Change You Can Believe In: Remembering the Gipper

Ronald_ReaganToday, I write remembering one of my greatest heroes, who lived and influenced my perspective of the world when I was young. Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989), was born this day in 1911. He turned this country around, after almost two decades of turmoil, and ended the Cold War.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. ~Ronald Reagan

I grew up in a world in which America had just lost the Vietnam War. There was the Water Gate scandal. We had domestic terrorism from groups like the Weathermen Underground. I remember the long lines to get gasoline from two Oil Crises, and Pennsylvania implementing fuel rationing. I watched the Iran Hostage Crisis play out daily on the evening news, and American’s failed attempt at rescue. I grew up under the threat of Global Thermonuclear War and Mutual Assured Destruction. I was growing up believing that America’s best days were behind her, and it was only a matter of time before the Free World fell to the iron fist of Soviet domination.

Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them. ~Ronald Reagan

Barack Obama uses the slogan “Change You Can Believe In,” as a marketing tool. Ronald Reagan was change you could believe in. Barack Obama places the word “HOPE” on a poster of himself. Reagan created hope, not just in words, but in action. Reagan’s strength and character transformed America. He not only raised America out of its downward spiral, he united the country in a way I have not seen since.

The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become. ~Ronald Reagan

Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection win was described by his supporters as a landslide victory. Obama won his reelection with only 26 states and 51.1% of the popular vote.  This nation could not be any more divided than it is today. Thanks to an ability to truly reach across the aisle, gaining the support of “Reagan Democrats,” Ronald Reagan won his 1984 reelection with 49 states and almost 59% of the popular vote. While today, Reagan is the patron saint of the Conservative Movement, in his time he defied “liberal” or “conservative” labels.

The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much. ~Ronald Reagan

Some of Ronald Reagan’s greatest accomplishments include:

  • Ending the Cold War,
  • Across the board tax cuts,
  • Rebuilding of the Armed Forces,
  • Nuclear weapons cuts,
  • Simplifying the tax code.

By the end of Reagan’s years in office America was stronger, both economically and militarily, and the world was safer, caused both by shrinking numbers of nuclear weapons and the fall of the Soviet Union. Reagan was a president who personified Hope and Change.

There are no easy answers’ but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. ~Ronald Reagan

Reagan gave hope to a 10 year old boy, with his strong character and grandfatherly smile. He helped to shape a child’s view of the world, and helped to instill the values of family, thrift, patriotism, and hard work. I am truly grateful for all that he did for our country, and how his example shaped my life.

Happy Birthday, Mr. President. Your leadership is missed.

8 thoughts on “Change You Can Believe In: Remembering the Gipper

  1. When I think of Reagan as Governor of California I think of how he unceremoniously closed all of the mental hospitals, four later being reopened because of the crisis he created. Then, there is his huge deficit spending, increasing America’s 712 million to 2.052 Trillion, a 3 fold increase. His spending of 22.4% of GDP over 2 terms was far greater than the 20.6% average between 1971-2009. Of course, who can forget Iran-Contra? This resulted in the largest single drop in approval of any US President in history, from 67%-46% in November 1986. Iran-Contra signaled the US willingness to engage in concessions with Iran and Hezbollah and made hostage-taking a useful tool to gain concessions from the US and accounting for raising our profile as the target of terrorists around the world. I remember Ross Perot and George H.W. Bush identifying Reaganomics, or the Trickle-Down Theory as “Voodoo Economics.” I also remember the pictures of him sound asleep while in meetings and on duty in the White House. Everywhere I ever worked sleeping on duty was an offense that resulted in dismissal. I know a lot of people hold him dear as the good looking cigarette salesman that modernized politics by making elections about image at the expense of substance. Of course all of our heroes do have flaws and sometimes many. What a guy!

    • David,

      Wasn’t it President Kennedy who started the push for deinstitutionalization, before Reagan was even elected Governor of California?

      Some people enjoy pointing out Obama inherited a mess from G.W. Bush… look at the mess Reagan inherited from Johnson, Nixon, and Carter.

      Obama skyrocketed the national debt… the national debt being far worse than deficit spending. It is a shame too many people don’t know the difference, In 2008, the national debt was 68% of GDP. In 2009, Obama jumped the national debt to 83%, and in 2013 it was 99% of GDP.

      Do we want to talk about the true unemployment rate?

      How about the NSA spying on Americans?

      There is also the issue of Obama authorizing executing Americans without trial (via drone strikes).

      How about the fact, out of the gate, there was a bipartisan plan for healthcare reform that the President, Pelosi, and Reid scrapped for a one-sided restructuring of 20% of the American economy that was not supported by the majority of Americans… and, it does nothing to address actual heathcare costs.

