Las Vegas Sun

April 23, 2014

Currently: 74° — Complete forecast | Log in | Create an account

Letter to the editor:

Myth of Reagan persists

Another view?

View more of the Las Vegas Sun's opinion section:

Editorials - the Sun's viewpoint.

Columnists - local and syndicated writers.

Letters to the editor - readers' views.

Have your own opinion? Write a letter to the editor.

A common theme from some Republicans is that their party has drifted away from its core values and that they need to return to the days of Ronald Reagan. They believe that if conservatives would only embrace the Reagan agenda, they would be able to nominate small-government candidates and start winning elections.

Lest those on the right with no recollection of history forget, here are just a few of President Reagan’s achievements: He signed 11 tax increases into law during his tenure as president; he granted amnesty to illegal immigrants; in his eight years, the U.S. went from being the world’s largest international creditor to being the world’s largest debtor. In 1981, the deficit was $74 billion and the national debt was $930 billion. By the end of his presidency, the national debt had spiraled to $2.9 trillion. He strongly supported the 1991 Brady bill and threw his full support behind the 1994 assault weapons ban.

After President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, Republicans in Congress said their top priority was to make him a one-term president. After his second inauguration, they whined that his speech wasn’t more bipartisan. With hypocrisy like that, it’s no wonder the Republicans begin their new session with a 73 percent disapproval rating, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll last month.

As a Democrat, I personally would welcome someone with Reagan’s political acumen. A significant portion of today’s crop of Republicans in no way resemble Reagan-era Republicans. So, yes, by all means, let’s return to the good old Reagan days. Perhaps, then, things will actually get done in Washington.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy

Previous Discussion: 33 comments so far…

Comments are moderated by Las Vegas Sun editors. Our goal is not to limit the discussion, but rather to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and contain no abusive language. Comments that are off-topic, vulgar, profane or include personal attacks will be removed. Full comments policy. Additionally, we now display comments from trusted commenters by default. Those wishing to become a trusted commenter need to verify their identity or sign in with Facebook Connect to tie their Facebook account to their Las Vegas Sun account. For more on this change, read our story about how it works and why we did it.

Only trusted comments are displayed on this page. Untrusted comments have expired from this story.

  1. "Every dollar($1) of increased tax revenue since 1980 has been matched by a dollar & a quarter($1.25) of increased spending( by the government)"

    Reagan on tax increases
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJtH9-ADU...

    note: Reagan did not have control of the house & senate during his two terms, therefore, could not control government spending.

    "After years of unstinting praise from the right, and unrelenting criticism from the left, historian David Henry finds that by 2009 a consensus had emerged among scholars that Reagan revived conservatism and turned the nation to the right by demonstrating a "pragmatic conservatism" that promoted ideology within the constraints imposed by the divided political system. Furthermore, says Henry, the consensus viewpoint agrees that he revived faith in the presidency and American self-confidence, and contributed critically to ending the Cold War".

    Reagan on Wiki
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidency_...

  2. As usual, it seems impossible for people to take a fair look at Reagan, Obama or Congress. Reagan spent on the military to end the cold war. He was mostly successful but didn't raise taxes enough or control spending enough to keep the debt from rising substantially.

    Obama spent in order to try to mitigate the effects of a recession. The effects were mitigated but he has not raised taxes or controlled spending enough to keep the debt from rising substantially.

    Congress holds a great responsibility for the failures of both men regarding deficit spending and debt.

    We needed and need an electorate that holds Presidents and members of Congress responsible when they refuse to make tough and unpopular decisions regarding spending and revenue.

    This is why we need term limits, public financing of campaigns and lobbying reform. We also need many fewer 'cheerleaders' for Reagan, Obama, Democrat members of Congress and Republican members of Congress.

    Michael

  3. Letter writer forgets that Reagan inherited double digit inflation and high unemployment from President Carter. A brand new economic phenomenon called "stagflation." And President Reagan turned it around with one of the longest periods of economic growth in American history. However, President Obama and his Administration constantly remind us what President Bush passed on to him. And after 4 years, no change: Unemployment still hovering at about 8 percent, economic growth at a dismal 1.5 percent and both predicted not to change for the next year. Double standard. One for Republican Presidents and another for President Obama. Especially by the media.

    CarmineD

  4. Jim, Jim, Jim -

    Now you've done it. You know how annoying actual facts can be to some of our commenters. Those facts keep getting in the way of a perfectly good story that begins "Once upon a time......"

  5. Chuck333,

    'Enough' is the operative word in my letter. Taxes have gone up and I recognize it. The truth is that to tackle the debt and deficit issue, higher taxes and less and more prudent spending are required. Democrats are unwilling to reduce spending on anything but defense and even in that area, seem reluctant. Republicans are against any tax increase.

