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On Reagan’s birthday
Last comment by sebekm 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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On Reagan’s birthday, his unworthy successors tell us to prepare for ‘new normal’ slow growth

When the Gipper faced a challenge like this, he conquered it. Obama? No.

Ronald Reagan would have been 103 years old today, and it shows how far we’ve fallen from the high standard his leadership represented that, today, the Congressional Budget Office projects slower-than-average growth may be the “new normal” for America.
President Reagan would never have accepted such a fate for this nation. And before defenders of President Obama try to blame Bush and say there’s nothing Obama could have done because he faced such a difficult economy coming into office, they should know that Reagan faced a flaming recession of his own when he took office.
What Reagan inherited from Jimmy Carter as abysmal. Unemployment was soaring at 10.8 percent. Inflation was over 13 percent. The prime interest rate was an astonishing 25 percent!
Reagan could have done what Obama has done, which is to blame his predecessor and tell everyone to prepare for a “new normal” of slow growth and economic stagnation. He could have insisted to everyone that the challenge was too hard and that he couldn’t be expected to make it better.
But here is the difference between Reagan and Obama: When Reagan ran for president, it was because he understood that challenges were difficult but needed to be successfully tackled. The well-being of the nation depended on it. When someone runs for president, and then whines like Obama does about how hard the job is, the appropriate response is, “Then why did you run for it?”
Reagan knew the job was hard. He ran for it because he believed he was the man to do it.
And Reagan had a plan. In 1981, he cut taxes, including a cut in the top marginal rate from 70 percent (!) to 28 percent. Oh, by the way, the opposition party controlled the House. Sound familiar? Reagan successfully persuaded enough Democrats to support his tax cuts that he was able to get them passed into law. He did not use the divided Congress as an excuse.
He also cut federal spending by $31 billion in his first year, which flew in the face of Keynesian arguments that more spending was needed to boost the economy. Reagan understood the federal government was too big and it was draining capital from the private sector. He began the reversal of that trend.
Reagan also slashed regulations that were saddling the private sector with hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of additional costs.
It worked. The recession got pretty bad in 1982, but in 1983 it was roaring back. The American people understood that Reagan’s policies had made the difference – so much so that when he ran for re-election in 1984 he won an astonishing 49 states!
Obama’s policy direction has been exactly the opposite of Reagan’s. He has raised taxes, increased regulation and grown government control over the economy. He has overseen an enormous increase in federal spending, and run up the national debt to more than $17 trillion. The same Democrats who were howling about $200 billion deficits when Reagan was in office have undertaken a spending spree so breathtaking that we’ve had deficits north of $1 trillion for all but one year of Obama’s presidency.
And how well has all this worked? It has been such a complete and utter failure that the CBO is now imploring us to just accept it as the new normal.
That’s not how America was built. We are not built on normalcy. We were built on exceptionalism.
This economy is not stuck in the mud because the recession was too hard for Obama to fix. We are stuck in the mud because Obama’s policies are wrong, and he will not for one second consider the correct policies that worked in the 1980s – because he is ideologically incapable of doing so.
Happy birthday, President Reagan. We miss you. Boy, do we miss you.


Latest Activity: Feb 07, 2014 at 6:19 PM

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JimmyMack commented on Friday, Feb 07, 2014 at 18:47 PM

Well done political post, Funk.

Here is Colin's take:


MikeLongCounty commented on Saturday, Feb 08, 2014 at 14:36 PM

President Ronald Reagan, the greatest president to serve during my life time!!! Youngest son, Holden Reagan Riddle named in his honor.

sebekm commented on Sunday, Feb 09, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Amen, MLC. It was Reagan's strategy and strength of will that caused the collapse of the Soviet Union and tore down that wall in Berlin. Reagan restored our pride in America, which helped heal deep national wounds inflicted by our government in the 1970s. Nobody's perfect, but I, too, agree that Reagan is the greatest president to serve during my lifetime.

timeontarget commented on Sunday, Feb 09, 2014 at 14:34 PM

I also think Reagan was the best President of my lifetime.