      Hospitals still can charge $30 for a single aspirin. Insurance Companies have had their profits limited, but no limits have been placed on for-profit healthcare providers.

      What was created by Obamacare was a way to siphon money out of the pockets of people and into the pockets of healthcare executives and shareholders… under threat of the IRS.

      Back in 2009, Progressive commentator Ed Schultz publicly asked Obama to become a dictator so that he could “get the job done.” Well, the last State of the Union seems to indicate Obama decided to take Schultz’s advise. If Congress doesn’t do what this president wants, he’ll just misuse executive order powers.

      What a guy!

      • President Obama sky rocketed the debt by putting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on the books instead of making their costs hidden. See one of many articles on this by going to this link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/11/us-public-defrauded-hidden-cost-iraq-war
        Reagan raised taxes many times: In 1982, The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act raised taxes by $37.5 billion per year, and the Highway Revenue Act raised the gasoline tax by $3.3 billion.
        In 1983, Reagan signed off on legislation to raise payroll taxes and tax Social Security benefits for some higher earners.
        In 1984, the Deficit Reduction Act included increases in taxes on estates and distilled spirits and ended some business tax breaks, to the tune of $18 billion per year.In 1985, Reagan signed legislation making permanent a 16-cent federal excise tax on a pack of cigarettes, then worth about $2.4 billion a year.In 1986, the Tax Reform Act lowered the top income tax bracket from 50 percent to 28 percent. To pay for the reductions, however, the legislation closed a number of tax loopholes.In 1987, Reagan signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act that extended the telephone excise tax and eliminated a real estate tax deduction loophole.
        Congress during Reagan’s term in office raised the debt ceiling 18 times with nary a wimper.
        Want some facts about the Affordable Healthcare Act ? try this: http://kff.org/health-reform/fact-sheet/summary-of-new-health-reform-law/ .
        To quote my native Californian mother, ” Ronald Reagan was a “b” actor, a bad Governor, and a bad President.” In my book she was right all three times.

      • The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 cut taxes, over three years, by 23% and lowered the top tax rate from 70% to 50%.

        The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 increased revenue by closing many tax loopholes.

        Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 wasn’t so much an increase on estates as it was a reduction of certain tax benefits.

        I’m not sure which Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act you are referencing. There were several. Most notable was the Act in 1985 or COBRA.

        Tax Reform Act of 1986 cut the highest tax rate down to 28%. However, it could be said it “raised taxes” on certain individuals by eliminating certain tax shelters… but tax shelters and loopholes are normally described as “welfare for the rich” by Democrats.

        Ultimately, Reagan did not “raise taxes.” He increased tax revenue by creating a flatter, fairer tax code.

        Obamacare has been one big lie… from being able to keep your insurance to it will lower overall costs. There is nothing affordable about the Affordable Care Act. Even supporters admit many of the law’s “flaws.” The biggest deception is that the law is “deficit neutral.” It uses 10 years of funding to pay for 6 years of perceived benefit. It is smoke and mirrors. The goal/hope is that once it becomes a major budgetary issue, the American people will have become so addicted to it they will demand it be kept.

        The article you referenced stated the wars “added $1.4tn to the national debt.” It does not say this debt was not part of the debt until Obama. It said that the spending was done through appropriation bills. It was kept “off the books” in that it was not passed during regular budgeting. Moreover, the national debt was $10 Trillion in 2008. Today, it is over $17.3 Trillion. The wars did not cause that. The National Debt increased more during Obama’s first term than it did during 8 years of George W. Bush, and will be over $20 Trillion by the time he leaves office.

        However, it is not so much the dollar amount of the debt, but the percentage of GDP… 68% of GDP in 2008 to 99% of GDP for 2013. It is the same as you or I having too much debt compared to our income. There is a top income-to-debt ratio that any entity (person, company, or government) can manage before financial failure starts to occur.

    • Typical post from David Jones.
      Why not remind us all of how you aided in the closing of hospitals?
      Are you this critical of the current POTUS? or do you leave those criticisms for conservatives?

  2. Petty of Mr. Jones to try to rebut this blog’s simple, inoffensive, and obviously sincere homage to a childhood hero. And as in Jones’ write-in campaign for a seat on the OASD board, he failed. History by and large already looks favorably upon Reagan’s presidency, a trend I’m confident will continue. Likewise, Reagan’s presidency has not suffered substantial loss in public opinion; if anything gaining. His heart and his mind were in the right place, he surrounded himself with top-notch people as principled as he, and he clearly left the country better off. So what’s the beef?

  3. Pingback: So much for Obama’s dreams of being a Democratic Ronald Reagan | pundit from another planet

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