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HelicopterOff Topics News & Politics › Reagan: The Great American Socialist
03-21-2009 12:51 PM  8 years agoPost 1
minan

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Janesville Wi. USA

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Socialism has been much in the news for some months. Recently, some GOP stalwarts charged President Obama with preaching the heresy. John Boehner, the House minority leader, characterized Obama's stimulus package as, "one big down payment on a new American socialist experiment."

"Socialism" is a pejorative term in American politics and needs to be carefully examined. It usually refers to increased government control over the economy, or policies that promote the redistribution of wealth. There is no doubt that President Obama's economic measures, passed and proposed, will raise tax rates on the richest Americans to pay for increased government funding of health care, green energy and education. So the new president is indeed a redistributionist, but so was Ronald Reagan, except that Obama's plans will transfer wealth from the rich to the poor, whereas Reagan's bills transferred wealth from the poor and the middle class to the opulent. In fact, Obama's measures are puny, whereas Reagan's were massive. If the Democrat is a "small" socialist, Reagan was the Great American Socialist.

Let's go back to the early 1980's. In 1981, Reagan signed a law that sharply reduced the income tax for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. The president asserted his program would create jobs, purge inflation and, get this, trim the budget deficit. However, following the tax cut, the deficit soared from 2.5 percent of GDP to over 6 percent, alarming financial markets, sending interest rates sky high, and culminating in the worst recession since the 1930's.

Soon the president realized he needed new revenues to trim the deficit, bring down interest rates and improve his chances for reelection. He would not rescind the income tax cut, but other taxes were acceptable. In 1982, taxes were raised on gasoline and cigarettes, but the deficit hardly budged. In 1983, the president signed the biggest tax rise on payrolls, promising to create a surplus in the Social Security system, while knowing all along that the new revenue would be used to finance the deficit.

The retirement system was looted from the first day the Social Security surplus came into being, because the legislation itself gave the president a free hand to spend the surplus in any way he liked. Thus began a massive transfer of wealth from the poor and the middle class, especially the self-employed small businessman, to the wealthy. The self-employment tax jumped as much as 66 percent.

In 1986, Reagan slashed the top tax rate further. His redistributionist obsession led to a perversity in the law. The wealthiest faced a 28 percent tax rate, while those with lower incomes faced a 33 percent rate; in addition, the bottom rate climbed from 11 percent to 15 percent. For the first time in history, the top rate fell and the bottom rate rose simultaneously. Even unemployment compensation was not spared. The jobless had to pay income tax on their benefits. A year later, the man who would not spare unemployment compensation from taxation called for a cut in the capital gains tax. Thus, Reagan was a staunch socialist, totally committed to his cause of wealth redistribution towards the affluent.

How much wealth transfer has occurred through Reagan's policies? At least $3 trillion.

The Social Security hike generated over $2 trillion in surplus between 1984 and 2007, and if it had been properly invested, say, in AAA corporate bonds it could have earned another trillion by now. At present, the fund is empty, because it has been used up to finance the federal deficits resulting from frequent cuts in income tax rates. If this is not redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich, what else is?

Thus, Reagan was the first Republican socialist - and a great one, because his wealth transfer occurred on a massive scale. His accomplishment dwarfs even FDR's, and if today the small businessman suffers a crippling tax burden, he must thank Reagan the redistributionist. However, FDR took pains to help the poor, while Reagan took pains to help the wealthiest like himself.

Reagan's measures were similar to those that the Republicans adopted during the 1920's, which were followed by the catastrophic Depression. More recently, such policies were mimicked by President George W. Bush and they are about to plunge the world into a depression as well. Ironically, the Reagan-style socialism or wealth redistribution is about to destroy monopoly capitalism, the very system that he wanted to preserve and enrich.

Wake up America and elect leaders with a heart - not those who would tax your unemployment benefits and cut the capital gains tax.

