Three and a half years ago, a curious thing happened. A former US president passed away and his lying-in-state was televised almost continuously by the 24-hour news networks. Can’t we just leave the old Gipper dead?
Or at least stop totally misrepresenting him? He raised taxes.
He raised them on California in 1967, he raised them nationally after his much-lauded 1981 cuts backfired. Particularly he raised payroll taxes, taxes that make up most of the money heading from working people — by which I mean anybody that has a job — put into the federal government, far more than they pay in income taxes or death taxes, the bugaboos of the Republican party, came from his tax increases.
In your taxes.
That you pay.
To the government.
The goverment that’s here to help you. The government that the real President Reagan recognized had to act responsibly, as opposed to the phony, flim-flam, made-up hindsight Reagan that so many people like to look back on when they’re crafting duplicitous political rhetoric.
Simply aiming to always cut taxes, always increase military spending, never grant clemency, always cling tightly to the absolutist hard-line of your party faithful does the public a disservice. Things are more complicated than that. You can be frugal without being miserly. You can be strong without being belligerant.