Skip to comments.Betraying the Reagan Legacy (Bruce Bartlett Alert)
Posted on 02/28/2006 7:02:23 PM PST by RWR8189
Last week, I published a new book, "Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy." A lot of my friends are not happy with me for writing it, and I have been embraced by a number of people on the left whom I would ordinarily consider my political enemies. Both are mistaken about why I wrote the book and what I hope to accomplish with it.
Some of my former friends on the right have attacked me as an opportunist who sold out his party and his president to get a best-seller. They would not think so if they knew that I started this project knowing that I would probably lose my job with a think tank closely allied with the White House, which I did. My advance on the book was less than the salary I was making, so if I am an opportunist, I'm a pretty poor one.
My new friends on the left are, of course, delighted to find someone on the right who is articulating a critique of George W. Bush. But if they read the book, they will find that my criticism bears nothing in common with theirs. Just because I find fault with a president from my party doesn't mean I've switched sides. On the contrary, I wrote the book in order to help my side win.
My basic argument is that Bush has enacted policies contrary to conservative principles on too many occasions. Some of those that disturb me the most are these:
-- No Child Left Behind Act. Republicans used to campaign on the idea of abolishing the Department of Education. Bush greatly increased its budget, despite a paucity of evidence showing that educational outcomes are correlated with educational spending. No wonder Sen. Ted Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts and Congress' leading liberal, loved it. The "reforms" Bush got in return were far too modest to justify his support for this legislation, and it hasn't even helped him politically. All we ever hear from the education lobby are demands for even more spending.
-- Campaign Finance Reform. I don't know a single conservative who doesn't think that this legislation is a fundamental violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution, the Supreme Court's ruling to the contrary notwithstanding. Personally, I consider Bush to have violated his oath to defend the Constitution by signing this monstrosity, especially since he said he would veto such a bill during the 2000 campaign.
-- Medicare Drug Benefit. This was really the final straw for me. The Medicare system was already $50 trillion in debt in 2003, and we should have been looking for ways to cut its spending, not increase it. The unfunded liability of just the drug benefit added another $18 trillion to that debt, an increase of nearly 40 percent. Sooner or later, this legislation is going to cause a massive tax increase, in my opinion and that of many budget experts.
The book details many other areas where I feel that Bush's policies are totally contrary to Ronald Reagan's. Readers can judge for themselves whether my indictment holds water. The reaction I have received thus far suggests that a lot of conservatives share my concerns and believe that Bush has done deep damage to the conservative movement and the Republican Party.
The last time a Republican president -- Richard Nixon -- sold out his party's core beliefs, it led to huge losses for his party in 1974 and 1976. I think Republicans are deluding themselves if they believe that gerrymandering in the House of Representatives and millions of lobbyist dollars will protect them from big losses this November. It's worth remembering that Republicans took control of Congress in 1994 not because more Republicans voted, but because fewer Democrats did. They, like many Republicans today, were dispirited by a president of their party who took their loyalty for granted.
I think Republicans are also wrong to assume that Democrats will always behave as stupidly as they have lately. One of these days, they are going to get their act together and stop nominating lousy candidates who run awful campaigns. Once Republicans lose the votes of those who are only voting against the Democrats, not for them, they will be in serious political trouble.
I wrote my book so that Republicans and conservatives can start a debate about the future of the party and the movement. If we wait until 2008, it will be much too late. It is important for potential Republican presidential nominees to start thinking about and articulating a vision for the future now. And Republican voters need to ask themselves whether they are satisfied with the direction George W. Bush has led them or whether they would really prefer to get back to the policies and philosophy of Ronald Reagan.
Copyright 2006 Creators Syndicate
More like a Bruce Barlett Barf alert. Any man that sucks up to Lou Dobbs has no credibility.
Guess he forgot too that Reagan signed the 1986 Tax Reform bill that left his successor in a recession.
Guess he forgot that Reagan raised taxes on corporations.
Guess he thinks that educating the poor by forcing testing on students and teachers won't make America stronger.
Guess he thinks that paying for preventive medicine won't help Medicare and Medicade in the long run.
Yup, IMO, he's an opportunist with no vision for the future.
"More like a Bruce Barlett Barf alert. Any man that sucks up to Lou Dobbs has no credibility."
You probably won't be sharing any comments about the words or positions of Bartlett or Dobbs, since your vocabulary seems to stop at "barf" and "sucks."
Once Republicans lose the votes of those who are only voting against the Democrats, and not for them, they will be in serious political trouble.
And he sure has a strange analogy to 1974. He's not talking Watergate, after all.