-------

Dr. Ravi Batra, a professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, is the author of five international best sellers. He was the chairperson of his department from 1977 to 1980. This article is based on Batra's two books, "The New Golden Age" and "Greenspan's Fraud." His web site is Ravibatra.com.

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03-21-2009 02:12 PM  8 years agoPost 2
baby uh1

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St. James, Mo.

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Another fine attempt at rewriting history and blaming the Carter depression on Reagan. I lived through that era and Reagan pulled us out of a worse situation than we are in now even with the same Democrat congress that helped Carter cause it.
The current adminastration has the same acumen as the Carter one where ever move that they make is wrong and makes the situation worse.
We better start looking for the next Reagan ASAP.

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about!

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03-21-2009 02:44 PM  8 years agoPost 3
jamesdh

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Houston, TX

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Clinton rode the wave started by Reagan and helped by the Tech boom.

Since when does lower taxation = socialism??
We better start looking for the next Reagan ASAP.
Agreed.

Let's bring back survival of the fitest.
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒE

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03-21-2009 03:40 PM  8 years agoPost 4
Dennis (RIP)

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Oregon

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Another fine attempt at rewriting history and blaming the Carter depression on Reagan. I lived through that era and Reagan pulled us out of a worse situation than we are in now even with the same Democrat congress that helped Carter cause it.
The current adminastration has the same acumen as the Carter one where ever move that they make is wrong and makes the situation worse.
We better start looking for the next Reagan ASAP.
+!

Liberty once lost, is lost forever.

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03-21-2009 04:00 PM  8 years agoPost 5
mbkite

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usa

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Boy o boy three in a row great posts putting that lib turd down
I need to make up a name for that.
Something that reflects a lib on a bike riding down from that shining city on the hill and all of a sudden the ft wheel falls off and he gets a republican road rash.

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03-21-2009 04:00 PM  8 years agoPost 6
1stPlace

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Ohio USA

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That article is so riddled with blatant lies that it's just stupid.

Diejenigen, die nicht lernen aus den Fehlern der Vergangenheit bestimmt sind, zu wiederholen.

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03-21-2009 04:07 PM  8 years agoPost 7
Mutt

rrKey Veteran

M ca usa

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I should of known being posted by minan it was going to be a waste of my time to read due to the typical LIEbral bs being spewed.

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03-21-2009 04:10 PM  8 years agoPost 8
Aaron29

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USA

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Taxes ALWAYS imply transfer of wealth.

That's the real problem here. From where I'm standing, democrat or republican presidents make no difference, I still pay taxes that go somewhere else. And I get no say in where they go.

It's staggering what your average person pays in taxes. You get income tax, so you're taxed when you EARN your money. Then you buy something, and you're charged sales tax. You buy a home and pay taxes. Gas taxes. There's even a DEATH tax now! Your estate is taxed, too.

Show me a politician willing to streamline government and lower taxes (with the eventual goal of their complete termination) and I'll vote for him! Of course they all promise this and never deliver.

Don't call this ridiculous. Our country survived for 150 years without the taxation it has today.

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03-21-2009 04:14 PM  8 years agoPost 9
Aaron29

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USA

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By the way calling Reagan a socialist is the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

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03-21-2009 04:31 PM  8 years agoPost 10
Dennis (RIP)

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Oregon

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Show me a politician willing to streamline government and lower taxes (with the eventual goal of their complete termination) and I'll vote for him! Of course they all promise this and never deliver.
Dream on. Zero taxes will never happen. We have an infrastructure to support.

Equal taxes. All paying the same percentage of income might be more practical. Problem with that is just what Mike Huckabee says: "Fair taxes would be the single largest shift of wealth OUT of Washington DC in history".

The only solution is Conservatism: "Lower Taxes & Smaller Government"

Hmmmmmmm. Sounds like Reaganomics to me.

Cool.

Liberty once lost, is lost forever.

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03-21-2009 04:37 PM  8 years agoPost 11
Aaron29

rrProfessor

USA

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A agree that a fixed percentage across the board is fair.

