Reagan: Separating Myth from Reality

Paul Krugman has a great editorial on how the media and spin-doctors are puffing up Ronald Reagan’s legacy into something it wasn’t. He dispels a multitude of inaccuracies in his New York Times op-ed “The Great Taxer”:

The first Reagan tax increase came in 1982. By then it was clear that the budget projections used to justify the 1981 tax cut were wildly optimistic. In response, Mr. Reagan agreed to a sharp rollback of corporate tax cuts, and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of G.D.P., the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton’s 1993 tax increase.

The contrast with President Bush is obvious. President Reagan, confronted with evidence that his tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, changed course. President Bush, confronted with similar evidence, has pushed for even more tax cuts.

If the Bush Administration was planning on riding the Gipper’s death back into the White House, they would be better off fueling the conspiracy that Bush Sr. has a hand in this presidency (which I doubt). That would at least offer a modicum of a link between Reagan’s and Bush’s policies. Instead, the current Reagan love-fest only illustrates just how inept Bush is in comparison to Reagan, who was at least willing to admit mistakes and work to fix them. What we have now is a no apologies president and the great miscommunicator.

Reagan Bush
From the George W. Bush re-election website

The Great Taxer [New York Times]

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