I still have my bumper sticker from the time around two years before he won the nomination.


Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Feb 09, 2014 at 15:23 PM

Thanks Jimmy, General Powell is a great leader isn’t he and I watched the whole clip. He’s right that you should call out the elements in the Republican Party that disturbs him and I would've asked him to be more specific and what about the Democrats that do the same thing. I also would’ve asked why did he think Obama was best for economic reform and other things as well as asking what does he think about it now? These questions would’ve strengthened the interview and given it more credibility, IMHO.

MLC, Chief ,and TOT, I agree that Reagan is the greatest President in my lifetime too!

JimmyMack commented on Sunday, Feb 09, 2014 at 16:10 PM

Course, I gotta go with JFK here fellas.
And, of course, sinner Bill who gave us 8 solid years of economic prosperity, rescued the Former Yugoslavia from continued genocidal warfare, (with a limited American casualty count and accompanying prolonged American debt),
changed the face of welfare as we knew it, and did not thrust the Nation into costly and seemingly endless wars.

I will surprise you fellas now by saying I liked Ronny. The great Communicator. I liked his air strike against Quadafy (sic) and his part in the collapse of the Soviet Union. Just did not agree with 'trickle down economics" nor his cuts in programs for the poor.

Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Feb 09, 2014 at 17:05 PM

Jimmy, I didn't pick Kennedy because he served only 3 years, but I imagine he could have garnered my vote with 2 full terms. I rank him #2. I rank Clinton #3 because he flopped in his first 2 years with the Democrats in charge of congress. The economic prosperity didn't start happening until the Republicans took over congress in January 1995 with Newt Gingrich as the Speaker. Trickle down economics is a term used by Democrats to demonize Conservative policies that work. Reagan did this with divided government and his policies were so effective that 1 million jobs were created in one month during the recovery of the recession that he inherited from Carter. And he didn't blame Carter either.

MikeLongCounty commented on Sunday, Feb 09, 2014 at 17:19 PM

"There you go again" Jimmy talking about cuts to the poor, let's not forget that in 1984 President Reagan initiated and pushed through the largest percentage increase on the Earned Income Tax Credit, to even this day. Which is pretty much a "welfare check" on tax returns, because all who qualify for it, actually pay no federal income tax into the system. I think, but am not for sure on this point, but I believe under President Reagan, the EITC was expanded even further just before he got out of office. But I will say that just behind President Reagan, I do believe that President Kennedy was the next greatest president in my life time, so he would have received my Silver Medal. And since the Olympics are going on, I will say that George W. Bush gets the Bronze Medal for coming in a distant third. In the continuing spirit of bi-partisanship I will also say that I like President Clinton much more as an ex-president than I do that.......well I'll be respectful here.....that former president from Plains, Georgia. President Clinton has been graceful and productive since he left office, and right now I wish he was the First Husband, and Hillary was ending her second term, instead of the president we have in office now. I would invite all of you too also list your top three presidents in your lives; Jimmy, Funk. Sebe, and ToT.

MikeLongCounty commented on Sunday, Feb 09, 2014 at 17:28 PM

Well Funk, even though President Reagan was too good of a leader and man to make excuses for the circumstances he inherited...I'll blame President Carter for him, or at lease give a good portion of the blame. And since we are talking about the man who ruined any Georgian's chance of ever winning the presidency. He hands-down in a landslide victory, is the worst president to serve during my life.

Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Feb 09, 2014 at 17:46 PM

MLC, I rank GWB as #4 because he didn't have enough influence to get congress to put a strangle hold on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and prevent the financial crisis that happened on his watch. He warned congress around 34 times and there were even hearings in 2004 that the Democrats filibustered and prevented any reform. He warned congress 17 times in 2007 and 2008 which was on totally deaf ears with Nancy Pelosi in charge as Speaker. For this reason I can't rank him above Clinton and its a shame that good people like Jimmy hate him when all his policies passed with bipartisan support. They even blame the war totally on him even though congress gave him the authority with over 75% approval. GWB economic policies were solid and wasn't the downfall of the economy.