But I disagree that taxes have to be so high. Income tax is less than 100 years old.

Someone comes in, tells you what infrastructure is needed, and what it will cost you. Not quite the American Dream.

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03-21-2009 04:40 PM  8 years agoPost 12
Aaron29

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USA

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Lower taxes and smaller government. i.e. Reaganomics.

But then someone will say that is socialism. Shows ignorance of what socialism even is!

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03-21-2009 05:03 PM  8 years agoPost 13
baby uh1

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St. James, Mo.

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The funniest thing about the 80s is that's when the hippies from the 60s got tired of getting nowhere with socialism and became yuppies.
Then they felt guilty with living the American dream so they elected Clinton and we have been going downhill ever since.
Clinton started the revisionist history about Reagan to cover up his tax increases.
Same old BS.

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about!

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03-21-2009 05:07 PM  8 years agoPost 14
baby uh1

rrVeteran

St. James, Mo.

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Oh, and just wait until superinflation kicks in and Obama starts to freeze prices. You won't be able to buy gas or bread without waiting in line and then it will be super high priced and rationed!

The 70s all over again! I just hope they don't bring disco back or I'm going to go postal!

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about!

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03-21-2009 05:08 PM  8 years agoPost 15
Dennis (RIP)

rrApprentice

Oregon

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The funniest thing about the 80s is that's when the hippies from the 60s got tired of getting nowhere with socialism and became yuppies.
Then they felt guilty with living the American dream so they elected Clinton and we have been going downhill ever since.
Clinton started the revisionist history about Reagan to cover up his tax increases.
Same old BS.
That is one of the shortest and most accurate reviews of Reagan/Clinton history I have ever seen.

Liberty once lost, is lost forever.

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03-21-2009 05:09 PM  8 years agoPost 16
Dennis (RIP)

rrApprentice

Oregon

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The 70s all over again! I just hope they don't bring disco back or I'm going to go postal!
The 70's were not nearly as bad as what we could very well see coming in the next year or 2.

Liberty once lost, is lost forever.

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03-21-2009 09:10 PM  8 years agoPost 17
baby uh1

rrVeteran

St. James, Mo.

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I don't know, Carter was one of the worst Presidents ever. He was and is a fine Christian gentleman but was a horrible president, totally unprepared for the job.
Sound familiar?

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about!

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03-21-2009 10:57 PM  8 years agoPost 18
ch-47c

rrElite Veteran

san jose, ca

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Another fine attempt at rewriting history and blaming the Carter depression on Reagan. I lived through that era and Reagan pulled us out of a worse situation than we are in now even with the same Democrat congress that helped Carter cause it.
The current adminastration has the same acumen as the Carter one where ever move that they make is wrong and makes the situation worse.
We better start looking for the next Reagan ASAP.
I agree. I was in the ARMY during Carters Administration and we hated him. He was an absoulutely terrible Commander-in-Chief. He destroyed the CIA. If he hadn't destroyed the CIA, we would have had much better intel prior to 9/11. I lived thru that recession period in my mid 20's. I remember the lack of work available, high mortgage interest rates of 14.5 percent, and inflation rate of around 12.5 percent. I was a Democrat then. When Regan came into office, I thought give him a chance and things turned around. I changed to Republican and laugh at my idealistic but naive youth. I see in some of these posts that liberals like to revise history. You can't fool someone who has lived it.

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03-21-2009 11:01 PM  8 years agoPost 19
Dennis (RIP)

rrApprentice

Oregon

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To blame the Carter failure on Reagan is simply a high degree of intellectual dishonesty. Or, put in simpler terms, pure stupidity.

To those trying those tactics, here is a quick reminder:

Reagan Came After Carter, Not Before.

Geez

Liberty once lost, is lost forever.

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03-22-2009 03:05 AM  8 years agoPost 20
drdot

rrElite Veteran

So. California,​Orange County.

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fwiw...

Carter is still the worst post WW2 president...Arguably the worst ever.

BC

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