Why Rush Limbaugh should back ginormous tax increases now

posted at 2:51 pm on December 6, 2012 by Karl

One of Rush Limbaugh’s favored rhetorical devices is demonstrating absurdity by being absurd, perhaps most infamously with his 1992 endorsement of Bill Clinton for president. One of his occasional guest hosts, Mark Steyn, recently mused that House Speaker John Boehner might want to urge Americans to pay for the government they demand — but Steyn did not flesh out the notion, recognizing that Boehner would never do it. El Rushbo has a big megaphone and draws enough establishment media attention to warrant going Full Mondale.

After all, in the current “fiscal cliff” political theatrics, Pres. Obama and the Democrats are demanding the GOP agree to tax rate increases, while dismissing any proposal to reform entitlement spending. The conventional wisdom is that the GOP has little leverage because entitlement spending was not made part of the spending “cuts” that will be triggered in the absence of a deal. Moreover, some in the GOP are probably happy enough with a situation where — with automatic tax increases already in place — they can vote for tax cuts for the 98 percent while Obama wins a round of class warfare.

So why not go Full Mondale? If the Democrats want to increase taxes and leave entitlements unreformed, why not propose that the federal government raise the taxes necessary to fund these purportedly essential programs?

Indeed, Rush could offer several alternative tax increase plans to address our looming entitlement crisis. For example, based on projections from the Social Security Administration and Medicare’s actuaries, we could raise Social Security takes 28 percent (from 12.4% to 15.57%) and roughly triple the the Medicare tax (from 2.9% to 9.2%).

Of course, these are hikes in payroll taxes, which are regressive, and thus might be objectionable to progressives. Rush could propose to pay for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid shortfalls though our progressive income tax. Funding promised benefits under these programs would require raising the 35 percent income tax bracket to at least 77 percent and the 25 percent tax bracket to at least 55 percent.

Then again, that idea could be blamed on the Heritage Foundation, which just might be too conservative for Democrats to accept. Accordingly, Rush could offer a plan based on a report from Third Way, a Democrat-affiliated group, adding a bipartisan flavor to the proceedings. According to Third Way, we could stabilize our deficit problem by taking just four ginormous steps. Step One is a familiar tune:

In 2013, soak the rich, Obama-style. Raise the top two tax rates, on ordinary income over $250,000 a year for joint filers, to Clinton-era levels (39.6% and 36%). Raise the top capital gains rate by 5 percentage points (to 23.8%). Tax qualified dividends as ordinary income. Reduce the value of exemptions and deductions for wealthy taxpayers. Restore the estate tax to its 2009 level (a top rate of 45% and exclusion of $3.5 million). Impose the Buffett Rule, requiring all earners of over $1 million to pay at least 30% in taxes.

However, if you cross all these items of the Democrats’ current wish list, the national debt will still double by 2035. So we need Step Two:

In 2015, increase the cap for the Social Security payroll tax to from $107,000 to $170,000 (and adjust for wage growth), then increase the payroll taxes for Medicare by about a third (by raising the rate from 2.9% to 3.9%).

However, these first two steps only push the annual deficit to 3% of GDP through 2019, at which point unreformed entitlement spending explodes the debt again. Thus we move to Step Three:

In 2019, increase all tax rates on ordinary income 5 additional percentage points, phased in over 10 years. Increase both tax rates on capital gains 10 percentage points (to 20% and 33.8%), phased in over 5 years.

Sure, we are really biting the middle class at this juncture, but we cannot reform entitlements, remember? Even so, these across-the-board tax hikes only contain the deficit through 2022. Thus, we move to Step Four:

Impose a 10% national value-added tax, phased in over 5 years.

At this point, America’s Euro-style welfare state finally gets Euro-style funding, and the national debt begins to decline slowly. All we need to do is increase taxes on the median-income family by sixty percent.

Rush Limbaugh, by backing this absurd plan and urging the GOP to propose it, can do what the establishment media will not do on its own: force a discussion of the cost of the Democrats’ policy of denial on entitlement spending. Since the election, the right has been reengaging the debate over whether “starving the beast” of tax revenue has been effective in containing the growth of government. Although there is little indication it has, the Weekly Standard’s Andrew Ferguson argues that the failure of the “starve the beast” strategy does not mean that raising taxes will cause the public to sour on big government.

However, one of the few silver linings to Obamacare may be that it was a test case in this debate. Public opinion polling of Obamacare consistently showed that the supposed benefits were popular, but the mandate was not — and that this tipped the balance of opinion against Obamacare as a whole. Indeed, a majority of Americans now say it is not the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage.

In short: lunch is popular; paying for lunch is much less so. The GOP can oppose tax increases, but deficit spending is tax increases, as surely as Soylent Green is people. These tax increases will arrive in future legislation, and probably also in the form of inflation (which Ronald Reagan called “the cruelest tax“) to devalue our debt. Rush Limbaugh, by proposing an absurdly large slate of tax increases, can demonstrate the absurdity of what we are already doing, and what the Democrats demand we do in perpetuity.


