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Debates Forum

  1. 07 Feb '11 01:11 / 1 edit
    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-kinsley-reagan-20110205,0,468079.story

    Time magazines cover this week features a photoshopped picture of Ronald Reagan with his arm around President Obama. The cover story purports to answer the question no one was asking until Time magazine brought it up. Is president Obama channeling Ronald Reagan?

    The article points to three evidences for this possibility.

    1. First are quotes from various folks endorsing the proposition such as hyper-historian Douglas Brinkley saying, "Obama is approaching the job in a Reaganesque fashion."

    2. Tweets from Press Secretary Gibbs over Christmas about how Obama was reading a Reagan biography was also used as evidence. Additionally, both Reagan and Obama advocated for defense cuts and a simplification of the tax code in their second state of the Union Adress.

    3. Actions and remarks seem somewhat similar to each other. An example is how both harp on the bipartisan responsibilities of government.

    Of course, both Conservative and Liberal alike cringe at the thought of this comparison, however, who can blame them for perhaps fostering this perception? After all, during the Reagan years inflation dropped from 10.4% in 1981 to 3.7% in 1987. Also federal revenues doubled from $517 billion in 1980 to more than a trillion dollars in 1990. And lastly, the unemployment rate dropped from 9.7% in 1982 to 5.4% in 1988. Of course, the 800 pound gorella in the room is that currently about 79% of the voters think that the economy could collapse as where under Reagan a renewed optimism and patriotism erupted. Reagan also witnessed to end of the Cold War and emerged victorious in relation to the Iranian hostage situation.

    Having said that, are the two really all that different? After all, under Reagan the federal payroll was larger in 1989 than it was in 1981. Then the Reagan tax cuts left large and growing budget deficits combined with increased spending which added to the national debt. And lastly, Reagan's tax increases were the largest proportionate ones in US history. Of course, it did not help that a few historians called his foriegn policy "Wilsonian".

    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2009/may/04/00006/

    "In short, it is hard in 2009 to point to any concrete evidence that Regan's Revolution fundamentally altered the nation's trajectory toward bloated, centralized, interventionalist government. Whatever Reagan's achievments, and they were many and deserve our respect, it is worth asking whether Reagan's optimistic rhetoric and vision for America helped perpetuate the liberal agenda rather than preserve or recover anything resembling, say, Burkean Conservatism or the Founding Father's philosophy of limited government.'

    As for myself, I see the two on different philsophical demensions. On the one you had Reagan who once identified the government as the problem. He was quoted as saying, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help." Conversely, president Obama said in his first news conference, "One Federal Government is the only entity left with the resources to jolt our economy back to life. It is the only government that can break the vicious cycle where lost jobs lead to people spending less money. Which leads to more layoffs." It should be noted, however, that under Reagan around 35 million jobs were created. Conversely, Obama promised 4 million but has of yet seems to be losing jobs by the hour. So why then if both seem to add to the scope and size of the federal government do they seem to have two different results? From my vantage point it is the perception that Obama is tinkering with the economy via stimulus packages, cap and trade, and Obamcare. All of these programs have negative effects on the economy at large as well as add to the ever increasing worry about the national debt that was not felt in Reagan's era. Conversely, Reagan seemed to increase defense spending with the notion that America needed to be strong to defeat the Iron Curtain. By itself, I suppose it could be seen as a stimulus package, but I do not give it credit for the economic recovery the US encountered under Reagan just like I see no benefit to the Obama stimulus aiding the US economy now.

    I suppose my biggest disappointment with Reagan was not rolling the size and scope of government. In addition, I blame him for appointing Bush Sr. as his VP. It was an attempt to consolodate the Conservatives and Moderates in his party. However, it gave rise to Bush Sr. becoming president along with his son later that brought us to the mess we are in now.
  2. 07 Feb '11 04:07 / 2 edits
    Is this article by Time Magazine that compares Obama to Reagan an attempt to bolster his appeal? If they think that they are daft. The only thing that will bolser Obama's appeal is a booming economy that coincided with Reagan's reelection. All I can say is, good luck with that!!

    Of course, if the channeling doesn't work maybe he can move on to being a palm reader.
  3. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    07 Feb '11 05:56 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by whodey
    Is this article by Time Magazine that compares Obama to Reagan an attempt to bolster his appeal? If they think that they are daft. The only thing that will bolser Obama's appeal is a booming economy that coincided with Reagan's reelection. All I can say is, good luck with that!!

