Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Retaliatory Reagan top-ten list

removealldoubt.blogspot.com provides a top-ten list of great Reagan moments; allow me a rejoinder! In no particular order:

1. Under Reagan the national debt more than tripled, from about $1 trillion to more than $3.5 trillion. The first trillion was accumulated over 200 years; it took Reagan eight years to add $2.5 trillion more.

2. The number of people beneath the poverty line increased every year Reagan was in office, an overall increase of about 7.5 million people (Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States for 1996)

3. Debt as a proportion of GDP went up only during two periods in American history: During WWII, and during Reagan’s presidency.

4. Iran-Contra (selling arms to a state that sponsors terrorism in order to illegally funnel monies to a group of murderous thugs responsible for the torture and execution of thousands of civilians, as well as illicit drug trafficking into the US…but at least they weren’t communists!).

5. The more than 30 Regan aides that spent time in prison for bribery, corruption, and influence peddling.

6. Training future Al Qaeda members in Afghanistan (but they were only killing Soviets!)

7. Backing out of a commitment to Canada’s PM on the enforcement of measures to curb acid rain (Kyoto anyone?). But acid rain doesn’t matter does it? Well, the EPA disagrees, see http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/acidrain/society/index.html

8. Little or no cutbacks for programs targeting households making more than $40,000 a year, while programs for households making $10,000 or less (e.g. free-lunch, subsidized housing) was cut by about 10%

9. Waited years to provide any real support for AIDS research, and then only wanted to focus on prevention—described AIDS to his doctor as like measles.

10. And can we forget his sponsorship of Saddam’s war against Iran? Supplying them with WMDs (chemical and biological) that were promptly used on Kurds and Iranians?

None of this to say that some Reagan policies might have been effective, might have helped people, etc etc.


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