Sunday, February 06, 2011

Happy 100th, Ronald Reagan, you pro-gov socialist

From Taxes: What people forget about Reagan by CNN senior writer Jeanne Sahadi:

--All told, the tax increases Reagan approved ended up canceling out much of the reduction in tax revenue that resulted from his 1981 legislation.

--"By today's standards, the Gipper would easily qualify for status as a back-stabbing, treacherous RINO [Republican in Name Only]," wrote Tax Analysts contributing editor Martin Sullivan.

--Two bills passed in 1982 and 1984 together "constituted the biggest tax increase ever enacted during peacetime," said tax historian Joseph Thorndike.

--Thanks in part to the increases in defense spending during his administration, Reagan also didn't really reduce the size of government. Annual spending averaged 22.4% of GDP on his watch, which is above today's 40-year average of 20.7%, and above the 20.8% average under Carter.

Indeed, in one very symbolic respect he enlarged it. While in the early years of his presidency Reagan tried to shrink the IRS, by the end, the number of IRS employees hit an all-time high, according to Steuerle in his book Contemporary U.S. Tax Policy.


Geepers, creepers, Ronnie, you'd be considered a dyed-in-the-wool leftie by today's standards!

Oh wait, I forgot about the Meese Report.


Bill said...

No wonder the left loves the Gipper. I've definitely noticed the recent attempts to compare Obama to him. Thanks for your valuable service.

Bill said...

They even look alike!

Once Known as The Badger said...

Well, as he used to say, "win one for the gypper!"

Bill said...

Amazing resemlance of Reagan and Obama:

The Writer Currently Known as Rory said...

Can't stand how Reagan's changed as a dead man.

I'm going to the Nixon Library then. No seriously, that's how I'm spending my Super Bowl Sunday (since I watch basketball, not football). My love of the executive branch (as study, never aspiration; I don't have the stomach, or sometimes lack of one, for leadership) knows no better time.

alphadog said...

Hey thanks for the info Erin. I had no idea that Ron was such a bum. But then we had just emerged from 4 years of Jimmeh so anything looked like an improvement, go figger.

Erin O'Brien said...

Nobody ever talks about what a shitbag anti-porn nut Reagan was.

Sorry I don't have a link/verification, but I once heard Hefner's daughter talk about Reagan's little Meese project being the most difficult setback Playboy ever encountered.

Wish I had better details on that.

Don't even get me started on the whole Falwell/Moral Majority/Reagan connection.

There was a day when I could have walked into a bar with a nearly see-through blouse on, sat down and lit up a joint. No one would have cared.

Goddamn holier-than-thou righties ruin everything.

WV: penonsac

Erin O'Brien said...

Not sure when Carter turns 100, but nice try on changing the subject, alph.

alphadog said...

Maybe Nancy's astrologers told him to do it.
WV: atterf. Erf to you too

alphadog said...

--"By today's standards, the Gipper would easily qualify for status as a back-stabbing, treacherous RINO [Republican in Name Only],"

BTW, y'all do know that RWR started his career as a Democrat don't you?

Erin O'Brien said...

I did know that, although I'd forgotten about it.

LimesNow said...

What a beautiful and appropriate descriptor, Erin - "shitbag". Wrinkled old plastic bag full of shit being puppeteered by that anorexic wife and others. Last night I was up late with friends and we were postulating about one thing and another. A TV ad flitted by, telling about some special to celebrate the shitbag's 100th. Everyone started to howl, tossing popcorn at the screen. I waited for a quiet moment to say,"Nothing makes me think we should hear the strains of 'Brown Sugar' as background to his shitbag TV special ad. Why?" Erf and that is all.

alphadog said...

What perfect irony it would be, if after 'channeling' RWR, BHO became a Republican.

And picked Palin as his running mate in 2012. hehehe

VideoDude said...

Thank you Erin. I have spent the past 30 years listening to Repubs pine for the good old days of Saint Ron. I still don't understand why so many think he was so great. Of course, that's what the right does, revisionist history.

philbilly said...

