It’s no secret that I’m no fan of Ronald Reagan, and hate the fact that he’s been deified by republicans (and even some democrats!) in past years. And with the 100-year anniversary of his birth this Sunday, it’s going to be awful for dyed-in-the-wool New Deal democrats like myself for the next couple of days. Witness freshman Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Twitter today:
Ronald Reagan was the greatest President of my lifetime http://bit.ly/hQCm7D
Reagan was an awful president. He was responsible for the Iran-Contra scandal, the destruction of labour unions in America, the gutting of the EPA, the freezing of the minimum wage, the Savings and Loan crisis – and, despite it all, a ballooning of the budget deficit that the country is still feeling today, despite efforts by the Clinton administration to balance the budget in the 1990s. The product of all this was the impoverishment of all but the richest of Americans:
But it was not always thus. Reagan used to be a democrat, and he used to care about the working man, as this remarkable audio snippet shows:
Ronald Reagan could have been a champion of progress. Instead, he chose to reward the richest and do nothing for ordinary Americans. That’s his legacy.