Thursday, 8 September 2011

Reagan, tax increases and the Tea Party movement

I started writing about the Tea Party movement the other day. In an early draft, which didn't make it into the final blog, I discussed how President George W. Bush cut taxes like his hero President Ronald Reagan. However, unlike his father and President Reagan, he didn't increase taxes when he needed to. That's significantly contributed to the size of the US federal deficit and the national debt.

By a happy coincidence, Mark Barabak has just Reagan an odd fit for red-meat Republicans. In the article Barabak opens by stating that the Republican presidential candidates are about to "pay lavish tribute" to President Reagan. The then goes on to compare how President Reagan was actually a very pragmatic politician and was prepared to compromise when it was necessary and in the interests of the country.
As president, the conservative shining light approved several tax increases to deal with a soaring budget deficit, repeatedly raised the nation's debt limit, signed into law a bill granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and, despite his anti-Washington rhetoric, oversaw an increase in the size and spending of the federal government.
By current Tea Party Republicans standards that would almost make him a communist.
Reagan's willingness to compromise has also fallen out of favour in a Republican Party fired up by its give-no-quarter Tea Party ranks. ''People that pragmatic now are what they call RINOs,'' Mr Spencer said, using the epithet ''Republican in name only''.
Don't hold your breath waiting to see that reported by Fox News.

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