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Wrong. You don’t know much about the things Reagan ACTUALLY did do you? He did indeed sign a big tax reform package in the beginning, and then proceeded to quietly raise rates and revenue something like 14 times after that. Try it out. Look it up. Not a lie.

Genuine on December 6, 2012 at 5:58 PM

I’ve looked it up. Income tax rates went down under Reagan.
That on its own is undeniable.
I was responding to a statement that “taxes went up under Reagan” – which is fuzzy wording typically used by libs to obfuscate facts. There’s a difference between tax rates and tax revenues and there are many other factors involved.

Now, I will agree that there were other changes during the Reagan years that fiddled with tax bracket thresholds, deductions and other things – just like Romney did in Taxachusetts. I will also remind you that all financial law – taxes and spending – come from the House of Representatives – which was Democrat controlled for Reagan’s entire 2 terms – and he only had a Republican controlled Senate for 3 of his 8 years. I vividly remember every year the Democrats in Congress declaring all of Reagan’s proposed budgets as DOA. So just as Clinton moved right to work with a Republican Congress, and Bush moved left in his last 2 years, Reagan had to accept some things pushed by the Dems during his term to get what he wanted.

dentarthurdent on December 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Wrong. You don’t know much about the things Reagan ACTUALLY did do you? He did indeed sign a big tax reform package in the beginning, and then proceeded to quietly raise rates and revenue something like 14 times after that. Try it out. Look it up. Not a lie.

Genuine on December 6, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Funny how you guys always conveniently forget to mention the spending cuts that the Dems promised as part of a package that included some tax increases. You know, the spending cuts the Dems promised and then didn’t make.

Kind of like they’re doing today – raise the tax rates and we’ll discuss spending cuts later. No really, we promise. We mean it this time, Charlie Brown – we won’t pull the football away from you, just go ahead and raise tax rates today, m’kay?

Midas on December 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Midas on December 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Bingo!

dentarthurdent on December 6, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Karl, you’re a f’n retard. As is anyone who can’t see the difference between rhetorical artifice and the very real collapse of our economy.

rayra on December 6, 2012 at 6:20 PM

I know lots of liberals who are fine with $20 an hour, but you can always find a point at which it is unreasonable. I generally start at $1,000 an hour. They say that’s ridiculous, and I say if we’re picking numbers, why not pick a number that will make at least one person in the transaction satisfied?

hawksruleva on December 6, 2012 at 3:27 PM

“We’ve established what you are. We’re now just haggling over the price.”

davidk on December 6, 2012 at 6:26 PM

“We’ve established what you are. We’re now just haggling over the price.”

davidk on December 6, 2012 at 6:26 PM

As a Defense contractor, I take that personally – but I can’t object to its validity….. ;)

I’d like to make $1000 an hour – hell I’d settle for $100 an hour. Then I could afford the lifestyle to which I would like to become accustomed….

dentarthurdent on December 6, 2012 at 6:32 PM

As a Defense contractor, I take that personally – but I can’t object to its validity….. ;)

I’d like to make $1000 an hour – hell I’d settle for $100 an hour. Then I could afford the lifestyle to which I would like to become accustomed….

dentarthurdent on December 6, 2012 at 6:32 PM

I assume defense contracts are up for bid. If you can win a contract, then you must be the best bid. What you or your employees are then paid is up to you.

My objection is for the government telling me what 1) I have to pay someone; and, 2) what wage I can negotiate for myself.

But I suspect you know that.

davidk on December 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

…Rush is Right!

KOOLAID2 on December 6, 2012 at 7:10 PM

The DiscoverTheNetworks database currently identifies and profiles more than 125 major foundations whose political and philanthropic orientations are generally leftist, and whose combined assets exceed $100 billion.

Confiscate Tax every single one of them until their eyes-bleed.

Terp Mole on December 6, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Rush Limbaugh, by backing this absurd plan and urging the GOP to propose it, can do what the establishment media will not do on its own: force a discussion of the cost of the Democrats’ policy of denial on entitlement spending.

If you think that the establishment media will be forced to discuss the cost of Democrats stupid policy of denial – you’re so very very wrong.

Rush keeping to his principles, O’Reilly keeping to his, all mean one thing: Caving on the 2% is the wrong thing to do. If the representatives in congress want cover and blessing from Rush? They’re not going to get it from him nor myself.

I say – put the bill up of 2% and dividends and capital taxes ONLY. Then – sit back, let the democrats vote for it, all republicans vote present and sent just that to the senate. No extension of debt ceiling, no extension of out of work checks. Just a plain 2% hike on the “richest” + dividends/capital taxes and let the democrats in the senate vote on it.

Obama keeps saying he wants a tax rate hike on those making more than $250+.
Let it be a clean bill with just that and no republicans voting for it.
I’m sure this is what Rush will say: Its the way is has to be. No republican fingerprints on the bill, no votes for it, its what the President keeps harping on, Boehner let it be voted on. Then the senate can take it up with REID.

