Archive for Sunday, June 14, 2009

Reagan actions

June 14, 2009


To the editor:

For Cal Thomas, the individual American is suffering, since the election of President Obama, a loss of liberty at the hands of a “larger, more intrusive and costlier government.” He sees the antidote in the sayings of Ronald Reagan, including, “concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.”

The individual Americans I know have something else on their minds. They see their livelihoods lost or threatened by government-supported business policies that reduce their employment benefits, deny them the freedom to form unions, export their jobs, and risk the long-term health of enterprise for the next quarter’s profit. Contrary to what Mr. Thomas says, most individuals are not “more dependent on government.” They are more dependent on the corporate bosses whose concentrated power President Reagan unleashed.

Mr. Reagan shifted the tax burden from the rich to the middle class, deregulated health and safety protections for workers, shredded the safety net for the poor and advanced environmental degradation for everyone. In doing so, he contributed to a disparity in wealth not seen since the gilded age.

Mr. Thomas would do well to look beyond President Reagan’s words to his actions and their consequences. If Mr. Obama can clean up the mess initiated by Reagan policies, he will earn the lasting gratitude of ordinary Americans.

Fairchild is from Lawrence


VTHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Fairchild seems poorly informed. He alleges that President Reagan "shifted the tax burden from the rich to the middle class", which is demonstrably false. The top tax RATE did decline (from a peak of 78% under Carter), but the top 1% of earners actually increased their percentage of the taxes paid during the Reagan years.

The top 1% paid 19% of all taxes in 1979, but paid 21% by the middle of the 1980's. The bottom 20% went from paying 0% to -1% by 1989.

Unlike the Carter years, with declining real incomes, high unemployment (7.4%), and high inflation (14%), under Reagan REAL median income increased by $4,000 per capita.

BigPrune 8 years, 7 months ago

The largest separation of income between the classes of rich and poor, or rich, middle class, and poor actually happened during the Clinton Administration. Please do not try to revise the historical facts. It's too Joseph Goebbels, which is unacceptable.

Brent Garner 8 years, 7 months ago

Let's see here. Who is it we should be more afraid of?

Headline: Inspector General fired after investigating prominent Obama supporter.

Headline: Bond holders in Chrsyler bankruptcy subordinated to union members in direct violation of existing bankruptcy law. When challenged Obama excuse is that undoing the deal would force Chrysler to dissolve. (Read that as loss of union jobs.)

Headline: Of the Chrysler dealerships closed under the Obama directed bankruptcy, 90% are Republican owned or the owners donated money to Republicans. This includes an elected member of the US House.

Look up those items folks and then come back here and tell me I have nothing to fear from Dear Leader!

Bruce Bertsch 8 years, 7 months ago

The only kool aide is that which the Reaganites are drinking. Despite the high inflation and interest rates of the Carter presidency, real incomes increased. That did NOT happen with Reagan or Bush 43. Reagan also featured the largest number of convicted cabinet members and staffers in the history of the US. When you look at his history of Governor of CA he was responsible for decreasing revenues while increasing the size of governement and contrary to popular belief, he increased the welfare roles. Later he did the same to the US. He led the largest expansion of government until some guy called W took over. He started the drift toward an hour glass economy with his inane believe in "trickle down" economics. Until W he had created the largest deficits in US history with nothing to show for them. Yeah, that's a heck of a resume.

labmonkey 8 years, 7 months ago


I wager that a majority of business owners are Republican, and it is a good chance that if a dealorship was shut down, it was owned by someone who voted Republican. What total percentage of Chrysler dealorships are Republican owned (I wager that it is higher to 90% than 50%)? And how would Obama know if the owner was Republican if they did not donate money?

I agree that Obama is dangerous, but I think that your example is a very skewed statistic.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

ACTUALLY from what I have been reading lately all levels of the middle class are the hardest it. It is considered that the middle class are making the wealthy wealthier. And the wealth of the middle class is declining. Who will be buying houses with middle class wealth declining? No matter what the media says some are seeing any real recovery is at least 5 years much for the middle class. White collar middle class jobs are scheduled to India by the millions. Our government needs to get on with creating a new industry or two that cannot be outsourced such as the "green collar" to replace blue and white collar jobs.

