When Mr. Cruz demands that House Republicans “hold firm,” he means they should keep trying to defund ObamaCare even if it results in a shutdown that President Obama will blame on Republicans. It’s nice of him to volunteer House Republicans for duty. The supposedly intrepid General Cruz can view the battle from the comfort of HQ while the enlisted troops take any casualties. [Wall Street Journal]
THAT SUCKING sound is the career of Senator Ted Cruz being vacuumed up by the stupidity of today’s Republican right wing. We’ve seen this before, most recently when Sarah Palin took center stage. The American Spectator is calling what Ted Cruz is doing the “Reaganite Rebellion.” It’s the same cry Sarah Palin tried to hoist on Republicans. It proves the lengths these people will go to wholly remake Ronald Reagan, who had no resemblance to Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and today’s right.
Call it “The Reaganite Rebellion” — a full blown show down between conservatives and liberals over the future of America. [American Spectator]
Reagan had no problem making deals with Democrats, nor did he have any compunction about raising taxes to make America’s balance sheet work. The one thing the Ted Cruz learned from Sarah Palin, which they both have in common with Ronald Reagan is that he was all show, too.
“Foreign leaders have said they were appalled by Reagan’s lack of, of knowledge of the issues. On the other hand, they all agree with me that he was one hell of a salesman.” – Tom DeFrank
Ronald Reagan raised taxes, starting as governor of California, where he instituted the largest tax increase by any governor in U.S. history. Then, as president, after he learned that his tax cuts were killing the country, he did it again.
Almost immediately upon enactment of the 1981 tax cut, Reagan came under enormous pressure to do something about the federal budget deficit. While his preferred approach was to cut spending as much as necessary, it was not politically possible to so. His aides began pressuring him to support a tax increase. Conservative activists were appalled that Reagan would even consider such a thing, but he eventually endorsed the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. According to a Treasury Department analysis, it raised taxes by close to one percent of GDP, equivalent to $150 billion per year today, and was probably the largest peacetime tax increase in American history.
This was just the first of many tax increases that President Reagan endorsed and signed into law. There were 11 major tax increases during his administration. And this doesn’t count the fact that Reagan intentionally delayed the start of tax indexing, which was part of the 1981 tax bill, until 1985 so as to capture a lot of anticipated bracket-creep for the Treasury. In fact, it was the failure of inflation to come in as fast as White House economists expected that created much of the deficit problem. I estimate that lower than expected inflation and the loss of bracket creep was responsible for about half the budget deficit in 1981 and 1982. It’s also worth noting that the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which was revenue-neutral in the long run, was a fairly substantial revenue-raiser its first year, increasing taxes by $18.6 billion or 0.41 percent of GDP.…
[Reagan's Forgotten Tax Record, by Bruce Bartlett]
The “Reaganite rebellion” wasn’t just about Republicans. It was about a man who could talk to Democrats, because he was once one, too. Neither Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin have that political gene or the ability to reach compromises, which was at the core of everything Reagan did.
Reagan’s rise didn’t appear in a vacuum. After Richard Nixon’s disgrace, then Ford’s nonchalance, then came Jimmy Carter. The entire decade that ended in Ronald Reagan’s run for the presidency and win was about the image Ronald Reagan projected to the American voter about America’s image. Presidential elections always come down to the voters’ feelings about candidates and the image of America they represent. It was about Reagan’s optimism after a decade of demoralization that began with Richard Nixon’s resignation. I was there. I remember it well, with the final straw was Jimmy Carter’s perceived presidential helplessness at a time of great international chaos and confrontation. It wasn’t Ronald Reagan’s policies, for most Americans, it was his brand. The confident, optimistic American who could get us out of anything, even if behind the scenes it was Warren Christopher doing the heavy lifting.
In contrast, Ted Cruz, mimicking Sarah Palin, is all negative, bombast and confrontation.
Ted Cruz has gone the Sarah Palin route.
“This has been one of the strangest weeks I’ve ever had in Washington. As soon as we listed Ted Cruz as our featured guest this week, I got unsolicited research and questions, not from Democrats but from top Republicans, to hammer Cruz.” — Chris Wallace, Fox News Sunday
If Ronald Reagan were around today he’d have sanctioned the opposition research against Ted Cruz in the hopes that Chris Wallace could put the man down. Because in the end Ronald Reagan would always make a deal. He’d never threaten to burn down the United States for the sake of ideology, because his own philosophy was malleable to the moment at hand.