettes...and my mother turned against him. Shortly thereafter he began to appear on television, rarely acting, but hosting series. He began to fade in my admiration. By the time he became the spokesperson for General Electric ("where Progress is our most important product") he was leaving me cold. He had changed, I had changed, the culture---I don't know what all entered into it...and I haven't read his autobiography, perhaps revealingly titled Where's The Rest Of Me. (I shouldn't be cruel here: the title actually is a line from a film in which he has been disabled in battle.)
In the '60s he got into politics...and everybody outside California knew it was because he looked good on TV and movie screens, and could deliver the lines he was handed with dimpled charm. Somebody wanted to buy a candidate and Ronnie was for sale, with GE as his sponsor. They probably knew all this in California too, but somehow things like that don't matter there. When it looked like he might head for the national arena, from all I had heard I became anxious.
I was working in a federal job retraining project in industry when the campaign was on. I liked Carter but knew he had been screwed by crippling inflation that had appeared out of somewhere or other. I believed there was a corporate conspiracy running it...and there was some talk of a Trilateral Commission. Even worse, my job site was at a TRW plant, which company currently is governing the world. My work was with returned Viet Nam vets who requested some help in reorganizing their lives, getting jobs, and establishing themselves in peacetime America. The guys on the machines out on the floor were talking up Reagan. They thought he had something they wanted. Lower taxes, less government...and they trusted that the benefits would come trickling down from the top. I couldn't believe it. I tried to debate with them, but it was no use: labor liked Reagan...and voted him in.
The next year, one of the first things Reagan did was cancel federal projects such as those vets and I were involved in. Immediately after funding was cut off, six hundred of us were laid off by TRW in one day. My wife was 7 months pregnant with our first child. Most of those vets had married by now and put a down payment on a house. My city was laid low for the next 3 years, after which it was finished off entirely by the sudden withdrawal of TRW from town altogether. Many of us, myself included, were forced to relocate. I know that my town was not alone in suffering these blows of Reaganomics. That city seems to be rebuilding itself from the ground up now, 20 years later, as are other towns around the country. We're told we're all better off for what happened, and now are advised to re-elect these politicians. I really don't think my family or those of the guys I knew are better off at all because of Reagan. But he certainly was a turning point in the history of this nation.
8 Jun 2004 @ 15:23 by Quinty @18.104.22.168 : More on RR
I was living in San Francisco's Chinatown when Governor Reagan closed the mental hospitals. I can still vividly remember when it happened because suddenly, on Kearny Street, a main drag between the Financial District and Chinatown, numerous mentally ill persons began to pace up and down the street. They seemed to appear overnight. And eventually they were followed by thousands of homeless. But I can still vividly remember that day. It's good to have some reminders of what RR was really like. Here's another one: [link]
8 Jun 2004 @ 15:23 by vibrani : Thanks, Jazz
for sharing your detailed personal story about how Reagan influenced your lives.
8 Jun 2004 @ 16:24 by martha : no comment jazzy
I'm working on positive comments from now on.
9 Jun 2004 @ 04:52 by jazzolog : Madness In The Streets
The Subject of this comment does NOT refer to what might ensue if MMBorders continues her vow only to post "positive" comments at the site. But the mists of memory have cleared even more as I recall things brought forward by Quinty's remark.
I worked a couple tutor/social worker kind of jobs in psychiatric hospitals during the late 60s and into the mid 70s. This was a period of time in which psychologists were introducing programs known as "token economies" to patients previously labeled "incurable." (I might mention in footnote that separate units for the mentally retarded were in those state hospitals at that time.) Heartened by the progress apparently in evidence, many of those patients were moved into other units and people who had been there found themselves on the verge of discharge.
A percentage of patients, who had been in mental hospitals for a decade or more, began to behave in socially outrageous fashion at the threat of having to function on the outside. Apartments, group homes, and halfway houses were being set up across the country to enable these fragile folks to make the transition successfully. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of long-term psychiatric patients were discharged from the old hospitals and set out into community facilities, staffed by psychologists and assistants. Many of the state hospitals were so depleted of patients that sections of them were transformed into prison areas. Prisoners from overcrowded jails were transferred into these units, which were separated from the actual hospital often by barbed wire and/or layers of that stuff that tears you up. Eventually many hospitals were transformed into prisons altogether.
At this point Reagan was elected. What Quinty mentions isn't exactly how it went down. What the new Administration did was eliminate funding for those community projects and their staffs. This happened as fast as the CETA layoffs to which I fell victim. Very little transition was provided for those former patients, who suddenly had no support in the cities at all---except Welfare and SSI---and couldn't thumb a ride back out to the State Hospital either...because it was gone or had no room for them.
Thus was a population of homeless created by Reaganomics. Psychiatric hospitals today mostly are places where troubled folks go at a crisis, during which meds are adjusted and the people sent out again. Many of those places are on the verge of closing too, because of budget cuts. Jailtime for vagrancy often is the prescription for mental illness on the horizon.
9 Jun 2004 @ 05:46 by Zepp @22.214.171.124 : Reply to Essay
Did you see the one Greg Palast wrote? Mine is very tame in comparison!
I did not yet. At his site? Anyone have the URL for this?
9 Jun 2004 @ 09:47 by Quinty @126.96.36.199 : "a nice guy's nasty policies...."
Uh, yes, I vaguely remember that when Reagan was governor of California there was a debate in psychiatric circles over how humane mental hospitals were. But when Reagan, as governor, closed the wards down thousands of mentally ill were indeed out on the street, fending for themselves. And at least from my bird's eye view their arrival appeared to occur overnight. Today there are many thousands of homeless on San Francisco's streets. Among them many are mentally ill. I'll cut this short and only say that if they weren't mentally ill before they hit the streets the horrors of this life may have resulted in their drug addiction and mental illness.