"There was a day when I could have walked into a bar with a nearly see-through blouse on, sat down and lit up a joint. No one would have cared."

Oh, we cared alright. It's why we went to bars.

Note that the Meese report and Califa's article were both pre-internet.

Ronnie was a union boy for SAG when it meant his paycheck.

VideoDude said...

I found this little gem. I remember the rumors after the 1980 election. Then came Iran-Contra. In fact I read an article about this in one of those so called "Porn Magazines" (Playboy).

VideoDude said...

Sorry about that I didn't copy the entire link.

VideoDude said...

The last part of the link is (after Documents):


For some reason the entire link will not copy.

Bill said...

Wow Erin! Being dead doesn't stop the hate. I remember mentioning that I wasn't crazy about Eartha and you jumped on me. Seriously, calling him a shitbag and all that? Besides, I see lots of women without bras, lots of people smoking weed. Of course most of them are wearing helmets. Freedom!!

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Reagan raised the defense budget because he had to. The "hollow Army" that General E.C. Meyer (a former Army Chief of Staff) referred to that existed during Carter years was a very real thing. Poor morale, poor equipment, outdated doctrine, you name it, that's what it was like. When Reagan took office he essentially rebuilt our military (with the help of Vietnam veterans who determined that such a state of affairs as regards our military would never happen again). It was during the 80s that we fielded things like the M1 Abrams tank, the M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, etc., raised pay for military personnel, and began to focus on equipping, recruiting and training an all volunteer force in earnest. Rotations to the National Traning Center at Fort Irwin (where we trained to battle the Soviets) and the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, LA were (and still are) as realistic battle conditions we can replicate short of war (I know - I did two rotations at NTC, and one at JRTC as a company commander). In short, he gave us the military we have today, which no sane country wants to take on, one on one.

All of this costs money. It should come as no surprise that the defense budget went up, and, accordingly, so did taxes.

BTW, I have no clue what an anti-porn crusade and taxes have to do with one another.


Vince said...

I remember when he came over to visit his home place. Read nail down the Regan Democrats.
For months before he arrived in Tipperary, we had healthy crew cut well fed fellas and ultra hot chicks trying to find their ancestors, my arse. It was like watching people fed on honey and fillet steak swallow gristle.

alphadog said...

If you're suggesting that Americans are a bunch of spoiled star struck children, I couldn't agree with you more. But with all due respect sir, it seems that you've had your own troubles to deal with that have yet to be sorted out satisfactorily.

Bill said...

Reagan believed in American exceptionalism and a lot of us still do. Of course there are those, our current President among them, that don't believe that and, in fact, enjoy putting their own country down.

Big Mark 243 said...

Loved the dialogue (as usual) and Al the Retired Army guy was on target... it isn't a contradiction to want for peace but to prepare for war...

... keep stirring the pot, EOB!

Erin O'Brien said...

You realize Al, that advocating big gov spending is advocating big gov spending be it on military installations or infrastructure or social programs.

Bill: Here are four words I often repeat to my 13-year old daughter:

1. Life
2. Is
3. Not
4. Fair

I am the high priestess around here and everything I say is right, so kiss my ass. Also, I don't see Missy Palin invoking Eartha Kitt in order to manipulate the morons.

Bill said...

It's cool Erin. PC comments tend to bore me anyway.

Isn't it great that the Egyptians are not doing anything important while the Super Bowl is on? I think that was Obama's idea.

The Writer Currently Known as Rory said...

My fucking history teachers gypped me. Oh sure, teach me a little about Eisenhower, but make me wait until I got to the Nixon Library to find out that Nixon was once Acting President before there was such a thing, a while before the creation of the 25th Amendment, after Eisenhower had a heart attack.

You see? That's the shit I wanted to learn! It proves that the only useful teacher I ever had was my second-half-of-the-year 11th grade English teacher at Hollywood Hills High School in Hollywood, Florida. Because of her, I'm partly how I am today, in the writerly way.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

"You realize Al, that advocating big gov spending is advocating big gov spending be it on military installations or infrastructure or social programs."

