Posts Tagged ‘Reagan’
November 13th, 2015 at 9:38 am
NY Times: Obama Years Have Devastated His Own Party
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Throughout Barack Obama’s tenure, we’ve understandably delighted in highlighting the “Reverse Midas” touch of this man who openly aspired to become a transformative president on the level of Ronald Reagan.  In a number of ways, he has actually accomplished that, although not in the way he had hoped.  From driving down trust in government to record lows to helping elect Republicans at the national and state levels with his unpopular behavior, Obama has indeed been transformative.

Today, The New York Times details the degree to which Obama has devastated his own party from within:

“While Mr. Obama’s 2008 election helped usher in a political resurgence for Democrats, the president today presides over a shrinking party whose control of elected offices at the state and local levels has declined precipitously.  In January, Republicans will occupy 32 of the nation’s governorships, 10 more than they did in 2009.  Democratic losses in state legislatures under Mr. Obama rank among the worst in the last 115 years, with 816 Democratic lawmakers losing their jobs and Republican control of legislatures doubling since the president took office – more seats lost than under any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.  ‘Republicans have more chambers today than they have ever had in the history of our party,’ said Tim Storey, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.”

That devastation extends beyond the state level, as the report explains:

It has also meant a hollowing out of the roster of potential Democratic candidates for major races…  The absence of up-and-coming Democrats is evident in Washington, where the party leadership in Congress consists largely of aging veterans.  The average age of the three top Democratic leaders in the House is 75, while the three most senior Republican leaders – with the new Speaker of the House, Paul D. Ryan – average 48 years old.  There are a handful of young, ambitious members of the Democratic caucus, especially in the House, but it may be years before they are ready to play a bigger role on the national stage.”

So Barack:  mission accomplished?

October 9th, 2015 at 10:28 am
New Poll: Americans Who Say Federal Gov’t Has “Too Much Power” Matches Record High
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So it turns out that Barack Obama is succeeding in his effort to become a transformative president in the manner of Ronald Reagan after all.  Unfortunately for him, that’s because his presidency has reinforced rather than reversed Reagan’s axiom that “government isn’t the solution to our problem, government is the problem.”  Think of him as a Midas in reverse.

This morning, Gallup released a new survey on the question that it has asked Americans every year since 2002:  “Do you think the federal government has too much power, has about the right amount of power or has too little power?”  Hardened by almost seven years under Obama, the number who say that it has too much power maintains its record high:

The 60% recorded in this survey ties the previous high from 2013 for the question, which Gallup has asked annually since 2002.  The solid majorities in 2013, 2014 and this year saying the federal government is too powerful differ significantly from the 51% Gallup measured in 2012.  That poll was conducted in the days after the Democratic National Convention that helped propel Barack Obama to a re-election win that year.  During President Obama’s first year in office in 2009, the percentage of Americans concerned with the power of the federal government was 51%.  By his second year in office, 2010, that percentage climbed to 59%, after the federal government passed the Affordable Care Act.”

Perhaps the worst news of all for Obama, his apologists and dead-end leftists is that the groups accounting for the record high are Democrats, moderates and liberals.  Conservatives, libertarians and Republicans have regularly responded that the federal government possesses too much power.  “But now,” Gallup reports, “a majority of moderates (57%), as well as independents (64%), share that view.”

To the extent that Bill Clinton’s presidency was successful, it was because of his famous admission after electoral defeats that “The era of big government is over.”  Obama attempted a more hardened course, but that has only made his own presidency less successful and proved the wisdom of Clinton’s reluctant observation.

September 22nd, 2015 at 10:12 am
Reverse Midas: Another Obama Legacy Is Record Distrust of Federal Government
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In recent weeks, as we enter the final 500 days of his presidency, we have periodically returned to the issue of Obama’s emerging legacy.  On both domestic and foreign policy, his administration has been one of unprecedented failure, which we take no glee in saying because in so doing he has harmed the country.

On that issue, however, a new Gallup survey highlights another one of Obama’s more notable failures.  Namely, the number of Americans who believe that the federal government poses “an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens” has reached a record high.  Accordingly, the fact that the man who set out to reverse Ronald Reagan’s axiom that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem” has through his own actions brought Americans’ fear and distrust of the federal government to record highs.  Through his inexorable and at times lawless agenda of increased federal government power, regulation, spending, deficits and encroachment into our lives, he has paradoxically validated Reagan’s belief and undermined his own.