Here's Robert Scheer on RR, reminding us that the guy you may want to have a beer with at the bar may not be such a nice guy in his government policies.
9 Jun 2004 @ 09:56 by Quinty @188.8.131.52 : Robert Scheer
Sorry about the sloppy link. Here's the Robert Scheer editorial, in which he also mentions Reagan's conduct in California....... Quinty
A Nice Guy's Nasty Policies
I liked Ronald Reagan, despite the huge divide between us politically. Reagan was a charming old pro who gave me hours of his time in a series of interviews beginning in 1966 when he was running for governor, simply because he enjoyed the give and take. In fact, I often found myself defending the Gipper whenever I was confronted with an East Coast pundit determined to denigrate anyone, particularly actors, from my adopted state. Yet, looking back at his record, I am appalled that I warmed to the man as much as I did.
The fact is that Reagan abandoned the Roosevelt New Deal which he admitted had saved his family during the Great Depression in favor of a belief in the efficacy of massive corporate welfare inculcated in him by his paymasters at Warner Bros., General Electric and the conservative lecture circuit. Though Reagan the man was hardly mean-spirited, Reagan the politician betrayed the social programs and trade unionism he once believed in so fiercely.
Let's start with his leadership of California, where he launched attacks on the state's once- incomparable public universities and devastated its mental health system. Foreshadowing future trumped-up invasions of tiny Grenada and Nicaragua, he sent thousands of National Guardsmen to tear-gas Berkeley.
It also became increasingly clear that although the man wasn't unintelligent, his ability to mingle truth with fantasy was frightening. At different times, Reagan who infamously said that "facts are stupid things" falsely claimed to have ended poverty in Los Angeles; implied he was personally involved in the liberation of Europe's concentration camps; argued that trees cause most pollution; said that the Hollywood blacklist, to which he contributed names, never existed; described as "freedom fighters" the Contra thugs and the religious fundamentalists in Afghanistan who would later become Al Qaeda; and claimed that fighting a "limited" nuclear war was not an insane idea.
But to see him as only a bumpkin as some did was to very much underestimate him. Like Nixon, the Teflon president was a survivor who'd come up the hard way, and many journalists and politicians who didn't understand that invariably were surprised by his resiliency and savvy. Although he generally was compliant with his handlers, whenever the campaign pros or rigid ideologues got in the way of his or Nancy's instincts, they were summarily discarded.
Even when his ideas were silly, his intentions often seemed good. For example, one of his dumbest and costliest pet projects, the "Star Wars" missile defense program, which he first announced when I interviewed him for the Los Angeles Times in 1980, was touted by Reagan as a peace offering to the Soviets.
And his legendary ability to effectively project an upbeat, confident worldview managed to obscure many of the negative consequences of his policies. For example, he made the terrible mistake of willfully ignoring the burgeoning AIDS epidemic at a time when action could have saved millions. Unlike many conservatives, however, he was not driven by homophobia. Instead, Reagan allowed AIDS to spread for the same reason he pointedly savaged programs to help the poor: He was genuinely convinced that government programs exacerbated problems unless they catered to the needs of the businessmen he had come to revere.
In the White House, he ran up more debt than any earlier president primarily to serve the requests of what Republican President Eisenhower had, with alarm, termed the "military- industrial complex." (George W. Bush has broken that record.)
Apologists for this waste argue that throwing money at the defense industry broke the back of the Soviet Union and ended the Cold War. But the Soviet Union was already broken, as Mikhail S. Gorbachev acknowledged quite freely when he came to power in the 1980s. Rather, what Reagan does deserve considerable credit for is ignoring the dire warnings of the hawks and responding enthusiastically to Gorbachev in their historic Reykjavík summit, where the two leaders called for a nuclear-free world.
Let it be remembered, then, that in the closing scene of his presidency Reagan embraced the peacemakers, rejecting the cheerleaders of Armageddon and was then loudly castigated by the very neoconservatives most vociferously Richard Perle who have claimed the Reagan mantle for the post-Cold War militarism of the current administration.
The extra punctuation in that link confuses our feature here. The way to do it is enclose the link thus~~~ [link]
Click on the Edit button and you'll see the setup.
9 Jun 2004 @ 10:03 by martha : Ok here is my take on Reagan
I learned this from personal experience being in banking at the time.
and of course this goody also
Reagan was not the voice of the common person but was instead a front for the rich.
9 Jun 2004 @ 16:54 by Quinty @184.108.40.206 : Reagan's state funeral
Up until this moment I have been watching the state funeral for Ronald Reagan. It has been an impressive show, much like the pomp Nancy always favored when she was the First Lady. With a huge display of military honor guards, 21 gun salutes, fighter jets flying overhead. Ranks upon ranks of troops marching splendidly by. But where are the poets, the artists, the musicians. Where is the delegation representing the poor? Where are the teachers, nurses, and librarians? Somehow I find it sad that she appears to have chosen to emulate the funeral procession for Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, with a riderless horse accompanying the hearse. Lincoln, who newly defined American democracy. Does this express what she thinks the significance of her husband's presidency is?
10 Jun 2004 @ 03:54 by Zepp @220.127.116.11 : Palast Blast
17 Oct 2016 @ 20:34 by dokterpoker.org @18.104.22.168 : agen poker
found in the capitalist powers, England and France in the first instance, with America close behind them
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