There is a huge difference between spending on the military and social programs. If there weren't, we would have had Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid way back in 1787.

Our armed forces defend our country and our way of life. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, do not. Sane people realize this, and our military is funded, recruited, trained and equipped accordingly. To equate them as equals under the banner of "government spending" is a specious argument.

Our military has kept the wolf away from the door for over two hundred years, save 9-11 and Pearl Harbor. Not a bad track record if you ask me, and money well spent considering the alternatives.

But go ahead and believe what you will. Reality never stopped liberals from believing otherwise.


Erin O'Brien said...

Take a popular vote: Social programs vs. the military and see what comes out on top, Al.

But go ahead and believe what you will. Reality never stopped conservatives from believing otherwise.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Social programs vs. the military ....

Social Programs ... work great until there is someone trying to take your country away from you.

Like the Japanese ...
Like the Nazis ....

You'll note that the WPA or the CCC wasn't called upon to defend America after December 7, 1941. Both were social programs.

Why didn't they go to fight? Because they couldn't. They weren't trained, equipped, or recruited to do so. Our military was/is. That is the reason that folks, on both sides of the aisle continue to fund military appropriations .. they know that the alternative isn't a good thing. Without the military, who's going to defend us? The ACLU?

Again, Erin, believe what you wish. Most folks I know would fund the military before they'd fund another dubious social program like Medicaid/Medicaid, which, according to the current administration, is rife with fraud, waste and abuse. Run by the government, with little oversight (unlike the military - if you don't believe me, look up General Stan McChrystal).

Again, believe what you wish.


Erin O'Brien said...

"My big gov spending program is better than your big gov spending program."

Same chant on both sides of the aisle--except righties add, "but my big gov spending program isn't a big gov spending program."

Then they refuse to tax in order to properly fund it and borrow the money instead. (see: the Bush Administration)

So, Al, no fraud, waste or abuse in the military, eh?

As you so grandly allowed me, I too, shall grandly allow you to "believe as you wish."

philbilly said...

Al, what's your take on the Russians developing bomber flight paths along the east coast of South America and over the Artic airspace disputed by Canada?

The South American sorties were at the invitation of Chavez although the operation had the blessing of the BRICS. Consider China is developing a bluewater navy, and just demoed its new fighter jet under Gates' nose.

It appears that Obama/ Gates are shifting the budget to respond to these emerging scenarios and at the same time shouting down high tech pork over the squeals of Congress' parochial need to bring home the bacon.
The F-35 is not scuttled, but delayed.

Erin, on this one, Ronnie was right. Bush 41 was right. Bush 43 screwed the pooch.

philbilly said...

Clinton just coasted.

Erin O'Brien said...

To be honest, Phil, my beef isn't over whether he was right or wrong, it's over how Reagan is being canonized as some no tax/small gov saint by righties.

It simply is not accurate and it only fuels the rightie pile of "cut and grow" bullshit.

Love him or hate him, they've reduced Reagan to a sound bite prop.

philbilly said...

Got it, Erin. Couldn't agree more with the propaganda machine being out of control. We've devolved from the larger than life despotic likes of Father Coughlin to delusional little pissants like Beck, Olbermann and that oxycontin addict.

The way I see it, because of an accident of history the Union was formed and endured through two centuries of war and empire.

The ability of immigrants, be they forced, indentured, free or otherwise to claw out a niche is the American story, as flawed as that Norman Rockwell painting might be.

Ownership of land, the rule of law, the right to bear arms against usurpation of law, representative taxation, innocent until proven guilty, these are not universal, certainly not in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Soldiers defend the republic and the working class pays for it and grows it. The permanent bookends of poverty and wealth overreach these two bulwarks to the peril of all.

There is no anti-poverty program as effective as a job held by a person who respects labor.

There is no person more deserving of the rewards of freedom than a veteran.

Erin O'Brien said...