JimmyMack commented on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 08:03 AM

@Funk. I don't hate the Boy King, I just don't like him.

MLC: Top three POTUS' in my lifetime:

1. JFK
2. William Jefferson Clinton
3. Ronald Wilson Reagan

I agree that Brother Jimmy C. may have been over his head. He has done much good tho since leaving office in the area of human rights and election oversight in third world nations. Plus building houses for the needy.

MikeLongCounty commented on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 08:32 AM

Pretty interesting the presidents who were not mentioned...G.H. Bush, Ford, Carter, Nixon, Johnson,and Eisenhower. I don't know if any of you date past Ike. Since some of these men served before I was an adult, I can only reflect on them from a historic perception; too me, this list has presidents who were either real bad, or very Luke-warm. I would assert that most of us want presidents to take action, and then either we like that president a lot, or dislike him a lot.

sebekm commented on Monday, Feb 10, 2014 at 18:49 PM

I don't date past Ike, but when it comes to actual ACHIEVEMENTS while in office, nobody tops Ronald Reagan since WWII.

Jimmy: Kennedy's principal "achievement" was the Cuban Missile Crisis, which one could strongly argue he paved the way for himself by the ham-handed way he handled the Bay of Pigs. He had charisma and he had Jackie, but his administration was long on aesthetics and short on substance. Lyndon Johnson gets the credit for implementing "The Kennedy Agenda" as to the "war on poverty" and civil rights reform, but another strong argument can be made that only with Kennedy's tragic assassination were these possible. I'll remind you that Kennedy's primary obstacle on these reforms were the SOUTHERN DEMOCRATS, who were eventually steamrolled by the national sentiment on the heels of Kennedy getting killed in a SOUTHERN CITY.

As for Bill Clinton - I give him a lot of credit for his policy of "triangulation" and taking the lead from the Republicans resulting in budget surpluses for "as far as the eye could see." Osama bin Laden and Dubya combined to screw that up. But Mr. Clinton - known primarily domestically and internationally for "I did not have sexual relations, etc." and "what the meaning of the word "is" is" - is no Ronald Reagan.

As for G.H.W. Bush, I believe he was the "most qualified" of any to be President based on prior jobs and experience, and he let the Generals win Gulf War I, but aside from Iraq his administration was also short on achievements. Carter and Nixon had failed presidencies on varying levels. Without Watergate, Nixon would have been known for getting us out of Viet Nam and foreign policy changes and advancements (i.e., China). Carter's presidency was a failure from beginning to end. He wrecked the economy, he killed morale in the military, and is primarily known for his goofy relatives.

Ike served for eight years; Johnson for five. IMHO - neither of them qualified on their own as "great" presidents. In the 20th Century, that term probably can only be applied to FDR and Reagan.

timeontarget commented on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 06:26 AM

Jimmy Carter was indeed a failure and I feel like he had a heavy hand in the crippling of the economy because I think he shortly before his term ended, took action to do away with the usury laws.

sebekm, will you research that please.

I know Carter did something which allowed local banks to increase their rates rapidly.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:10 AM

While you're at it Sebe, please bring me a cup of coffee...

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 16:04 PM

....zzzzzz.....Huh? Wha?

Hmmmmmm......here's the speech Jimmy Carter gave at a ceremony where he undid one of the cornerstones of Producer economics—usury laws.

Part I:

"Remarks on Signing H.R. 4986 Into Law.
March 31, 1980

CARTER: "This morning we are assembled in the White House to take action which will have far-reaching, beneficial effects on our Nation. Not only will it help to control inflation, but it will also strengthen our financial institutions, our thrift institutions and commercial banks, and in addition to that it will help small savers and address more effectively the relationship of the Federal Reserve System with the banks throughout our Nation.

Let me begin with some commendations. I think Bill Miller deserves a great deal of credit for having pursued this effort, even when the prospects for success were very bleak, first of all as Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, and later of course as Secretary of the Treasury. We have had good support in the Congress from Bill Proxmire, from Henry Reuss, from Fred St Germain, who's here this morning with us. And also, to make it nonpartisan, or bipartisan, I'm particularly grateful that Bill Stanton, Jake Garn, and many others have come this morning to commemorate this historic event. As you can well imagine, in legislation of this breadth and importance, many others played a crucial role, and I'm very grateful to all those who had a part. This is a moment of great gratification to me and, in addition, to the feeling of gratitude to persons that I've just described.