Next? Boehner can say – it passed the house. It got stuck in the democrat senate.
Its a clean bill. Let them vote for it up and down.

When the new republicans get sworn in? 16 of them need to NOT vote for Boehner and get someone in there with a spine.

athenadelphi on December 6, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Yeah, We could (try to) do all that convoluted long-term stuff Karl recommends.

Or we could just Let It Burn now, and start over again in 2015.

I’m not sure what Limbaugh has to do with anything though.

LegendHasIt on December 6, 2012 at 7:46 PM

I assume defense contracts are up for bid. If you can win a contract, then you must be the best bid. What you or your employees are then paid is up to you.

My objection is for the government telling me what 1) I have to pay someone; and, 2) what wage I can negotiate for myself.

But I suspect you know that.

davidk on December 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Yes – I was joking along with you. I know the line you quoted. I was sort of referencing all the jokes about how being a defense contractor is similar to being a prostitute.

dentarthurdent on December 6, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Primary 2012 was the larger fail for conservative media. They went all in to get Romney selected as the nominee…..
astonerii on December 6, 2012 at 4:28 PM

I wouldn’t have expected you to have mistaken Populist Republican Establishment Media for “Conservative Media.

Sure, the mental lightweights and the drones do it regularly, but you should know better.

LegendHasIt on December 6, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Romney won 1 swing state, North Carolina.

They’ll never admit it, but 2012 was an epic fail for conservative media.

MichaelGabriel on December 6, 2012 at 4:18 PM

You are selling a product and service with a presidential candidate.

Primary 2012 was the larger fail for conservative media. They went all in to get Romney selected as the nominee. They took down Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, and Gingrich. One after another were the victims of perfect being the enemy of the United States of America. Cain should have never been where he was in the polls. Outside of that, the rest of the leaders were worthy of conservative support.

Instead, conservative media hog piled on each of them, one after another to knock them out of the running to allow perfect and boring as well as my views are progressive Willard Mitt Romney to walk away with as the candidate.

I do not know what precipitated this. Was it Romney using his money to buy off the conservatives? Were they all convinced that Romney would move right in the general? Was there some level of the Petraeus style blackmail from Obama pushing them to back Romney? Who knows why, but in the end, conservative media betrayed the American people and foisted a certain loser on us.

Once Romney was chosen, short of him moving right in the general, it was a forgone conclusion he was going to lose. From that point on, the conservative media could not sell Romney and remain relevant post election.

astonerii on December 6, 2012 at 4:28 PM

The ESTABLISHMENT CLASS of the Republican Party was pronouncing Mitt as the “presumptive” nominee months before any primary vote or caucus call was cast. They took the lead from the MSM, who were more than happy to see civil war erupt with the party itself as a clear majority never wanted him to win. (Remember how divided and inflamed the HotGas comments section was last year?)

If you want to blame anyone, blame people like Krauthammer, Kristol, Coulter, Rove and the NRO editorial board, who resoundingly ordered Sarah Palin not to run – deeming her “unelectable” as much as they deemed Mitt “electable” (Coulter’s ridiculous girly swooning on Christie notwithstanding). Out of that aforementioned group, I wouldn’t consider them to be anywhere close to being real conservatives. They are a disgrace to the movement in general.

Myron Falwell on December 6, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Here is an example of how conservative media fails:

All the left has to do is put a picture of Rush Limbaugh on Telemundo and Univision and say “This is the face of the Republican party.”

Game,set and match. Hispanic conservatives are going to be turned off. Limbaugh plays Feliz Navidad on his program and snarks that he is reaching out to Hispanics. Everyone knows it’s a joke and Hispanics are insulted.

What if the Republican party ran an add on these media outlets that asked this:
“Would you rather have the government take your money in taxes to support gay marriage and abortions, or would you rather keep that tax money for your daughters’ Quinceañera?”

Rush Limbaugh wouldn’t know what a Quinceañera was if it bit him in is haughty rump.

Quinceañera (lit. meaning One (f.) who is fifteen), sometimes called fiesta de quince años, fiesta de quinceañera, quince años or simply quince, is the celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America.

MichaelGabriel on December 6, 2012 at 4:46 PM

So hispanics are a natural fit for the GOP if it weren’t for all us racists? That’s quiet a radical point of view. I’ve never heard that argument before. Why don’t you tell us a bit about Hispanic politics south of the border? Are there communist and socialist parties active in Mexico and other nations?

You would think that in their home country, free from the presence of us racist Americans, they would be free to practice their “natural” conservatism. So tell us how Hispanic nations are so conservative.

I’ll just go ahead and address amnesty before you get to it. If the Hispanic vote could be bought by the GOP then why didn’t California go red after the amnesty Reagan signed into law?

DFCtomm on December 6, 2012 at 8:22 PM

So hispanics are a natural fit for the GOP if it weren’t for all us racists? That’s quiet a radical point. . I’ve never heard that argument before……
DFCtomm on December 6, 2012 at 8:22 PM

I’ve heard it a thousand times, easily…. And many times from people who should know better.