Oh jeez.

Just saw this:

"An application by Sarah Palin to trademark her name has been turned down by US officials."

Then later in the article:

"Ronald Reagan is the only widely recognised American politician to have trademarked his name."

Al The Retired Army Guy said...


I'd be the last to say there isn't/hasn't been fraud/waste/abuse in the military (mainly procurement). However, I can also tell you that over time it's decreased significantly. During the Haiti operation in the mid 90s, I was part of the 82nd Airborne Division. We almost jumped in, and then it was called off. We'd been sequestered away getting ready, and then we were told it wasn't happening. We'd already been issued equipment and ammunition, and guess what? We had to account for every single round, every single piece of equipment, and turn it back in. And I mean every single one. That probably wouldn't have happened 20 years prior ...

I never said military spending is better than social program spending. I did say that most folks understand the necessity of and supporting armed forces. One program is clearly necessary, while the other (social programs) are, to some, "nice to have" programs. If they weren't, you wouldn't have had (and continue to have) the debate over healthcare, welfare, Medicaid, etc.

Can the defense budget be better managed? Certainly, but so can the budget for any number of taxpayer supported programs.

On a completely unrelated note, my chili came out great, as did my brown stock.


Bill said...

If each party could pick just one issue as most important, what would they be?

Right: lower taxes
Left: abortion rights

Erin O'Brien said...

Made some kick-ass chicken stock the other day. Stay tuned for BIG news coming out of the O'Brien kitchen soon.

Let me know if you post your brown stock instructions.

Bill? Go to your room.

Bill said...

Speaking of chicken. O'reilly was such a candy ass in his interview of the President. A great opportunity wasted.

Bill said...

Second most important issue:

Left: Disdain for Israel because they're the cause of Mid East Turmoil

Right: Smaller government.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Brown Stock

For this, you'll need:

8 pounds beef bones or veal bones, preferably knuckles, knees, etc. if you can get them (helps make the stock more gelatinous). If not other bones will do, e.g., shin, leg, etc. Bones should be cut into 2" to 3" pieces if possible. Also, some chefs (Thomas Keller being one) add pork skin to their stocks as it contains a lot of collagen (later converted to gelatin in the stock). Others add feet. Totally up to you.
8 oz onion, cut in large pieces
4 oz carrot, cut in large pieces
4 oz celery, cut in large pieces
4 oz tomato product (puree, tomato paste, etc. I use tomato paste most of the time)
Bouquet Garni or Standard Sachet d'Epice, consisting of 5-7 parsley stems, 6-8 peppercorns, 1 bay leave, 1-2 cloves, and a sprig or two of fresh thyme
A large stockpot, preferably with a spigot at the bottom for draining
Cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or (my favorite) a tea ball for the herbs/spices
Two small bowls, one filled with water
A 4 oz ladle
A metal container (I prefer stainless steel clad aluminum, but any stainless steel container will do) to hold finished stock
A China Cap lined with moistened cheesecloth, a chinois, or other strainer lined with coffee filters as necessary
A small cooling rack
An instant read thermometer


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse bones and dry thoroughly (some chefs debate whether this is necessary - it can be omitted if desired). Place bones in a roasting pan or sheet pan, and roast in oven until well browned (the bones may be "painted" tomato paste or other tomato product during the roasting process if desired. This is called pince in classical cooking). Place bones in stockpot, and pour water over them. Bring to a simmer (180-200 degrees - do not boil at any time; what you want is what the French call a "smiling" pot, with just occasional bubbles rising to the surface).

Meanwhile ....

Drain excess fat out of roasting pan and place on top of stove over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, celery to pan, and brown well. Once vegetables are browned, add tomato product to the pan, and cook, stirring with a spoon until the tomato product is well browned and caramelized. Deglaze pan with water (or remouillage if you have it ... more on that in a minute), scraping the fond (the browned bits on the bottom of the pan). Add this to the stockpot. Add sachet to stockpot.