Last spring we began to become more and more concerned about the issues that affected our Nation as inflation was beginning to build up and as the rate of savings in our country was constantly dropping. I recommended to the Congress a landmark financial reform bill, which I will be signing in a few minutes into law. This is not only a significant step in reducing inflation, but it's a major victory for savers, and particularly for small savers. It's a progressive step for stronger financial institutions of all kinds. And it's another step in a long but extremely important move toward deregulation by the Federal Government of the private enterprise system of our country.

We've already had remarkable success in deregulation in the airline industry, this in financial institutions; we hope that the Congress will soon pass the regulatory reform act and that we can have success in the deregulation of the rail industry, trucking industry, and the communication industry."

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 16:10 PM

Part II:

“As you know, under existing law, which this bill will change, our banks and savings institutions are hampered by a wide range of outdated, unfair, and unworkable regulations. Especially unfair are interest rate ceilings that prohibit small savers from receiving a fair market return on their deposits. It's a serious inequity that favors rich investors over the average savers. Today's legislation will gradually eliminate these ceilings and allow, through competition, higher rates for savers. It provides an orderly transition for institutions to develop new investment powers."

Most significant of all, perhaps, it can help improve our Nation's very low savings rate. Now not much more than 3 percent of earnings go into savings, perhaps the lowest rate in the last 30 years. And of course, this small savings rate has been a major factor in increased inflation. This encouragement of savings is important not only to consumers but also to financial institutions in the breadth of our financial system.

The new law will permit institutions to prevent or to overcome the previous wide cyclical changes and swings and to develop a more stable deposit base. This can help ensure steadier flow of credit for productive uses, especially housing. It can keep down financing costs and, again, help defuse the pressing burden of inflation.“

See: http://real-economics.blogspot.com/20...

As the author of the link points out in comments following the above quote:

"Of course, once usury had been decriminalized, the Fed's Paul Volcker ran up interest rates to 21% prime. The whole globe staggered. In fact, there are some very good arguments that suggest that large populations world-wide have never really recovered from the 1982 recession that was deliberately triggered for ideological reasons."

Amen. This goes to show you what happens when you have a nuclear physicist as President who should have stayed a peanut farmer. While Reagan may have been our greatest president since WWII, he never would have gotten into office if Carter hadn't been such a LOUSY president.

So just like Peyton Manning should forever thank Rex Grossman for his only Super Bowl victory, Ronald Reagan's descendants should send Jimmy a thank-you note every January 20th in memory of Carter's gift to Ronny.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 16:12 PM

"While you're at it Sebe, please bring me a cup of coffee..."

Decaf or chickory?

JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 17:44 PM

chickory with a shot of Black Jack thrown in, please. I take my coffee like I take my women: Hot'n Black with a Kick.

sebekm commented on Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014 at 20:56 PM

Uh. oh.....

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 07:23 AM

sebekm, I very much appreciate your research.

I believe that interest rates should never been allowed to rise above 10 per cent.

When prime went to 21% short term financing in our two local banks at the time went above that a couple of points.

While it enriched greedy lenders and slumlords, it bankrupted some small business owners.

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 07:28 AM

A substantial amount of our national debt accumulated in those years.

"Amen. This goes to show you what happens when you have a nuclear physicist as President who should have stayed a peanut farmer. While Reagan may have been our greatest president since WWII, he never would have gotten into office if Carter hadn't been such a LOUSY president."


Again thank you very much.

timeontarget commented on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 07:33 AM

The whole globe staggered. In fact, there are some very good arguments that suggest that large populations world-wide have never really recovered from the 1982 recession that was deliberately triggered for ideological reasons."

Oh and by the way, did we mention that Jimmy Carter was a Democrat?

sebekm commented on Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 at 12:02 PM

We KNOW what he was.....

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