Friday, February 4, 2011

Consider the Differences

This Sunday will mark the 100th birthday anniversary of America's fortieth President, Ronald Wilson Reagan. Interestingly, the recent talk of the town is how the Obama administration so closely resembles the Reagan administration. President Obama even claims to emulate his style.
And there are similarities to be found. Both entered the Oval Office at a time when recession assailed America.
Reagan was dubbed "The Great Communicator" for his ability to connect with and inspire the people. Obama has been accredited with the same capability.
However, the differences in the two men greatly outnumber the similarities.

Though both faced the daunting task of pulling America out of a recession, the recession of Reagan's day overwhelmed the circumstances significantly more. In November of 2008, the inflation rate was at 1.64%. In November of 1980, the inflation rate was at 12.65%! In the midst of nation-wide fiscal struggle, both Presidents were forced to take action. What did they do?
Reagan cut taxes.
Obama raised them.
While Obama encourages Americans with the promise that the government will make everything better, Reagan declared the opposite. "Government isn't the solution to our problem," he said. "Government is the problem."
Reagan has been accused of creating an anti-government mindset among the American people, convincing them that big government was bad. Now, those same people hopefully proclaim that Obama is getting Americans' heads back where they need to be. But Reagan wasn't the one who planted that mindset in the American brain. It was already there, from the very start. In 1787, the Constitution was formed to prevent the government from over-stepping its bounds. Yes, federal government definitely has a role to play in our nation. Without a strong central government, chaos would reign in the country. BUT - contrary to what Obama touts, strong government doesn't equal big government. And in the words of Reagan, "You can't be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy."
Reagan's strategies proved successful. Under his leadership, the economy began to flourish. Incentive sky-rocketed. And the economy continued to thrive for many years to come.
After two years of Reaganomics, inflation had decreased 8.94%. Two years into Obamanomics, the inflation rate is the same.

In 1980, America's military was weak. Our national defenses were shaky. The Cold War still had half the world walking on their tip-toes, afraid of Communism and the Soviet Union. Reagan put a stop to that. He wasn't afraid to call evil by its name. He believed in peace through strength. During his Presidency, the Cold War ended. The Iron Curtain fell. Many European countries were finally able to experience freedom from communism.
How do Obama's foreign policy tactics compare? Instead of speaking the truth and calling evil by its name, he refuses to call even our enemies enemies! Refraining from using the term "War on Terror," he refers to the current war as the "Overseas Contingency Operation." Instead of displaying strength on behalf of America, he has bowed to foreign kings, honored our rivals, supported our adversaries, and apologized for America to the whole world. Have his methods earned him or America any respect? Just consider the recent State Dinner with Chinese President Hu. The answer? No.

When Reagan encouraged the American people with his riveting speeches, he spoke of the true American dream. That dream was pure freedom - no fluffy additives.
Obama's version of the American dream is a recycled Utopian fantasy - the same fantasy that has led to socialism and communism in other countries.

Reagan revived American pride in the American people. His charisma was certainly a key factor in his instant popularity, but his beliefs are the wheels that keep his legacy turning. Obama may have winning style, but statistics already reveal that his popularity is dropping, and fast. Why? In the words of Ronald Reagan...

"Speech delivery counts for little on the world stage unless you have convictions, and, yes, the vision to see beyond the front row seats."


Anonymous said...

The financial crisis we are still currently in (and have been in since Dec 2007) is still way worse than the economic troubles of the 70's/early 80's. The late 70's/ealy 80's didn't see trillions of dollars in bailouts to Wall St banks. The "Reaganomic" solution to the economic troubles of the 70's/80's was to start neoliberal privatization/deregulation schemes. Bill Clinton continued these into the late 90's. Ironically all this deregulation of Wall St led to the 2008 financial crisis. When unregulated derivatives markets got out of control and crashed.

Reagan did indeed cut taxes, but only for the wealthiest. One of Regan's 1st moves upon taking office in 1981 was to announce plans for major corporate tax cuts. The 1986 Tax Reform Act cut tax rates for the richest individuals from 70% in 1981 to 28% in 1988. Between 1982 and 1984 the working poor - those making below $10,000 a year - saw their taxes rise by 22%. By 1983 more than 15% of Americans were living below the official povery level. Business tax rates were effectively halved, from 33% to 16% between the Economic Recovery Tax Act passed in 1981 and the 1982 Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Tax Act. Both were supported by Democrats as well as Republicans.

Obama raised taxes? Didn't you hear about the deal between the Democrats and Republicans that keeps the Bush era tax cuts until 2012?

If Reagan thought government was the problem then why did he ratchet up military spending by a couple hundred billion? Thereby increasing the size and spending of government?

As I've said before, the Constitution actually created and paved the way for the massive federal government. It scrapped and superceded the Articles of Confederation which prevented the growth of a large federal government by making it weak. The Constitution empowered the federal government, making it stronger than the states.

If Reagan's strategies proved successful, then how come the US was back in a recession by the G H Bush years?

It wasn't thanks to Reagan that the USSR collapsed. The USSR had been declining since the 60's/70's.

You actually believe that Obama is not as committed to American imperialist domination of the planet as any other president? He continues the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He continues the US policy of giving billions to Israel and other dictatorships in the Middle East - namely Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Qutar, Kuwait etc. And military spending under Obama is at an all time high.

Didn't GW Bush and Nixon meet and have dinner with Chinese Premiers too? And declare China to be the most favored trading partner of the US?

Anonymous said...

Didn't GW Bush and Nixon meet and have dinner with Chinese Premiers too? And declare China to be the most favored trading partner of the US?

It is right wing fantasy to believe is Obama a communist or socialist. Look at reality - Is he a socialist for continuing the bank bailout policies of GW Bush, giving trillions to Wall Street banks? Is he sociaist for implementing austerity measures in the form of a freeze on discretionary spending meanwhile not cutting military spending which is over $600 billion a year? Is he communist for implementing outsourcing to private companies to design and build rockets for NASA? Is he a socialist for signing into law Obamacare, which forces people to pay private insurance companies money for healthcare coverage, which will increase their profits by hundreds of billions? Is he socialist for handing over public schools to private companies (charter schools) while closing down more neighborhood public schools? If hes a socialist/communist then he has a strange way of showing it by continuing to support the rich wealthy elite.

Obama's popularity is declining because the people who voted for him have become disillusioned. The majority of people elected him because he promised change. Which he didn't deliver on. People have realized that he's just another politician good ol boy who is a bought off servant of corporate big business who gives a good speech but its all rhetoric. People realize that with Obama nothing has changed, only the name and face. It's business as usual.

Anonymous said...

A couple more Reagan fun facts:

In order to fund the tax cuts for the rich and the massive military buildup, the Reagan Administration borrowed huge sums of money at hight interest rates. In 1985 the U.S. became a debtor nation for the 1st time since 1914. The annual deficit had already reached the $200 billion range when Reagan left office. Just funding the interest on the debt cost $129 billion in 1983, $178 billion in 1985, and $216 billion in 1988. Talk about mammoth budget deficits!

Also by 1990, after the years of Reaganomics and the Neoliberal-privatization-deregulation of the economy, wages for US workers were almost 20% lower than in 1972 when adjusted for inflation.