But on the other hand, the rest of your post is excellent, and better said than I could have done.

Thank you .

LegendHasIt on December 6, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Give OBama everything he wants. Let him drive the bus over the cliff. Let’s hope Nanzi has a front seat view with no seatbelt.

Key West Reader on December 6, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Karl, please proof read your posts for grammatical errors. Yikes.

jwally on December 6, 2012 at 8:52 PM

Funny how you guys always conveniently forget to mention the spending cuts that the Dems promised as part of a package that included some tax increases. You know, the spending cuts the Dems promised and then didn’t make.

Midas on December 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Because it’s entirely irrelevant. Reagan didn’t cut government; he grew government, and he didn’t need Congress’ help to do it.

Read the article I linked.

Dante on December 6, 2012 at 8:57 PM

Well, I’m not so sure I’d say that ‘Reagan grew government’….
I’d put it more like:
“Reagan failed to stop Congress from growing government”.

LegendHasIt on December 6, 2012 at 9:03 PM

El Rushbo has a big megaphone and draws enough establishment media attention to warrant going Full Mondale.

El Rushbo got that big megaphone by accomplishment and outstanding analysis in an entertaining way. Why would he start using stunts to get attention?

Rush got in trouble with the NFL and feminists by not being sensitive enough for them when telling the truth. But the fact of the matter is that Sandra Fluke did indeed come off as a slut. Rush was honest enough to speak the truth. Most women’s contraception costs are far less than this woman claimed- how can you not come to the conclusion that she’s banging whatever comes through the door at Georgetown University? To the point that all her summer job earnings were supposedly going to contraception. That’s not made up it is her own testimony in a sham “hearing” engineered by Nancy Pelosi to highlight the plight of whores when it comes to the cost of contraception.

Rush is better than this kind of stunt.

Happy Nomad on December 6, 2012 at 9:26 PM

Solutions

Resist We Much on December 6, 2012 at 10:16 PM

So hispanics are a natural fit for the GOP if it weren’t for all us racists?

DFCtomm on December 6, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Your words, not mine.

I’ll just go ahead and address amnesty before you get to it. If the Hispanic vote could be bought by the GOP then why didn’t California go red after the amnesty Reagan signed into law?

I am 100% against amnesty. That surrender didn’t work in the 1980s.
It won’t work this time.

Anything else you would care to presume?

MichaelGabriel on December 6, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Well, I’m not so sure I’d say that ‘Reagan grew government’….
I’d put it more like:
“Reagan failed to stop Congress from growing government”.

LegendHasIt on December 6, 2012 at 9:03 PM

I think many tend to lionize Ronald Reagan, and ignore his shortcomings. Can’t say I don’t get it…after two Bush’s, Clinton, and Obama it’s no wonder we remember Reagan as if he were Abraham Lincoln reincarnated.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

MichaelGabriel on December 6, 2012 at 10:19 PM

If that’s the best you can do then why didn’t you just slink away quietly instead of trying to be cute and avoid the question.

DFCtomm on December 6, 2012 at 11:10 PM

I love it how the first reaction by Democrats when it comes to raising taxes is to run like a bully under his mother’s skirt and say “he did it too!” and use Ronald Reagan.

I’ve have the Reagan Diaries and President Reagan said it was the worst mistake in his life to agree to taxes and expect congress to use self-restaint in expenditures.

From then on he excepted that “tax and spend” was a lifetime Democrat mantra.

itsspideyman on December 6, 2012 at 11:11 PM

In my mind the big difference in Pres. Reagan was his unrelenting love for this country and what it stands for, and his total faith in the American people to excel if given the opportunity. He didn’t want to fundamentally change the U.S. and knew that the blueprint of the Constitution was the way to success. He knew what freedom meant.

Cindy Munford on December 6, 2012 at 11:20 PM

This was a fictional piece focusing on what Rush could do?

How do I get a job blogging for HA in my spare time with one name?

Sherman1864 on December 6, 2012 at 11:32 PM

If that’s the best you can do then why didn’t you just slink away quietly instead of trying to be cute and avoid the question.

DFCtomm on December 6, 2012 at 11:10 PM

Um, there were four questions in your comment. Which one are you referring to?

MichaelGabriel on December 6, 2012 at 11:36 PM

Um, there were four questions in your comment. Which one are you referring to?

MichaelGabriel on December 6, 2012 at 11:36 PM

You would think that in their home country, free from the presence of us racist Americans, they would be free to practice their “natural” conservatism. So tell us how Hispanic nations are so conservative.

DFCtomm on December 6, 2012 at 8:22 PM

DFCtomm on December 6, 2012 at 11:44 PM

I think many tend to lionize Ronald Reagan, and ignore his shortcomings. Can’t say I don’t get it…after two Bush’s, Clinton, and Obama it’s no wonder we remember Reagan as if he were Abraham Lincoln reincarnated.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Not to mention his predecessors Carter, Ford, Nixon and LBJ weren’t all that and a bag of chips.

