He [Reagan] was a tax-cutter who raised taxes in seven of the eight years of his presidency. He was a budget-cutter who nearly tripled the federal budget deficit.The historical Reagan was a complex, contradictory fellow. The mythologized hero Reagan is much more mundane but can tell us a lot more about ourselves.
The biggest problem with Reagan, as we look back at his presidency in search of clues that might help us meet the challenges of today, is that he presented himself — and has since been presented by his admirers — as someone committed to the best interests of ordinary, hard-working Americans. Yet his economic policies, Reaganomics, dealt a body blow to that very constituency.
What we get with Reagan are a series of disconnects and contradictions that have led us to a situation in which a president widely hailed as a hero of the working class set in motion policies that have been mind-bogglingly beneficial to the wealthy and devastating to working people and the poor.
15 February 2011
And Heeeeeeerrrrrre's Ronnie!
Bob Herbert over at the NYT Opinion Pages has a cool review of the forthcoming documentary Reagan about the former president. Here are a few points-of-fact that I particularly enjoyed: