Monday, June 13, 2011

Reagan -- The Best The Republicans Have

Ironically, he is one of the worst Presidents we ever had.

How ironic that there are all these people who worship this man, who idolize his askew ideology and short of putting him on an altar and lighting candles to him he has become the icon and standard bearer of Republican-Teahadist political ideas…yet, if he were in our midst today the Republicans would deem him “too liberal” a true RINO.

I never liked the man even from the very first day I met him back in 1965 when he was running for governor of California and I was working for Mariani Tailors on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills where he got his suits made. I can’t forget Mrs. Mariani calling me to come to the sidewalk and meet “THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES”

Well, if you read my blog you know that I have a formula that has served me well over the years and it was taught to me by my grandfather the patriarch Valiente. He said: “son, when you meet someone, stretch out your hand, grab the person’s hand you are greeting, then bring your other hand to encapsulate the handshake…look at the person in the eyes and try to determine what you feel. Invariably, if they are honest and a good person, they will also be looking at you straight in the eye…but if they don’t it is because they either have something to hide, they are not too thrilled about meeting you or you are too insignificant for them to bother” And Ronald Reagan looked down to the sidewalk and never made eye contact.

I saw him on at least half a dozen more occasions at the tailor shop but never again did we even exchange hellos. When he became governor I was surprised but not as surprised as I was when he became President…no, not with all those radical, right wing ideas and a very lousy history as California governor.

Here is a very good post that Jerry Critter, one blogger I admire tremendously on the occasion of Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday posted on CRITTERS CRAP:

“Happy Birthday, Ronnie! You were a crappy Governor and you were a crappy President...but you are the best the republicans have.

That's right. Sarah Palin is trying to cast herself as Reagan. Republicans continually point to Reagan as a great President. We hear, from republicans, that Reaganomics was the greatest thing for our economy since sliced bread.

Well, let's take a little closer look at Reagan and how the economy did under him. There is a great post over at
Angry Bear from which I am going to pull some facts and figures. I will give a little detail, but they have more.

I said that Reagan is the best they have. It's true. He leads the republicans when you look at the annualized growth in GDP per capita. He grew the economy better than all other republicans since 1929, that's in the last 80 years. Way to go, Ronnie.

Notice I did not say he was the best President in growing the economy in the last 80 years. Notice that I did not say he was the second best, nor the third best. Why, I didn't even say he was the fourth best. Why? Because he wasn't!

Ronald Reagan was number 5. There are four Democrats ahead of him.

Oh, and who is number 6? Carter. So Reagan is number 5 out of the top six as shown in the figure below.

Note that FDR is shown twice. That's because they separated out the war years. FDR1 goes to 1940. If you look at the last two bars, it is obvious that the Democrats have out-performed the republicans by a significant amount -- by several times the republican average.

There is one other point I would like to make. When faced with this data, republicans often say that GDP is not a good measure because it includes government spending. They say the Democrats are "tax and spend", so big government spending distorts GDP. Well, let's look at the definition of GDP.

GDP = Private Consumption + Private Investment + Gov't Consumption & Investment + Net Exports

OK, there's government spending -- Gov't Consumption & Investment

To quote from the article:

if the government borrows a lot and spends what it borrows, it will boost GDP, and that in turn causes real GDP per capita growth to increase. And that is precisely what happened under Reagan

In fact, here is a figure.

Reagan's right up there with Bush Sr as a leader in growing the debt as a percent of GDP. In fact, Reagan just about tripled the debt going from about 1 Trillion dollars to about 3 Trillion dollars. So, if you remove the governement portion of Reagan's GDP, he will look even worse. A lot of his growth came from government spending.

If you are interested, there are some other interesting facts about Reagan in the article, like

  • He's number 4 in annualized growth in real net disposable income -- behind 3 democrats
  • He leads everyone in the transfer of local and state spending to the federal government. I call that growing the federal government.

This man is who the republicans hold up as their standard bearer in these tough economic times. Not a second rate president. Not a third rate president. Not a fourth rate president. NO!


Happy Birthday, Ronnie! You are the best the republicans have!”


Post a Comment