Wealth Gap Widens

The Great Stock Illusion

Was Ronald Reagan an Even Worse President Than George W. Bush?

By Robert Parry, Consortium News. Posted June 5, 2009.

The starting point for many of the catastrophes confronting the United States today can be traced to Reagan's presidency.

VTHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

"Despite the high inflation and interest rates of the Carter presidency, real incomes increased." they didn't. My data came from the Congressional Budget Office. Yours?

"Real" income means adjusted for inflation.

camper 8 years, 7 months ago

"Our government needs to get on with creating a new industry or two that cannot be outsourced".

Couldn't agree with you more. First we eliminated most of our industrial mfg, and now we are getting smarter by outsourcing service sector jobs. At this rate the only large industries the US will have would be construction, building and auto repair, farming, healthcare, and yes too the dismay of many......government.

The US may really need to shift it's trade policy to a more protectionist one. The pendulum has swung too far away from the American worker in recent years.

VTHawk 8 years, 7 months ago

"The US may really need to shift it's trade policy to a more protectionist one. The pendulum has swung too far away from the American worker in recent years."

That is a perfect recipe to completely destroy the US Economy. Protectionism turned the roaring '20s into the Great Depression, and generally never created good outcomes for any economy. If "the American Worker" wants protection, he/she needs to develop skills that others don't have. The simple fact is that low value-added labor can be done by anyone, which is why we can't compete with the Chinese/Vietnamese on those things.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

Blue and white collar jobs:

If the USA cannot put its' people to work then how will the situation get better?

Corp america is more interested in the Chinese labor market than the american population which of course sucks. USA workers and consumers made corp america rich so now they get screwed for it with the help of poiliticians from both sides of the aisle.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

This situation compounds the problem...

Illness and medical bills caused half of the 1,458,000 personal bankruptcies in 2001, according to a study published by the journal Health Affairs.

The study estimates that medical bankruptcies affect about 2 million Americans annually -- counting debtors and their dependents, including about 700,000 children.

Surprisingly, most of those bankrupted by illness had health insurance. More than three-quarters were insured at the start of the bankrupting illness. However, 38 percent had lost coverage at least temporarily by the time they filed for bankruptcy.

Dr. David Himmelstein, the lead author of the study and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard commented: "Unless you're Bill Gates you're just one serious illness away from bankruptcy. Most of the medically bankrupt were average Americans who happened to get sick."

Today's health insurance policies -- with high deductibles, co-pays, and many exclusions -- offer little protection during a serious illness. Uncovered medical bills averaged $13,460 for those with private insurance at the start of their illness. People with cancer had average medical debts of $35,878.

"The paradox is that the costliest health system in the world performs so poorly. We waste one-third of every health care dollar on insurance bureaucracy and profits while two million people go bankrupt annually and we leave 45 million uninsured" said Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program.

"With national health insurance ('Medicare for All'), we could provide comprehensive, lifelong coverage to all Americans for the same amount we are spending now and end the cruelty of ruining families financially when they get sick."

Read more:

pace 8 years, 7 months ago

Good letter, accurate about the effects of the GOP tax subsidies to the richest and to their detrimental robbing of the pockets of working people of this country. Anybody who thinks that the GOP hasn't helped the corporate kings (not the corporations) hasn't watched the news or checked their paycheck. They have even let the corporations be sucked of capitol to feed the leaches. The house and senate have been sold to the sleaziest bidders for a long time. I hope the country gets the backbone to continue electing people willing to fight the hogs, to get this country back on it's feet. Obama is one of the people I hope will fight for this country. We need a lot of people to stand up, he will fail if he fights alone. We need to clean our houses locally. We should ask questions, get answers, and vote. We also need to press for indictments. One local example is how Hack refused to answer basic questions while taking her "pay". The arrogance and class prejudice that because what they are doing is considered white collar, non violent crime they should be somehow respected is a slap in the face of every home owner that works their butt off to pay taxes while feeding their family and trying to educate their children. Wall street pirates are allowed to burn the pensions and life savings of millions of people because the cops (regulators) were told to look the other way.

camper 8 years, 7 months ago

VTHawk wrote;

If “the American Worker” wants protection, he/she needs to develop skills that others don't have.----

Yes this is true. But this formula works only if you assume the American job market can support the economy thru only high tech jobs. In addition, the playing field is not fair to the American worker. Many jobs are being outbided by foreign labor which is heavily subsidied by its government. In many cases, this is why foreign goods are cheaper.