    It's my opinion that the stand of most Democrats in Congress and most Republicans in Congress makes them undeserving of continuing to serve. Most will be re-elected anyway and that is a big part of the problem.

    Michael

  6. Very good Jim Graham, very good.

    Mr. Graham, you stated facts about Reagan. Even today, we continue to feel the affects of the Ronald Reagan policies. Especially the decision on immigration by Reagan. And the debt, and the Tax Increases, and the spending.

    I did not read a respond from the regular "so-called number crunchers" to Mr. Graham stated details about Reagan. Instead, they prefer to blame President Obama for all of the problems from the past.

  7. Last Throes,

    The savings and loan crisis was terrible and there was a Bush involved in that one too, Neal Bush.

    Interesting history for those who didn't experience it.

  8. "Lest those on the right with no recollection of history forget, here are just a few of President Reagan's achievements. . . . ."

    Graham -- you forgot to mention the rank hypocrisy of that president and this nation, it's actual support of actual terrorists. They were called Contras.

    "Fear is the foundation of most governments." - John Adams "Thoughts on Government" (1776)

  9. Every president has his share of headaches. They do the best they can to deal with them. Inflation, deflation,demographics, rapid growth, slow growth, wars and revolutions are all part of the global economic process. It's difficult to compare one president to the next because the problems vary tremendously from year to year.

    Reagan had very little international economic competition. He had a young vibrant workforce. The nation was on the brink of a massive technological explosion. Some of the biggest companies in the world today like Apple were nothing in the 1980s. Today these high-tech companies represent a substantial chunk of the entire country's worth. Reagan also had very little in the way of entitlements to deal with because the baby boomers were still young and medical hyperinflation was just in the beginning phases.

    Obama has mature economy with an aging workforce. 30,000 people a day signing up for various government programs with nearly 147,000,000 signed up so far, and another 36 million baby boomers to go. Medical cost trillions today. It was a pittance when Reagan took office. In addition globalization is in full force and international competition is staggering.

    It's a completely different world!

  10. Enough of us Republicans can't get over modern day social issues such as gay marriage and abortion rights. The GOP now represents a minority view. The GOP will be hammered (again) in 2016.

  11. Good letter Mr. Graham. I'd remind those on the far right that Reagan would not recognize this GOP and they wouldn't accept him because he compromised. The Reagan they speak of is a myth they conjured to support their ideology.

    They must think Americans are stupid. They now believe if they no longer say the stupid things they have, means they no longer think the same. Really?

    "This ain't your father's Republican Party!"

    Future - "Reagan never tried to annihilate the opposition."

    The party is doing fine cannibalizing itself, they need no help.

  12. Mr. Tanner,

    FoxNews does not usually win these awards. However, if you go to the following link:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/randy-hall/...

    it indicates that many people watch FoxNews. You may not like it and Fox's competitors may not like it, but many viewers do.

    No awards but high viewership. You have to kind of wonder .... why the disconnect.

    Michael

  13. Mr. Tanner,

    It depends on how you look at it. I think we have many uninformed Americans so you could surmise that all the uninformed watch Fox. I also believe we have a large part of the media in this country that hold views that are pretty far to the left of center, so you could also surmise that these people are not going to rate a right leaning network very highly or give it media awards.

    I suspect that there is an element of truth is both views.

    Michael

  14. President R's top adviser, on Nevada Newsmakers last week, said Reagan's largest mistake was the 1986 amnesty for 3 million illegal invaders--was supposed to stop the invasion. Instead of helping, we now have 15-20 million (ICE data) additional illegal invaders. Let's repeal 1986 amnesty, go after employers of illegals, stop providing endless food/housing/health care for illegals....ENFORCE our laws so our economy can recover.

  15. You have to put cable news ratings into some kind of context. When I was growing up nearly half the country watch the news every night. Today the most popular cable news program draws similar ratings to "Hear comes Honey Boo-Boo." The O'Reilly show has a great segment where he sends his producer out to talk to the common folk about history and current events. People can't name the vice president and almost no one could figure out when we were liberated from the British. Some people believed the 1950s. For the most part the news is dead and entertainment is in. Americans, especially the young, are as ignorant as can be.

    In terms of the alien invaders Ms. Anderson needs to watch the segment Larry Kudlow did with Haley Barbour. Poultry is one of the biggest industries in the South. The biggest industry in Mississippi. All of the poultry work is done by Hispanics and they need more, a lot more. Hispanics provide us with affordable food and low construction costs. There are thousands of homes currently being built in Vegas. I ride my bicycle through many projects on my weekly bike rides. Other than supervisors you will be hard-pressed to find anyone that speaks English. There is a union job going on at the south pool on the Mandalay Bay property. I spent a lot of time at Mandalay Bay and wanted to know what they were doing. I couldn't find anyone to ask because I don't speak Spanish and the workers don't speak English.