Myron Falwell on December 6, 2012 at 11:59 PM

So tell us how Hispanic nations are so conservative.

DFCtomm on December 6, 2012 at 8:22 PM

That assumes all Hispanic nations are the same. They are not. They are differentiated by history, culture, geography, economics
and ethnicity.

The question is amorphous.

MichaelGabriel on December 7, 2012 at 12:09 AM

MichaelGabriel on December 7, 2012 at 12:09 AM

You could have just picked, like Mexico that would have made sense, since it contributes the most illegals, but nope you went straight for the avoidance again. Why don’t you tell us how Venezuela is soo very conservative. LOL

DFCtomm on December 7, 2012 at 12:15 AM

MichaelGabriel on December 7, 2012 at 12:09 AM

Hispanic nations, and Hispanics are socially conservative, they want to conserve a completely different society than ours but I guess we should over look that. They however, aren’t that politically conservative. What I can’t figure out is the people who are telling us they are a perfect fit for the GOP because they are social cons are telling the social cons currently in the party to abandon their social con positions. This all sounds more like a desperate attempt to hold onto power, more than a well thought out strategy.

DFCtomm on December 7, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Many of those who traveled to New Orleans to cast their ballots wanted Chavez out. Out of the 8,351 votes cast in that city by Venezuelan-Americans, only two votes went to Chavez.

http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21008736205839/venezuelan-americans-react-to-chavez-s-re-election/

The Republican party should be able to win the Venezuelan American vote, with some effective messaging, but I just don’t think Rush Limbaugh is the right messenger.

MichaelGabriel on December 7, 2012 at 12:55 AM

Great post Karl!

Dollayo on December 7, 2012 at 1:02 AM

I think many tend to lionize Ronald Reagan, and ignore his shortcomings. Can’t say I don’t get it…after two Bush’s, Clinton, and Obama it’s no wonder we remember Reagan as if he were Abraham Lincoln reincarnated.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Let there be no doubt, Ronald Reagan deserves to be lionized.

itsspideyman on December 7, 2012 at 1:08 AM

The Republican party should be able to win the Venezuelan American vote, with some effective messaging, but I just don’t think Rush Limbaugh is the right messenger.

MichaelGabriel on December 7, 2012 at 12:55 AM

You’re right. Winning the Venezuelan vote is going to turn everything around for the GOP. I’m surprised we’ve made it this long without that Venezuelan vote.

DFCtomm on December 7, 2012 at 1:12 AM

You’re right. Winning the Venezuelan vote is going to turn everything around for the GOP. I’m surprised we’ve made it this long without that Venezuelan vote.

DFCtomm on December 7, 2012 at 1:12 AM

An impreMedia-Latino Decisions poll released Tuesday as an alternative to exit polls found Obama had won 75 percent of Latino voters nationwide, while exit polls found him with around 70 percent Latino support, with figures likely to change throughout the night as tallies come in from the West Coast.

Either way, the margins are likely bigger than ever before, and bad news for the GOP.

Good luck with the 2016 vote, Rush.

MichaelGabriel on December 7, 2012 at 1:22 AM

The Republicans should introduce “soak the rich” taxes that would disproportionately affect Democrats and residents of blue states:

* Eliminate the home mortgage deduction on homes worth more than $250,000.

I vote no on this. It all depends on the particular market, which varies widely across the country. $250K is nearly slums in some places. Make it $1 Million if you want.

dentarthurdent on December 6, 2012 at 4:51 PM

If you can afford to live in that kind of neighborhood, then you can afford to pay your fair share of taxes!

Yes, I know better than that, of course. But it’s exactly the same situation as Obama wanting to raise taxes on couples making 250K or more a year. That’s a good combined salary anywhere in the country, but there’s a huge difference between making 250K a year in say, Washington DC or Los Angeles, and making that amount where the cost of living is somewhat reasonable.

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 7, 2012 at 1:43 AM

Dante on December 6, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Try straight up FACTS.
Income tax RATES went DOWN under Reagan.

http://taxfoundation.org/article/us-federal-individual-income-tax-rates-history-1913-2011-nominal-and-inflation-adjusted-brackets

http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-federal-individual-1.html

Now, if you want to try to say TAX REVENUES went up under Reagan – go for it. Revenues dipped a bit at first under Reagan’s lower tax RATES, then climbed quite a bit. That perfectly supports the conservative argument that higher tax RATES do not result in higher revenues because they hurt the economy, and lower tax RATES in fact increase revenues because the economy (and average income) grows.

dentarthurdent on December 6, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Typical foolishness from Dante and others. Yes, Reagan signed multiple budgets and the tax rate didn’t always go down on every budget. He had to negotiate with a Democratic Congress, and sometimes temporarily accept a higher tax rate. But the top tax rate was 70% when he was elected and 28% when he left. All other tax brackets were similarly cut. He stuck to his guns and finally got the tax rates down where he wanted them.