I agree with developing skills and new tech, but this is not a fix-all remedy. Somehow we need to find a better balance with the jobs we export to foreign labor, and the goods we import. In my mind it is way out of whack.

camper 8 years, 7 months ago

One last comment. You would have a hard time telling that to a computer specialist I know (something I consider a specialized skill). This guy just had his job outsourced to someone in India and is having great difficulty finding a job.

So even if you do find a skill that others don't have, it won't be long before the world labor market catches up.

staff04 8 years, 7 months ago

"The top 1% paid 19% of all taxes in 1979, but paid 21% by the middle of the 1980's."

What percentage of all income did they make during those same times?

I know it is oppressive to think that everyone should pay a share that is somewhat consistent with their share of income and all, but since you had the CBO data handy, I wondered if you could share the income stats too?

(The top 1% made more than 21% of all adjusted gross income during the 2006 tax year, but I couldn't find the data for the timeframe you mentioned.)

Tony Kisner 8 years, 7 months ago

Let's really go back, what about Hoover, or Lincoln. Look at those GOP's or even Hamilton all he was about was money no wonder Burr shot him.

Brent Garner 8 years, 7 months ago


I didn't include this in my comment about the Chrysler dealerships, but the terminated dealerships had the heaviest concentration in the state of Texas--a traditionally Republican state and home to former President Bush. Also, when 90% of a list is comprised of a specific group it exceeds normal statistical probability. For your claim to be true then the vast majority of businesses would have to be owned by Republicans. I very much doubt that is true. No, like it or not, this was an effort by Dear Leader to hamstring/punish those of the opposing political party and as such is an example of gross political corruption. I remind you of how the media and democrats howled when former President Bush fired 8 US Attorneys General--many of whom, it as suggested by the media, had democrat leanings. Yet, not a ripple when Dear Leader goes after Republicans.

esteshawk 8 years, 7 months ago

Conservative Republicans - as opposed to the dying breed of moderatre republicans, which the right are now so far skewed right as to believe moderates are "socialists" or "liberals" - really need a reality check. First of all, GM bankruptcy was not Obama's fault. He didn't run a bad company for all those years, refusing to acknowledge that Toyota and Honda were developing better products. Secondly, Bush should have sent them to bankruptcy - he gave them cash to get by until Obama came into office. Talk about literally and figuratively passing the buck.

But the main point of this letter to the editor was to note how "conservative" policies of Reagan have come back to bite the US middle class.

As a working adult, in the middle class, I can honestly say that my life is much harder than my parents, from an economic perspective. I made all the right moves, college education, etc, and have seen my real paycheck get smaller over the last 5-6 years due to explosion in health care costs for my family.

I assume most of the "reagan fan" writers here are no longer raising families (based on the average age of Fox News viewers, which is heavily skewed toward retirement age), and are no longer in a position to truly see what the long term effects of Reaganomics have been. And yes conservatives, I readily acknowledge that Clinton was part of the problem.

I am not saying that Obama's policies will be effective in the long term, but so far, most are not designed as long term: The banks are eager to pay back the government funding they received, O has sent Chrysler/GM into bankruptcy where they belong, and his stimulus package is just that. And guess what, these policies are beginning to work.

I also suspect many people bashing O. are really just angry that someone other than a "white" man is in the White House, and have failed from the confines of their Kansas homes to see the changes in demographics across the country (and not just from illegal immigrants).

My opinion.

lucky_guy 8 years, 7 months ago

You can vote every 2 or 4 years and change the Gov. I have held stock in corps and my vote really didn't count. So you can change Govmnt but not GM until they go bankrupt at least

bisky1 8 years, 7 months ago

why is it that the only people to mention obama's race are liberal? who cares? just stop taking over my country and my freedoms. the liberal left a community of hate.

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