    Blacks, Orientals and Hispanics have been doing the heavy lifting in this country since the early 1800s. If they leave Americans are going to be in for a backbreaking surprise.

  16. I liked Reagan because he was a Big Tent Republican who readily reached across the aisle to make deals. I think people tend to get carried away by his strong Conservative rhetoric - which made him sound far-Right. But, in practice, Reagan ruled as a Moderate - abandoning Conservative principles when it was politically expedient to do so.

  17. It takes workers, machines and technological innovation to have strong economic growth. Immigration is going to be more important than ever going forward. The birth rate in America is the lowest in history. People can't afford to have children anymore. Check what the population was when Ronald Reagan was in office compared to the population today. The doubling of our population since World War II is a big part of the strong economic growth this country has experienced.

    Countries like Germany and Japan are paying women a fortune to have babies because populations are stagnant and they don't have enough young people to support the old and fill various jobs as folks retire.

  18. 10% unemployment and the only think offered is immmigration reform ? Can it be denied that we're a totalitarian corporate state ?

  19. I'll remind most of you, Fox News was designed by Roger Ailes as a right wing propaganda outlet. He wrote about in a memo to Richard Nixon entitled "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News" in 1970. Then again some of you won't believe that fact because you're incapable of absorbing data such as evolution or climate change. You'd rather buy into Obama's fictitious war on Christmas, or that he did away with National Prayer Day.

    Fools, the lot of you. Which is why you've lost the election. The Republicans undermined themselves and self destructed in the 1930's, again in the late 50's, 60's, and 90's. You'll never learn until you readjust your thinking and realize the country in just left of center. Of course there is the option of cheating. Which is what some Republicans are working at, trying to eliminate our democratic process. The party basically has no legs to stand on, and a number of life long Republicans have bailed.

  20. Teamster:

    I opine you are suffering from sleep deprivation by the times of your posts and their content. Unions are getting crushed, sad to say: Appellate Court ruled against the President's 3 NLRB pro-union appointees as unconstitutional. Loss on Michigan ballot in Nov 2012 for union collective bargaining. Wisconsin's Governor breaking the backs of public unions with public support in his favor for doing so. Ohio's Governor too. And Michigan next. Not to mention all the right to work States and companies beating unions for new jobs. You're a dinosaur. Wake up and smell the coffee. It was a good long ride. But it's coming to an end. I feel your pain but I recognized the inevitable 10 years ago. Collective bargaining my friend is a legal privilege not a legal right.

    CarmineD

  21. Willie Tanner,

    You placed facts and figures for the leading commentators to respond. Yet, not one reasonable response from Michael Casler or ReFreeman. Not one.

    We all know this is only a comment board to express one's opinion...right or wrong. However, day in and day out, commentators like Casler and ReFreeman try very hard to impose their views and try to position themselves as having the greater insight on the politics of America.

    Well, Mr. Willie Tanner just showed that much of where you lay your head in terms of getting news and updates is jaded, intentionally slanted, and unworthy of being called real news or ethical reporting.

    The expected response from Casler is to ride the middle and stay Luke Warm. And...ReFreeman will blame President Obama. And of course, they both will turn to Foxnews for additional updates.

  22. According to President R's adviser Ty Cobb on Nevada Newsmakers (last week), the biggest MISTAKE R made was amnesty for 3 million illegals. It was supposed to STOP THE INVASION. Now we have 15-20 million more (ICE data) stealing our jobs, our economy, our social welfare, our K-12 solvency, our safety, our cultures.

  23. http://factcheck.org/2010/05/does-immigr...
    Ty Cobb? Wasn't he a baseball player?? A substantial part of all job creation comes from immigrants. When they stop coming economic growth will grind to a halt and you will be paying 5 bucks for a tomato. Good luck I hope you can afford it.
    The news is all biased. That's why folks watch CSI and Swamp People.

  24. Mr. Tanner, you can see how quick the hate mongers on this board run for cover when the truth is told. There are many on this board who do not believe in American. They only wish to complain, throw out numbers they cannot explain, ride the middle, and blame President Obama.

    Fear is what Foxnews sales to the America public. The weak minded, and those who have prejudices and bias are the majority who watch Foxnews. The sad part, many of Foxnews viewers actually believe what Foxnews spews out daily.

    On election night the "big lie" was exposed. Foxnews had their viewers on edge thinking President Obama would lose the election. The viewer believed all the lies Foxnews told the last 3 years. The viewers saw Karl Rove in full denial, a melt-down revealing the "big lie". Foxnews is still telling the "big lie."