Now, you can sit there and count the number of times one tax or another went briefly higher under Reagan. But you’re a fool to think Reagan didn’t cut taxes overall.

For all that, I do understand those who get disenchanted with Reagan’s imperfect record. I remember being frequently disappointed that Reagan didn’t do more. For example, I believe he really wanted to get rid of the Department of Education, but found it too difficult to accomplish while focusing on his major goals, which included fixing the economy and winning the Cold War. But I eventually realized that the president is not all-powerful, and that he was using his influence to accomplish the most that he could — against the full resistance of a Democratic Congress and all-out war by the media.

So don’t bother lecturing about how Reagan wasn’t all that great. This would be a much weaker and poorer nation right now if Reagan hadn’t come along when he did. He deserves all the praise he gets.

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 7, 2012 at 1:57 AM

High time. At least regarding the futility of the Bush tax cuts.

To me, they were always the “Banana Republic Tax Cuts”, because it’s the exact same behavior banana republics do before their currency inevitably goes belly-up.

They should add the Banana Republic Tax Cuts to the pile of the Bush/Rove turd gems, alongside Medicare Part D and the 2002 Farm Bill.

The problem wasn’t generous tax cuts. Taxes should be as low as possible, if they have to exist. The problem was having generous tax cuts while letting the welfare/warfare/crony cap big gov spending grind on.

Ask Greece what happens when you are a spendthrift nation and collect next to no taxes.

Then there’s the nonsense argument of “Starve the Beast”, and whomever came up with that is either an idiot or complicit. All starving the beast did was Greece-ify the populace and China-fy our industries, whom all now believe the gov goodies to be free. Oh, and give the media and the D-Rats a permanent class-warfare card to play. GG.

Rush’s brilliant plan is really just returning to common sense, however, being that the nation is hopelessly over the cliff it’s pretty moot. It will take decades of painful common sense just to turn the jalopy around.

smiley on December 7, 2012 at 2:52 AM

I like this idea. Few people did more on behalf of Barack Obama’s re-election effort that Rush “They’re all Sluts” Limbaugh. I would like to see him continue to be the face and voice of the Republican Party.

urban elitist on December 7, 2012 at 7:02 AM

I like this idea.

urban elitist on December 7, 2012 at 7:02 AM

Me too. We need to tax everyone at whatever rate is necessary to cover spending … and since the government provides virtually all we need anyway who needs extra cash?

darwin on December 7, 2012 at 7:26 AM

Limbaugh has lost much of the impact that he once had. The positions he takes on the issues matter little. Actually the same is true of most righ-of-center talk. Laura Ingraham was smart to exit the scene. Personally I can’t stand to listen to Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck anymore. They’ve wandered so far off course.

Darvin Dowdy on December 7, 2012 at 7:28 AM

Limbaugh has lost much of the impact that he once had. The positions he takes on the issues matter little. Actually the same is true of most righ-of-center talk. Laura Ingraham was smart to exit the scene. Personally I can’t stand to listen to Limbaugh/Hannity/Beck anymore. They’ve wandered so far off course.

Darvin Dowdy on December 7, 2012 at 7:28 AM

Off course? The basic message is “leave us the hell alone”. The pace that the government is taking over our lives is incredible. What course would you like them to take?

darwin on December 7, 2012 at 7:35 AM

We gotta stop talking about Reagan personally and rather espouse his doctrine. Not enough voters know who the hell Reagan was anyway.

Reagan might as well be an alien as far as most voters are concerned.

Not gonna win elections by merely invoking this historical figure’s name….

Sherman1864 on December 7, 2012 at 7:43 AM

Me too. We need to tax everyone at whatever rate is necessary to cover spending … and since the government provides virtually all we need anyway who needs extra cash?

darwin on December 7, 2012 at 7:26 AM

I actually meant that I like the idea of Rush as Republican spokesmodel.

I like the idea of a realistic tax rates, too. Unlike the Republican strategy of starting wars and handing out drugs to old people while cutting taxes.

This posture of fiscal responsibility by people like Paul Ryan is laughable.

urban elitist on December 7, 2012 at 7:53 AM

I like the idea of a realistic tax rates, too.

urban elitist on December 7, 2012 at 7:53 AM

Ok, what’s realistic? 2013 federal spending is 3.8 trillion and the projected tax haul is 2.9 trillion. We’re 900 billion short for 2013.

65% across the board?

After all, liberals say it part of the problem is it costs to give tax cuts … so by that logic the higher the taxes the less it costs, right? In theory a 100% tax rate costs nothing.

darwin on December 7, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Well, I’m not so sure I’d say that ‘Reagan grew government’….
I’d put it more like:
“Reagan failed to stop Congress from growing government”.

LegendHasIt on December 6, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Why? Because you refuse to entertain that the “conservative hero” was anything but, so you want to shift blame to someone else? That’s intellecutally dishonest.

