Monday, November 08, 2010

An Offer For The GOP

It might not matter if we were not in the midst of a year-long, privately-funded, celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald(6) Wilson(6) Reagan(6), continuing the "active campaign to nail into place a canonical version of Reagan's life and career." Or if half of all Republican politicians declare themselves "Reagan Republicans," with the other half seemingly in awe of the 40th President. But we are, they do, and they are.

And so it matters when the head of the Republican Party says that when as Ronald Reagan became President he

had ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, you name it. National Review was the only media publication that was at all oriented towards supporting Ronaldus Magnus, and yet Ronaldus Magnus secured massive income tax rate reductions across the board. The top marginal rate when Ronaldus Magnus took office was 70%, folks. When he left office, the top marginal rate was 28%. Ronaldus Magnus did this alone.

Now, who compromised?

Ronaldus Magnus won in a 49-state landslide. Tip O'Neill was the Speaker of the House and every day Tip O'Neill was insulting Ronaldus Magnus as a dunce -- amiable, but nevertheless a dunce. The Republicans were talking about what a stupid idiot Reagan was, and yet one man succeeded in an initial round of major tax cuts who compromised. Tip O'Neill and the Democrats compromised, and what were they? They were the losers. In terms of presidential politics, they had lost. Jimmy Carter lost. They might have won reelection in the House and the Senate and they might have controlled both, but who compromised? Reagan didn't compromise on anything. He was the winner.

Well, yes, the marginal tax rate was 28% when Ronald Reagan left office, which largely accounts for the proliferation of national debt he was responsible (but never held accountable) for (chart, from, below). But President Reagan was a veritable Georgy Arbatov compared to even the most accomodating of modern Republican politicians. (In what other blog can you find a reference to Georgy Arbatov?) After the gigantic tax cut of 1981, President Reagan had enacted what was at that point the largest tax increase in American history- which of course means that he did compromise.

Admittedly, Reagan (who didn't mind busting the budget) brought the highest marginal income tax rate down from 69.13% in 1981 to 31.00% when he left office. But that's not even considering the major increase in payroll tax President Reagan and House Speaker Tip O'Neill (D-Mass) agreed upon to bolster the Social Security trust fund Reagan was stealing from so that he could maintain profligate spending and those low income taxes for the wealthy. Overall, the Reagan-era tax rate for the richest Americans averaged out to 42.06%. The corresponding figure in 2010, under the Socialist Marxist Fascist Barack Obama is 35.00%.

But Ronald Wilson Reagan is the Republican hero, so let's "compromise" with the GOP: we'll give the wealthy the 42% tax rate which they enjoyed with the eight years of Reagan tax cuts and tax increases.

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