Monday, February 07, 2005

I Hate Ronald Reagan

Corporate taxes under Reagan and now GWB have reached their lowest point since 1929. This fact alone should give any reasonable person a good idea where things are headed in this country and the world. Corporations, who DO use water, electricity, garbage collection services and all the other things provided by government through taxes, are now taxed at a lower rate than individuals are. They also receive special discounts on the resources that they use. This trend in America, for individual citizens to pay for the services used and the collateral environmental damage caused by corporations through their payroll taxes, began in the administration of Ronald Reagan. The now discredited theory used to describe this situation was aptly called the "Trickle Down Theory." We were promised a trickle and we did not get even that. Real wages, after adjustment for inflation, fell in the Reagan years as they have in both Bush administrations. -(1)-

Labor was also hard hit during the Reagan administration
After Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers for striking for better working conditions and hired permanent replacements, corporate employers followed suit, thereby, for all intents and purposes, emasculating the Labor movement and turning the clock back on the decades of progress made for the American working man. Far from being upset by these developments the majority of voters inexplicably were enthused by them.-(2)-

So, during the Reagan years taxes were lowered on the upper 1% of the income tier, thereby increasing their wealth tremendously, and those in the lower income tiers received meaningless decreases accompanied by a DOUBLING of withholding on their Social Security. In addition, the Reagan administration could spend this "surplus" on whatever they chose. And they did-- every cent of it-- with no accountability to anyone but themselves. One of the things that they spent the money on was right wing death squads south of the border. They also spent the money that they acquired illegally through arms sales to the Iranians on similar projects south of the border. This was the famous Iran-Contra scandal that many of Reagan's minions were convicted of master- minding and participating in. Reagan, of course, alleged that he had no memory of these dealings-(3)-, hence his other popular moniker: "The Great Forgetter", a name that would prove to be ironically apropos in the ensuing years.

Reagan,as well as George W. Bush, ostensibly believe in smaller government, a strong military, lower taxes, and a balanced budget. However, both presidents have lowered taxes for the rich, increased military spending, and almost paradoxically created larger government and crippling budget deficits.-(4)- which they then leave for their successors to deal with. My belief is that these presidents did and do believe in a weak and small government and concurrent unanswerable and vast power in "private" multi-national corporations. The strategy now is to weaken our government,which is the only force powerful enough to control the corporations, by deliberately bankrupting it. There is no other reasonable explanation for their behavior.

This is why I hate Ronald Reagan.
Knowing these things, would you consider Reagan to have been a patriot, a knowing traitor, or an unwitting dupe of huge corporate interests? This fracturing of governmental power is a worldwide phenomenon and the way it's being done is similar in many respects for the different countries involved. The power vacuum is, of course, being taken up by huge multi-national corporations. This is what is being referred to by scholars who know as "the New Feudalism." But that is a topic for a different post.

-1- Mark Weisbrot,"Ronald Reagan's Legacy", Knight-Ridder,6-7-2002.

-2- Randy Schweitz, NATCA press release, 1-28-1997.

-3- P. Kunhardt, Jr., The American Presidency (NY, Riverhead Books,
1999), pp. 292-301.

-4- Joe Strupp, "Ronald Reagan: still the teflon president", in Editor and
Publisher, 6-8-2004.

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