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It's difficult for conservatives to find a Republican president from modern American history whom they can set forward as a model of the brand of conservatism they are selling today. Republican President Ronald Reagan is the only modern U.S. GOP president whom today's conservatives still speak of with some respect....although I'm not sure how long that will be the case.
Today's Republicans stand together in defiance of any new tax increases....no matter what. These GOP'ers are so extreme in their no-tax religion that they will not even entertain closing tax deduction loopholes for multi-national oil corporations making $11 billion in quarterly profits. Congressional Republicans have been fully indoctrinated to respond to any questions about tax increases this way...."we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem."
These Republicans proudly tell us that they are "footsoldiers in Ronald Reagan's army"...implying that they are following Reagan's legacy when they insist on never increasing taxes. But they aren't. President Reagan......and conservatives may want to be sitting down when reading this.....raised taxes in 7 out of the 8 years of his presidency.
Ronald Reagan raised taxes. Seven times in eight years. Today's Republicans, who say they are only eagerly following in the footsteps of their political Father......astonishingly..... sign blood oath agreements with some guy named Grover Norquist, promising to NEVER raise taxes.....EVER.
As president, Reagan “raised taxes in seven of his eight years in office,” including four times in just two years. As former GOP Senator Alan Simpson, who called Reagan “a dear friend,” told NPR, “Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times in his administration — I was there.” “Reagan was never afraid to raise taxes,” said historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited Reagan’s memoir. Reagan the anti-tax zealot is “false mythology,” Brinkley said.
The alleged Father of today's Republican Party raised taxes 11 times in 7 years......yet today's Republicans, who claim that our number one priority is lowering our national deficit and debt.....have taken tax cuts off the table. Any talk of raising taxes, like Obama's timid suggestion that our richest 1% should pay 3 1/2% more in income tax on everything over $250,000, is responded to by Republicans as a "non-starter."
Today's Republicans have been so broadly hijacked by America's richest few that if Reagan were running for office today, they would label him as a liberal tax and spender, unqualified to hold high office.
That's how extreme the modern Republican Party has become.
Now, even Republican voters are recognizing just how extreme their elected officials and their political party has become.....
...a new CNN poll shows not even self-identified conservatives are in favor of Ryan's scheme.
Among conservatives, 54% are opposed. Among current seniors -- who would not be affected by the changes in the Ryan Medicare plan -- a full 74% are opposed, even after they're told that Ryan's plan affects Americans 55 years of age and younger.
Even Republicans break against Ryan's plan, though only slightly. Fifty percent oppose the plan, while 48% support it.
Let's not forget what Ryan's plan does about taxes. The very reason a larger portion of current Medicare costs are shifted onto future seniors, currently 55 or younger, is to "save" enough money to give wealthy Americans another significant tax break. No kidding. That's Ryan's plan.
Like President Obama said about this portion of Ryan's plan...."that's not what America is about." Ronald Reagan, given his record of tax increases to deal with government revenue shortfalls....would agree.
Today's Republican Party is not the party of Ronald Reagan. The GOP has allowed itself to become the Party of the Oligarchs, representing only the few. The GOP has become the house servant for the richest 1%....willing to wreck the nation if need be to maintain those low tax rates for their masters.
Just as today's Republicans would reject Ronald Reagan for being too willing to raise taxes, too willing to compromise....so too, Ronald Reagan would reject today's Republicans as being too extreme, too radical.
And so should every voter.