    Of course, if the channeling doesn't work maybe he can move on to being a palm reader.
    Before you go on another Obama bashing rant Whodey, perhaps you would do well to consider a few things you may not have thought of. i.e. Ronald Reagan practiced little of what he preached. Reagan signed into law no less than 12 tax increases (maybe more), and despite some early cuts, the size of government grew under Reagan just as all Presidents before him.

    Ronald Reagan was a friendly, likeable, grandfatherly President who made many memorable speeches. Frankly, I liked him myself. His actions however were little different from those of George H.W. Bush, and many other Conservative lawmakers. Because Regan was a likeable President, he won elections, and many friends along the way. I was in my 20's and 30's during the Reagan years, and I can promise you the American economy was nothing special under Reagan, the national debt grew, taxes increased, and hundreds of thousands of American jobs were exported overseas with the full blessing of our beloved Ronald Reagan

    Ronald Reagan was given credit for "winning the cold war". This is just plain silly. The Soviet Union had been on the verge of collapse for years in the 70's, and when it did begin to fall apart, Reagan just happen to be in the oval office at the time..that's all.

    In remembering the Reagan years, President Obama is frequently put in a 'no win' situation by the Reaganites. If Obama speaks respectfully of Reagan, he's accused of trying to live up to the leagecy of a great American President (something the Reganites will never admit to). If Obama does not lavish praise upon Reagan, he'd be accused of gross disrespect.

    The American economy was not great in 1980 when Reagan took office, but was far, far better than the disaster that Obama faced in January of 2008, and I very much doubt your beloved Reagan could do any better, given the same situation. Sorry to burst your bubble again Whodey, but your letting sentimentality get in the way of reason...again.

    }
  4. 07 Feb '11 09:23
    One would certainly hope Obama doesn't perform as badly as Reagan.
  5. Standard member shavixmir
    Guppy poo
    07 Feb '11 11:26
    One can only hope that Obama, at the very least, isn't dement.
  6. 07 Feb '11 12:15
    Originally posted by bill718
    [Ronald Reagan was a friendly, likeable, grandfatherly President who made many memorable speeches. Frankly, I liked him myself. His actions however were little different from those of George H.W. Bush, and many other Conservative lawmakers.
    I am interested to hear how Reagan was different than "W" in your opinion. In addition, I am interested in how "W" was conservative in your opinion.
  7. 07 Feb '11 12:19
    Originally posted by bill718
    and I can promise you the American economy was nothing special under Reagan, the national debt grew, taxes increased, and hundreds of thousands of American jobs were exported overseas with the full blessing of our beloved Ronald Reagan
    The national debt did grow as I said, however, you must have missed the part where I mentioned that the revenue to the federal government increased from $512 billion a year when he entered office to over a trillion when he left office. In addition, the US economy had just come out of stagflation and once it got going did not miss a beat until well after his presidency. Of course, you are free to say that you believe it to be all mere coincidence, but any president worth his salt would take that economic record in a heart beat, including Obama.
  8. 07 Feb '11 12:19 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    One would certainly hope Obama doesn't perform as badly as Reagan.
    How so? Didn't Reagan increase taxes? I thought that you would worship at his feet for doing so. In addition, what has Obama done better than Reagan?
  9. 07 Feb '11 12:20
    Originally posted by shavixmir
    One can only hope that Obama, at the very least, isn't dement.
    I'm sorry but he is demented.
  10. 07 Feb '11 12:22
    Originally posted by bill718
    Ronald Reagan was given credit for "winning the cold war". This is just plain silly. The Soviet Union had been on the verge of collapse for years in the 70's, and when it did begin to fall apart, Reagan just happen to be in the oval office at the time..that's all.
    Again, you are free to say that Reagan had nothing to do with what occured in the former USSR, but many would say stepping up the Cold War via such proposals as Star Wars etc, helped kick the door in a building on the verge of collapse.
  11. 07 Feb '11 12:25
    Originally posted by bill718
    In remembering the Reagan years, President Obama is frequently put in a 'no win' situation by the Reaganites. If Obama speaks respectfully of Reagan, he's accused of trying to live up to the leagecy of a great American President (something the Reganites will never admit to). If Obama does not lavish praise upon Reagan, he'd be accused of gross disrespect.
    If I recall, Obama critisized Regan's domestic policies as disasterous in his book Audacity of Hope and vowed to reverse them. Other than that I don't ever recall him uttering Reagan's name. Why should he? After all, like you said there is no benefit to him uttering his name, which is why it seems kind of odd that the comparison was made at all.