Republicans Today Would Call Reagan A Socialist

Ken AshfordRepublicansLeave a Comment

Bloomberg has a nice piece out today which spells out what I (among many others) have been saying for a long time: the Tea Party people would hate Ronald Reagan if Reagan were president today.  The bill of particulars:

During Reagan’s eight years in the White House, the federalpayroll grew by more than 300,000 workers. Although he was a net tax cutter who slashed individual income-tax rates, Reagan raised taxes about a dozen times.

His rhetoric matched that of many of today’s most ardent Christian conservatives, yet he proved to be a reluctant warrior on abortion and other social issues. Perhaps most tellingly, he was willing to cut deals, working closely with Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts to overhaul Social Security and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois to revamp the tax code.

That record prompted President Barack Obama in April to invoke a predecessor’s words about tax fairness, quoting a story about an executive who paid lower tax rates than his secretary and millionaires who exploited loopholes to pay no taxes while a bus driver paid his fair share.

“That wild-eyed socialist, tax-hiking class warrior was Ronald Reagan,” Obama said.

Mostly, the article continues, Reagan didn't have a problem with the one thing that makes democracy work, and the one thing that the modern GOP can't abide: compromise.