The Myth of Reganomics

The Reagan Myth

Dante on December 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

I think many tend to lionize Ronald Reagan, and ignore his shortcomings. Can’t say I don’t get it…after two Bush’s, Clinton, and Obama it’s no wonder we remember Reagan as if he were Abraham Lincoln reincarnated.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 6, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Abraham Lincoln is no hero. He was a mass-murdering tyrant who ignored the Constitution at every turn and destroyed the Republic.

Dante on December 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Unlike the Republican strategy of starting wars

urban elitist on December 7, 2012 at 7:53 AM

Feel free to list wars started by democrats and compare that to Republicans.

Obama has also had four years to end any wars. Instead he just keeps them going and starts new ones … like Libya.

darwin on December 7, 2012 at 8:25 AM

Let there be no doubt, Ronald Reagan deserves to be lionized.

itsspideyman on December 7, 2012 at 1:08 AM

Hardly. Unless you like putting hypocrites on pedestals.

I’ll never understand the desire to worship men.

Dante on December 7, 2012 at 8:26 AM

The repubs problem is that they are stuck in the process of politics from the 50s. They want to make a deal, compromise, reach across the aisle, leadership from the prezzy, raise revenue, lower taxes, reform this or that and keep the status quo going. They never think that we are broke and it’s their fault. I’d rather cut off funding to a scientist who studies the sex life of a 3 toes sloth than cut SS and MC payments for a widowed grandmother. All this spending is done on our behalf. It’s like signing a power of attorney and then finding out Bernie Madoff is the guy in charge of your money. Common sense in DC isn’t common.

Kissmygrits on December 7, 2012 at 8:36 AM

I actually meant that I like the idea of Rush as Republican spokesmodel.

I like the idea of a realistic tax rates, too. Unlike the Republican strategy of starting wars and handing out drugs to old people while cutting taxes.

This posture of fiscal responsibility by people like Paul Ryan is laughable.

urban elitist on December 7, 2012 at 7:53 AM

I’d agree with the Medicare D.

But the Bush tax cuts actually increased government revenue (government revenue increased from the time they were enacted until the housing bubble burst).

If Paul Ryan is just posturing on fiscal responsibility then what do you call the Democrat posture? Insanity or do they really want to bankrupt the country and destroy the economy?

gwelf on December 7, 2012 at 9:36 AM

blockquote>Yes, I know better than that, of course. But it’s exactly the same situation as Obama wanting to raise taxes on couples making 250K or more a year. That’s a good combined salary anywhere in the country, but there’s a huge difference between making 250K a year in say, Washington DC or Los Angeles, and making that amount where the cost of living is somewhat reasonable.

There Goes The Neighborhood on December 7, 2012 at 1:43 AM
Ya – exactly. The point I was trying to get to about the house value is that a $250K value house is not a mansion owned by a Warren Buffet type – although I’ve heard he actually lives in a fairly cheap old house. Someone making well below $100K a year can afford a $250K house – especially with interest rates where they are.
If we want to make a point with the wealthy libtards like Buffet, eliminate the mortgage deduction, and property tax deduction, above $1 Million home value. Or somehow index the threshold to average home value in your area.

dentarthurdent on December 7, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Dante on December 7, 2012 at 8:23 AM

Dante on December 7, 2012 at 8:24 AM

Ya – we understand – you’re an anarchist and you hate everyone. We get it.
Unlike you, I’m not just reading someone else’s reinterpretation of what happened – I was actually there – in the military, in the work force, buying my first car, buying my first house, getting married, etc when Reagan was President. I saw it firsthand. He did a pretty good job – especially compared to the idiot he took over from and the mess he inherited. And unlike Obumble, Reagan didn’t spend his entire term blaming Carter for everything – he took the reins and did his best (with a Dem controlled Congress) to fix everything. And he did a darn good job of it.
Go look up the factual record. During Reagan’s terms the economy grew, wages went up, inflation came down, interest rates came down (mortgage interest rates were in the high teens under Carter), and we won the Cold War.

dentarthurdent on December 7, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Who cares what rush thinks or says? He holds some responsibility for this lost election, should have backed a true conservative during the primary. Hopefully he will learn in 2016.

nazo311 on December 7, 2012 at 11:49 AM

dentarthurdent on December 7, 2012 at 11:45 AM

You obviously didn’t look at the dates those articles were written, and you obviously didn’t read them.

Dante on December 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

You obviously didn’t look at the dates those articles were written, and you obviously didn’t read them.

Dante on December 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Ya I did. 2 articles from one source. One person’s opinion of what happened – a person who clearly does/did not like Reagan.

I saw for myself on a daily basis what was going on, and overall MY opinion is Reagan did some pretty good things.

Nobody is perfect. If you expect perfection in ANY politician according to your wants, needs, and opinions, I guarantee you will always be disappointed and always hate everyone.
In comparison to most other Presidents, and given the circumstancess, conditions, limitations, and Dem controlled Congress he had to deal with, I think Reagan did a pretty darn good job.
And most historians seem to agree with me – excepting for your favored historians of course.

dentarthurdent on December 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Ya I did. 2 articles from one source. One person’s opinion of what happened – a person who clearly does/did not like Reagan.

dentarthurdent on December 7, 2012 at 2:53 PM

Actually, no. They are two articles written during Reagan’s presidency by two different people. Both article happen to be hosted on the web by the same institution.

