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Mr. internet blogger, tear down that Reagan myth

So, I pretty much hate Reagan — not just because it’s trendy to do so at the moment and because he’s the beaming Jesus of the Republicans’ Free-Market religion, but because he’s directly responsible for the aspects of our society that I find the most troubling, including how difficult it is to talk about those aspects without immediately being banished to the fringes of the tiny, ideologically constrictive debate. I just ran across this list of 20 reasons to hate him that you won’t hear mentioned tomorrow, which is apparently the fifth anniversary of his death.

The list focuses mostly on the military-industrial aspects of his legacy, but I’m much more panty-twisted about the economic and democratic aspects, such as:

10) Instigated trickle-down/voodoo economics, which was the beginning of what has recently culminated in the crash of the bubbles. Here is a subset of his regime’s economic sins:

a) Within the first year of the policy, we were in a depression caused in large measure by the policy. The “historic” 27% tax-cut was skewed two to one in favor of those making over $200,000 per year, in percentages, and far more in real dollars. By the end of the second year, increases in state and local taxes more than replaced the cuts for the middle class.

b) Wages throughout Reagan/Bush remained stagnant in real dollars for the next 12 years, the longest and worst growth performance in middle class wages in US history. Average national growth was the lowest since the early 30s.

c) Conspired with corpoRat and congressional allies to sustain spending by loosening credit, to replace the wages they were not going to increase.

d) Named Ayn Rand acolyte and free-market apostle Alan Greenspan as Chief of the Federal Reserve.

12) Appointed some of the “worst” Federalist Society/strict constructionists to the federal bench, including Scalia, Kennedy, and O’Connor, ALL of whose votes were crucial in (illegally) installing GW Bush in the presidency in 2000, and named Rehnquist Chief Justice.

13) Ordered the revocation of the FCC regulation called “the Fairness Doctrine,” and opened up the Press to the rash of consolidations which has led, now, to a compromised, toothless, stenographic, lap-dog “Fourth Estate.”

I might add to this list: 21) Created a remarkably tenacious myth that government is invariably less efficient than the free market at providing goods and services with tax dollars. It doesn’t seem to matter how many sub-sub-sub-subcontractors that Halliburton employs in its pyramid scheme Iraq war spending — this zombie ideology just pops right back up from the dead, groaning “Government is the probleeeeeemmmm…”

Posted in Politics.

One Response

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  1. nathan says

    he was a bitch, that guy.

    I agree with (21) entirely. For some social commodities it is irrefutable that the government can provide the most direct and efficient means to the desired end. There is no possible way that adding a middle man who skims money off of the top increases the efficiency of a system.

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