Although Obama’s impact on America’s wellbeing at home and abroad has been disastrous (quick – name a single significant place in the world that is better off today than six years ago), at least it provides the opportunity for Americans to understand the cause-and-effect relationship of bigger government, more regulation, higher spending, higher taxes and weaker foreign policy and our declining national health.  As Gallup notes, “the persistent finding in recent years that half of the population views the government as an immediate threat underscores the degree to which the role and power of government remains a key issue of our time.”

Hopefully, Americans quickly internalize the opposite lesson that Reagan provided, and act accordingly.

January 21st, 2013 at 12:42 pm
Obama Plagiarizes Reagan

This really isn’t a big deal, but it still rankles. Today, Barack Obama included a line in his speech that was almost a direct quotation from Ronald Reagan, but he gave no attribution. When Reagan uttered it, it was an original and interesting turn of phrase.


“Whether we come from poverty or wealth; whether we are Afro-American or Irish-American; Christian or Jewish, from big cities or small towns, we are all equal in the eyes of God. But as Americans, that is not enough, we must be equal in the eyes of each other.

Obama today: “We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

November 22nd, 2012 at 11:50 am
We Interrupt This Thanksgiving….

We interrupt this Thanksgiving to consider the opening portion of Ronald Reagan’s first official Thanksgiving Proclamation as president, in the midst of a recession, when things looked bleak:

America has much for which to be thankful. The unequaled freedom enjoyed by our citizens has provided a harvest of plenty to this nation throughout its history. In keeping with America’s heritage, one day each year is set aside for giving thanks to god for all of His blessings.

On this day of thanksgiving, it is appropriate that we recall the first thanksgiving, celebrated in the autumn of 1621. After surviving a bitter winter, the Pilgrims planted and harvested a bountiful crop. After the harvest they gathered their families together and joined in celebration and prayer with the native Americans who had taught them so much. Clearly our forefathers were thankful not only for the material well-being of their harvest but for this abundance of goodwill as well.

In this spirit, Thanksgiving has become a day when Americans extend a helping hand to the less fortunate. Long before there was a government welfare program, this spirit of voluntary giving was ingrained in the American character. Americans have always understand that, truly, one must give in order to receive. This should be a day of giving as well as a day of thanks.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving in 1981, we should reflect on the full meaning of this day as we enjoy the fellowship that is so much a part of the holiday festivities. Searching our hearts, we should ask what we can do sass individuals to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance.

Please note the bolded portion. Also note that charity was a private affair, not something done at the confiscatory force of a government gun. Let us commit ourselves to giving not just thanks but alms of the right sort, through private initiative. And let us pray that government does not interfere with such good works by trampling the freedoms with which faith-based groups use their own initiative to provide aid according to the dictates of their own consciences.

August 13th, 2012 at 12:54 pm
Ryan Saving Private

Paul Ryan is all about saving the private sector form the ravages of government. Paul Ryan is all about opportunity. He is all about economic growth. And he is all about a can-do, take-charge attitude that is perfectly in keeping with the American character.

The choice of Ryan was superb. Now the Romney campaign must match its strategy and tactics to the bold nature of this choice.

The last time I felt this good about a ticket was about Ronald Reagan. Say “Romney-Ryan” real fast and it even sounds the same.

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November 4th, 2011 at 9:08 am
The Obama Freeze: 9% Unemployment, Fewer Jobs Created in October
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The nation’s unemployment remained at or above 9% again last month, and has now exceeded 8% for 33 consecutive months since February 2009.  That’s the longest stretch since the federal government began issuing monthly reports in 1948.

Here’s why that 8% benchmark and February 2009 are important.  When Obama passed his nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” bill that same month, his administration projected that unemployment would never exceed 8%, and be all the way down to approximately 6% today.  Instead, unemployment quickly climbed to 10.1%, and has remained above 9% for all but four months during that record 33-month span.  Moreover, the economy only added a disappointing 80,000 jobs for September, less than the expected 100,000 and far below the estimated 200,000 necessary each month to reduce the rate by just 1% over the course of a year.