    Mr. Tanner, I thank you for bringing a clear picture of how the Bubble People receive their message. Indoctrination on the highest order is taught daily by a major news cable network, Foxnews. Freedom of Speech...yes indeed, we all need it. Freedom of Speech is helping America see the truth. People of reasonable mind and thought are slowly coming out and speaking out. Speaking the truth.

    Foxnews is a major problem in America. An American, a true American, would say Foxnews and staff is Un-America in their approach. An approach which has violated the trust of America's honesty. A honesty which allows opportunity for all people in legal standing living America. Foxnews has violated the trust time and time again.

    Mr. Tanner, thanks again for your time and your offering of truth.

  25. Zippy, try researching Sam Shad. (He's on facebook and can email shad at shad dot reno dot nv dot us.) They discussed, with a couple Dems how illegals hurt our lower-income workers more than anyone else. I may have dyslexed the name but I don't think so. Aside from that, appears Mr. Amodei and others are willing to do the temporary agriculture work permits in any volume needed--without passing on citizenship.

  26. "Just like its actual ratings, Fox News has hit a record low in the four years that we've been doing this poll. 41% of voters trust it to 46% who do not. To put those numbers into some perspective the first time we did this poll, in 2010, 49% of voters trusted it to 37% who did not."

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/pdf/2...

  27. The sad fact is that the wash up movie star did away with the new deal. Clinton and Obama remain supporters of supply side economics. I feel like Reagan when he left the democrats; although I disagree with him in every possible way.

  28. Chuck even though your a low life Republcan you got a point; Obama's more like a bad Woodrow Wilson. He may as well locked us up like Eugene Debs- calling us the professional left and retards and all. Dirty harry's just as bad pulling us along about the filibuster and knowing full well he's not going to do nothing about it.

  29. Teamster:

    Your IQ scores for Presidents are BS. I'm not talking about Bachelor of Science either. Try again when you have facts on Presidents' IQ's and not fiction.
    CarmineD

  30. Jeff wrote:

    "Nope, Obama will get credit, you are afraid of the Black face going on Mount Rushmore before the Sainted Ronald Reagan's. And that is where you guys are at."

    The more we see Republicans vote again items they once championed and believed in, and changing positions when President agrees with them, the more it become apparent that Race is at the heart of the decision making in the House of Representatives on the Republican side, as well in the Senate.

  31. Chuck333 - "Fox News has more viewers than all of them combined."

    Most Americans have an IQ of 100 and can't read beyond the 8th grade level. That is why "reality shows" are popular because there is no social or educational value to them, just television eye candy.

    As of Febuary 2012 the percent of U.S. adults who can't read is 14%. Number of U.S. adults who can't read is 32 Million. Percent of U.S. adults who read below a 5th grade level 21% (1/5th of the country). Percent of high school graduates who can't read 19%. The numbers speak for themselves, and one reason why Fox is popular.

    Posted 8:10pm Feb.10th - "Fox News was designed by Roger Ailes as a right wing propaganda outlet. He wrote about in a memo to Richard Nixon entitled "A Plan For Putting the GOP on TV News" in 1970."

  32. chuck333 - "Vernos we can go on all day long with IQ's and 70's reasonings etc. but at the end of the day, we have a debt of $17 Trillion, the mideast is out of control, Health Care is a tax (of course if they read it before it passed they would have known) and middle income peoples taxes went up."

    Americans having little or no knowledge of American history has under educated people tuned into places like Fox or Limbaugh, who entice, misrepresent or incite them to vote against their own best interest.

    We could have many of these issues settled, but you can't deal with people who don't believe in evolution, climate change or science in general because of some talking head on the boob tube.

  33. "please explain why Mr. Obama was elected president"

    Obama was reelected because the country has moved center left, and many on the right missed the boat. They are still living in the Cold War era.

    "why we voted for $17 Trillion of debt"

    Exactly who voted for $17 trillion in debt? Remember we had two wars and many fiscal policies were left over fom the Bush years which added to recent gov't. spending. Most programs signed by a president have a ten year life span.

    "Health Care was not sold to us as a TAX"

    Obama care was designed by the Heritage Foundation and is the same law implemented by Romney in Mass. There is no tax added, it's a penalty as noted by the SCOTUS.

    "whats happening in the middle east"

    Every president had to deal with middle east unrest and violence. "From the Halls of Montezuma
    to the shores of Tripoli" is a referrence to Thomas Jefferson bypassing Congress to take the nation to war against Libya in 1801.

    Fox lied about Fast and Furious, a program started under Bush. They allowed Glen Beck to call Obama a racist. Fox fabricated Obama's war on religion and Christmas. It was Sean Hannity who initiated the conspiracy rumor that Obama was born in Kenya, and on, and on, and on. They even relabeled Republicans as Democrats when they screwed up or weren't popular with the far right. I'm willing to bet many Republicans voted for Obama because they couldn't stand Romney and would never fess up to that fact.