Simmer the stock for about 8 or more hours, skimming impurities and fat from the surface of the stock using the two bowls/ladle. If you don't get all the fat, no worries. Once it's cooled, the fat will solidify and one can simply remove it from the surface of the stock.

If using a pot with a spigot, drain the stock into another metal container, using the china cap/chinois/strainer with cheesecloth/coffee filter to strain it. If no spigot, ladle the stock out of the pot (this will prevent your stock from becoming overly cloudy, which is not a good thing) into the strainer/metal container as listed above.

Stop up a sink in your kitchen. Place the small cooling rack inside the sink, and place pot with stock on top of it. Add ice to sink, and add enough water to bring ice water up to a level just slightly below the level of stock in the pot. Using a ladle/spoon, stir the stock until it reaches a temperature of 70 degrees F on the instant, adding more ice to sink if necessary. Once cooled, place in refrigerator and allow to cool overnight.

The next day, skim any fat that has risen to the surface. Store/freeze stock in desired quantities/measurements, and use as needed.

Remouillage - a re-wetting of the bones in French. Basically, a weaker stock made from the same bones. Often used as the liquid for the next stock.

I hear Reagan liked Brown Stock .... ;-)


VideoDude said...

Ask any senior if Medicare and Social Security are just "nice to have". Ask any unemployed person if unemployment insurance is just "nice to have". (Remember it is insurance, the Gov takes money out of your pay check. Same with medicare)

Repubs cut spending on the poor, old and unemployed, but contiue to cut taxes for the rich and corporations.

Can any of the Repub mouth pieces tell me how cutting Taxes and spending create jobs? It sure as hell didn't work during Bush/Cheney!

An aside, to compare Olbermann with Beck and Limpballs is a wrong. Olbermann, you may not have liked him, he never lied! Unlike almost all of the Repubs. They lie and yell, because their policies have already failed!

Erin O'Brien said...

This is an odd comment thread.

Thanks for the recipe, Al.

Bill: the one thing I would most like to see in order to give the country a backbone again is the reinstatement of the Draft.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

I read an article not too long ago by retired General Stanley McChrystal, in which he argues for national service. Most military professionals don't want the draft, but I think there's merit to some form of national service.


VideoDude said...

What are we working towards with no draft?

To paraphrase Charlie Daniels, "Rich man goes to college and poor man goes to [WAR]".

Erin O'Brien said...

25 percent of the income in this country goes to one percent of the people.

Conversely, one percent of the people (families?) make up our armed forces.

Sorry I don't have links or specifics, but those numbers are about right.


Erin O'Brien said...

We never would have gone on a "pre-emptive" war strike in Iraq if the Draft had been in place. John Q. Public is quick to support a war when they have zero goddamn blood in the game.

This sniveling goddamn conservative suburban nits around here make me crazy.

"I support the war if it keeps us safe," they say as they load up their goddamn SUV's with cases of Pepsi and bags of chips.

Or really, fucko? What if that war meant shipping Junior over to the Middle East? Would you support it then?


Bill said...

I like the idea of a draft too. Although, regarding rich and poor, I know, personally, 4 young men and 1 young woman, not poor, not filthy rich who have joined in the last several years. 2 of them are officers and the others are enlisted. enlisting in the Navy was one of the top two best things I have ever done. I do now know one single service man or woman who wants any sympathy from liberal cry babies. They serve with pride and honor and joined voluntarily with a full understanding of their responsibilities.

VideoDude said...

Look to the future , Bill.

No jobs for Americans because they went over seas. American corporations and rich getting richer. (American Coprorate earnings were at a record all time high last year!)

Saying there is no problem because you know a half dozen non poor people who joined the Armed Forces, is like the Repub on another Blog saying that the economy was fixed because the parking lot was full at his local Mall during december!

How many of the poor people would have joined if there had been a private sector job for them? I wonder!