It’s instructive to compare the real-world results of Obama’s economic agenda with Ronald Reagan’s.  In the same 33-month stretch following the effective date of Reagan’s tax cuts, unemployment plummeted from 10.4% to 7.1%.  The comparison speaks for itself, yet now Obama tells the nation that what we need is more of the same – more “mini-stimulus” government spending.  Obama’s agenda has demonstrably failed, and it’s time to return to what demonstrably works.

November 9th, 2010 at 12:57 pm
From “Morning In America” to Obama’s “I Do Get Discouraged”
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We have illustrated the dramatic difference between the pro-growth Reagan Recovery and the ongoing Obama Malaise, which a side-by-side comparison of economic data makes clear.  In addition to the lopsided data differential, the uninspiring and self-pitying rhetoric to which Obama treats us provides another sad contrast.  Consider the following exchange from Obama’s “60 Minutes” interview this week:

STEVE KROFT: Do you get discouraged? Are you discouraged now?

OBAMA: I do get discouraged. I mean, there are times where I thought the economy would’ve gotten better by now. One of the things I think you understand as president is, you’re held responsible for everything. But you don’t always have control of everything, especially an economy this big. There are limited tools to encourage the kind of job growth that we need.

Such “woe is me” dejection can be self-fulfilling (see, e.g., Jimmy Carter’s “Malaise Speech”), and would have been unimaginable coming from Reagan, who faced even higher unemployment rates, interest rates and inflation than Obama.  But here’s a tip, Mr. President:  nobody wants or expects you to “have control of everything.”  You do, and that is the problem.  As shown by your more optimistic predecessors, getting yourself out of the way would be the best first step toward “the kind of job growth that we need.”

August 24th, 2010 at 10:10 am
Reagan Recovery Slashed Unemployment From 10.8% to 7.4% in 18 Months
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In CFIF’s Liberty Update last week, we highlighted how President Obama isn’t so much “pulling us out of the ditch,” but rather setting our nation’s car on fire.  Instead of spending his time claiming credit for our inevitable cyclical rebound, Obama should recognize that his policies of higher spending, taxation, regulation and debt are only subduing it. To illustrate, we contrast the remarkable gross domestic product (GDP) growth during the Reagan recovery delivered by tax cuts, reduced regulation and a stronger dollar versus our current stagnation and possible “double-dip” recession.

Comparing unemployment trends then versus now provides another vivid illustration of the toxic effect of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid economic agenda.  From December 1982 to June 1984 – the first 18 months of the Reagan recovery – U.S. unemployment plummeted rapidly from 10.8% to 7.2%.  In contrast, over 13 months since our current economic rebound commenced in July 2009, U.S. unemployment has stagnated from 9.4% to its current 9.5%.  Of course, it is theoretically possible that unemployment will plummet by three percentage points over the next five months to match the Reagan recovery, but not even Joe Biden is silly enough to predict that.

It’s no mystery how to unleash America’s economic vigor and bring recovery:  less government and more economic freedom.  It’s just a matter of electing leaders who will actually pursue it.

August 13th, 2010 at 11:21 am
August 13, 1981: President Reagan Signs Tax Reduction Act
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On this date in 1981, President Ronald Reagan signed the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 at his Rancho del Cielo property in Santa Barbara, California.  Sponsored by Congressman Jack Kemp (R – New York) and Senator William Roth (R – Delaware), the bill amended the Internal Revenue Code in order “to encourage economic growth through reductions in individual income tax rates, the expensing of depreciable property, incentives for small businesses, and incentives for savings.”

Did it ever.

By reducing tax rates and unleashing American dynamism, the U.S. witnessed two consecutive years of remarkable growth.  For the eight quarters spanning 1982 and 1983, we saw gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.1%, 9.3%, 8.1%, 8.5%, 8.0%, 7.1%, 3.9% and 3.3%.  Compare that to our current cyclical recovery, in which the Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda of higher spending, regulation and taxation has subdued our rebound to 1.6%, 5.0%, 3.7% and 2.4% (soon to be revised downward to an estimated 1%).  Obama, Pelosi and Reid like to claim credit for our inevitable cyclical recovery from the last downturn, but the truth is that they’ve only managed to stifle it while adding trillions to our debt.

They should instead take a trip down memory lane and correct course according to the crystal clear Regan example.