After the passage of the historic health care bill and with the close approach of the midterm elections, the conservatives of America are more "fired up, ready to go" than ever.The tea party has started an even greater and faster movement. It seems that Fox News breathes in and out the coverage of the tea party movement, and from time to time CNN and MSNBC exhale important coverage. Everywhere you look you will see some resemblance of the tea party movement. Its members rally on the streets, waving signs, allegedly throwing racist language and slurs toward Democratic representatives and carrying posters of President Ronald Reagan.
As the days of the Obama administration pass, tea party members and other conservatives wish more and more that they could get President Reagan back. From the conservatives' perspective, President Reagan was a great man who not only brought hope but healed the nation from a hard recession. He is labeled the "Father of Modern Conservatism" and some even want his picture on the $50 bill.
What crosses my mind is: Why love a man so much who hurt our economy? Our banks failed, we are in housing crisis and the nation was put on a $3.5 trillion debt because of the failed policies of "Reaganomics."
While President Reagan was a very talented speaker and was able to hype the audience, he was very bad at supervising his workers. He would provide the inspiration and the core elements but would not wait and see if his policies were properly handled. This lousy supervision meant that his staff could do anything they wished without any direction from their boss. He wouldn't even discuss the tiniest details of military operation with his generals.
President Reagan believed in a free-market economy. He believed that by slashing taxes, government would spark an economic boom that would help start businesses and generate more tax revenue. In simpler terms, the benefits of cutting taxes for the wealthy would "trickle down" to everyone. So President Reagan proceeded to enact 30 percent tax cuts and put an end to social programs such as funds for mental hospitals, child services, subsidies for mass transit, public service jobs, etc. Along with this, he boosted funding for national defense.
With all this put into action, the Reaganomics plan worked for a short period of time. Interest rates dropped, and the cost of imported gas and oil came down. But many economists predicted that the benefits they were receiving then would hurt future generations. Military spending grew enormously but other government expenditures were not being cut back as many hoped.
In an article written about President Reagan in the Atlantic Monthly, David Stockman expressed fears that the deficit would increase extremely due to Reaganomics. In the next eight years the national debt tripled to almost $2.7 trillion. Because of Reaganomics there were easier credit policies which opened the door for corporate mergers. Companies were going into huge debt by swallowing other companies. Takeovers were financed by junk bonds and these bonds were risky because they were hard to pay off. Deregulation of bank allowed savings and loans to finance risky business ventures instead of home mortgages.
By the end of 1980s this nation had a trade deficit of $150 billion a year. And who are we to blame for this? Like or hate my answer, but the blame goes to Ronald Reagan and his failed policies. Reagan's "trickle-down" economics created a larger gap between the rich and the middle class. Before we had hospitals for the mentally ill but they were systematically taken down by Ronald Reagan. The homeless rate tripled. President Reagan's policies may have been good back then but they hurt us all now.
One of Reagan's quotes is "facts are stubborn things." Well, yes, they are stubborn because they are the truth. The truth is President Reagan hurt our economic condition. If this is the man they call "Father of Modern Conservatism" then that explains so much of why modern conservatism is bad for America.