If you had read the articles, you would have noticed this immediately.

Dante on December 7, 2012 at 4:51 PM

What if instead of Todd Beamer, John Boehner had been on Flight 93? This economy is going down, the only question is, are we going to let them take ‘individual free will’ (Freedom) down with it? Boehner is a gutless punk.

Pole-Cat on December 8, 2012 at 8:53 AM

The only thing Regan did that mattered, and it was the game changer, was DEREGULATION! The biggie was Transportation, the Railroads, Airlines and Trucking. Also Telecom, he broke up the Bell’s. You couldn’t even own the phone in your house back then, thanks to regulation. Do you like your Smart Phone, I-pad, Internet? Well you can thank Ronald Regan. The move from Rotary to Touchtone was the only advance in 30 years thanks to regulation. We now have the most draconian regulatory government of all time. How’s that working out for ya? Individual Free Will is the anti-venom.

Pole-Cat on December 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

The only thing Regan did that mattered, and it was the game changer, was DEREGULATION! The biggie was Transportation, the Railroads, Airlines and Trucking. Also Telecom, he broke up the Bell’s. You couldn’t even own the phone in your house back then, thanks to regulation. Do you like your Smart Phone, I-pad, Internet? Well you can thank Ronald Regan. The move from Rotary to Touchtone was the only advance in 30 years thanks to regulation. We now have the most draconian regulatory government of all time. How’s that working out for ya? Individual Free Will is the anti-venom.

Pole-Cat on December 8, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Regulations increased under Reagan. He was a regulator, not a deregulator.


Deregulation. Another crucial aspect of freeing the market and getting government off our backs is deregulation, and the administration and its Reaganomists have been very proud of its deregulation record. However, a look at the record reveals a very different picture. In the first place, the most conspicuous examples of deregulation; the ending of oil and gasoline price controls and rationing, the deregulation of trucks and airlines, were all launched by the Carter administration, and completed just in time for the Reagan administration to claim the credit. Meanwhile, there were other promised deregulations that never took place; for example, abolition of natural gas controls and of the Department of Energy.

Overall, in fact, there has probably been not deregulation, but an increase in regulation. Thus, Christopher De Muth, head of the American Enterprise Institute and a former top official of Reagan’s Office of Management and the Budget, concludes that “the President has not mounted a broad offensive against regulation. There hasn’t been much total change since 1981. There has been more balanced administration of regulatory agencies than we had become used to in the 1970s, but many regulatory rules have been strengthened.”

In particular, there has been a fervent drive, especially in the past year; to intensify regulation of Wall Street. A savage and almost hysterical attack was launched late last year by the Securities and Exchange Commission and by the Department of Justice on the high crime of “insider trading.” Distinguished investment bankers were literally hauled out of their offices in manacles, and the most conspicuous inside trader received as a punishment (1) a fine of $100 million; (2) a lifetime ban on any further security trading, and (3) a jail term of one year, suspended for community service. And this is the light sentence, in return for allowing himself to be wired and turn informer on his insider trading colleagues. [Editor's note: Ivan Boesky was sentenced to three years in prison.]

All this was part of a drive by the administration to protect inefficient corporate managers from the dread threat of takeover bids, by which means stockholders are able to dispose easily of ineffective management and turn to new managers. Can we really say that this frenzied assault on Wall Street by the Reagan administration had no impact on the stock market crash [October 1987]?

And yet the Reagan administration has reacted to the crash not by letting up, but by intensifying, regulation of the stock market. The head of the SEC strongly considered closing down the market on October 19, and some markets were temporarily shut down—a case, once again, of solving problems by shooting the market—the messenger of bad news. October 20, the Reagan administration collaborated in announcing early closing of the market for the next several days. The SEC has already moved, in conjunction with the New York Stock Exchange, to close down computer program trading on the market, a trade related to stock index futures. But blaming computer program trading for the crash is a Luddite reaction; trying to solve problems by taking a crowbar and wrecking machines. There were no computers, after all, in 1929. Once again, the instincts of the administration, particularly in relation to Wall Street, is to regulate. Regulate, and inflate, seem to be the Reaganite answers to our economic ills.

Agricultural policy, for its part, has been a total disaster. Instead of ending farm price supports and controls and returning to a free market in agriculture, the administration has greatly increased price supports, controls and subsidies. Furthermore, it has brought a calamitous innovation to the farm program; the PIK program ["Payments In Kind"] in which the government gets the farmers to agree to drastic cuts in acreage, in return for which the government pays back the wheat or cotton surpluses previously held off the market. The result of all this has been to push farm prices far higher than the world market, depress farm exports, and throw many farmers into bankruptcy. All the administration can offer, however, is more of the same disastrous policy.

Dante on December 8, 2012 at 3:01 PM

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