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

People, rich and poor, join the military for lots of different reasons. Some join it for college money; some join because they knew someone who'd served that they looked up to and wanted to be like them; others like the idea of a steady paycheck, free health and dental (as long as you're on active duty, that is), tax free exchanges and commissaries. Still others join out of a feeling of obligation to serve, for the honor of it. In my 20 years' of service, I've seen people join for all these reasons and more. And they ran the gamut from the very poor to the "rich," whatever that means. I say that because some would consider me rich because I own a home, and have an 8-year old truck.

How many would not have joined had there been a job for them in the private sector? I have no clue, and I submit most of us here have no way of knowing for sure. If someone here has data to the contrary, I'd love to see it.

A draft would not have stopped Iraq or Afghanistan, as the President, as the CIC of the Armed Forces has the authority to deploy our armed forces. Congress can make him bring them home (The War Powers Act), but they can't stop him from ordering them into harm's way.

We've had the draft at many times in our history, and it didn't stop our participation in conflicts from happening (WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam). In the case of Vietnam, there were deferments for any number of things, and any number of people used them (Bill Clinton and everyone's favorite around here, Dick Cheney, both used deferments to their advantage).

It's worth noting that both Sarah Palin and Joe Biden have children that served in Iraq/Afghanistan.

Finally, as to the American corporate earnings being so high ... it's all Obama's fault. Happened on his watch, right? I mean, the left blamed Bush for everything, so fair is fair, right?


Erin O'Brien said...

"A draft would not have stopped Iraq ..."

You don't know that, Al. A conscript would have changed the entire dynamic.

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

We'll agree to disagree on this (a draft stopping Iraq).


The Writer Currently Known as Rory said...

Love him or hate him, they've reduced Reagan to a sound bite prop.

I got that impression at the Nixon Library yesterday. Some parts of it are down in the dumps, such as unpaved walkways, the Watergate section looking rather depressed (none of the flat-screen TVs were showing anything, not even the resignation speech, which I hoped to see in full), and some minor pieces of exhibits walled off.

The money will always be there for the Reagan Library because of those soundbites, judging by the new exhibits with haute technology, such as the state dinner table which allows you to mix and match floral arrangements and menus, seeing what was served and all of them.

I'm not complaining. I liked the Nixon Library. To me, there was more substance than staging there such as it is at the Reagan Library, which I appreciated. But the Second Coming of Christ, I mean, Reagan, will always have the money to spruce up and recreate and expand, whereas Nixon's been reduced to a soundbite, too, though at his peril then. "Watergate!" "No, I don't think I'll donate any money to the Library. I don't want my name to appear with that." - Some rich guy

And yet, even though the Nixon Library isn't for the men of his administration, there's very little on poor, unloved Agnew. ;)

The Writer Currently Known as Rory said...

Next time I go to the Reagan Library, I'm tempted to ask, "Can you point me to the Iran-Contra section?"

Bill said...

videodude. start a business and hire someone! How can I argue with a what if? Jesus man! It's just like Obama saving jobs. Make up any number you want and that's how many people would've taken a job building windmills instead of joining the military.

VideoDude said...

I had a business, Bill. And because all the manufacturing jobs went over seas, thanks to the Repubs, my business imploded. After years of paying self employment taxes, I have no unemployment, no SSI. I am too old to join the military, so I have no options at all. Becuase according to the Repubs, it is my fault I am out of work!

I am saying look to the future. The Rich Repubs want to get rid of Public education, Umemployemnt, Public assistance for continuing education. So what will all these unemployed poor be able to do in the future? Strap on a gun and go to war!

I noticed no one answered my other question. I will reapeat it now:
Can any of the Repub mouth pieces tell me how cutting Taxes and spending create jobs? It sure as hell didn't work during Bush/Cheney and Reagan/Bush!

Bill said...

Sometimes it's not about the politics as this hardass marine demonstrates.

Anonymous said...

I've chosen to not partake in this long argument. Instead, speaking of Ronnie, I give you this:

Bill said...

Swine: I loved the water boarding of the RR mask. I also enjoyed the comments of the viewers.

haha my WV is evelis. perfect