Guess someone needs to teach Bruce Ronald Reagan's 11th Commandment. But then this is not about principals this is about Bruce selling his book. Actually DEFENDING the Right would not get Bruce invited to all the right TV shows to hype his book. Just another Republican sell out whoring for the Junk media.
More nonsense from the Whine All the Time Choir. The old fraud that they were ever on our side to start with. Their 100% knee jerk constant opposition to Bush no matter the topic indicates they are NO Conservatives. If they were ever truely on our side their would have some things they agree with Bush on. The fact that they opposition is 100% indicates they are not really Conservatives at all. Just more fringe 3 part types who lack the courage to actually tell the truth about the polical fringe dogma. If it were not this they would be whining about something else. The only loyaly they have is to their daily whining.
Yup. You said it.
Everyone who's against Bruce Bartlett thinks Ronald Reagan sucks, so who cares what Bartlett has to say? /sarc
Do these people think that by dragging Reagan down somehow Bush becomes a conservative? Do they think that somehow maligning Reagan makes Bartlett wrong?
Although he is far from perfect, these are big things that mean a lot to me.
I continue to support Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield and Rice and like minded members of the administration.
At least Lou aired some Able Danger not seen elsewhere - his first brownie poiny AFAIC
As far as spending goes, every President spends more money than the last, and Ronald Reagan (My personal hero) spent more than his share, and I agreed with most of it. Just as I do with most of GWB's spending. GWB started out with a 2.0 Trillion Dollar budget, it's now 2.6 Trillion and that includes all the spending after 9/11, except for actual funding for Military Operations. This means GWB has increased spending by roughly 25%. Ronald Reagan increased spending by well over 200% while he was in office and nobody can look back and say he was a failure, we all complained as it was happening, but most of it was needed to fight and win the cold war. The same thing is happening today. We Must win this War against radical Islam and I don't see anybody more capable of making sure that happens than George W. Bush.
We will miss him terribly in 2009, especially if all the people on our side get hysterical over things like how quickly the Federal Government responded to an event Like Katrina, Cheney Hunting accident, Lease sales of Port Terminals to one of our few Allies in the Middle East and pave the way for a Hillary Clinton or Russ Feingold to become our next President
Blind rats following the Pied Pipers that haven't kept faith with their voters by not keeping their campaign promises towards a more limited Govt, but who instead began acting like Democrats, are just as ignorant and therefore despicably uncitizenship-like, as those who re-elected FDR's criminal ass were.
The sad fact is that WE'VE had the freaking majority the whole time and yet have buckled to Democrats on half the major issues. Even if they would have spent more means squat, we didn't have to buy anything from them, just as they didn't from Reps during the whole 44+ years they grew the beast they controlled both houses of.
And to the person defaming RWR's spending - it was primarily on the Democrat congress in control HE HAD to compromise with. Revenues doubled under RWR's 8 years too, and I'm not convinced that spending tripled as the left would have us think.
Bartlett is a free trader...[/shock, gasp]
Get with the program. BOTH sides aim to control our lives and W has proved it by compromising with Rats and doing things RWR would NEVER had considered.
Bartlett is dead right, and he is right to call on conservatives to demand a redress for failure to promote a re-limiting of this corrupt pig of a Govt that covers up it's own responsibility for 9/11 with a whitewash commisssion full of liars and finger pointers.
Individual happiness is inversely proportional to the size of Govt - in case you've forgotten our founding principles.
As far as trashing Reagan to make Bush look better, I agree that should never be done, but comparing the facts about the spending records of both presidents is quite fair. To be fair, Reagan never had to deal with a major attack on our soil and deploy the Military in two major wars. He did have the major task of bringing down the Iron Curtain and in this area I find these two presidents very similar. Both of them firmly believe that Liberty is a God given right and those who deny their people that God given right should be confronted and defeated.
The whole spending complaint should be placed in the laps of the U.S Congress. Their inability to refrain from Pork Barrel spending is reprehensible, especially in this time of war with radical Islam. It's kinda hard to expect this President to Veto the Defense Spending Bill because of the Pork in the Bill. So I hold the Republicans in Congress at fault in that deal.
My basic argument is that Bush has enacted policies contrary to conservative principles on too many occasions.
The book details many other areas where I feel that Bush's policies are totally contrary to Ronald Reagan's.
I wrote my book so that Republicans and conservatives can start a debate about the future of the party and the movement.
Republican voters need to ask themselves whether they are satisfied with the direction George W. Bush has led them or whether they would really prefer to get back to the policies and philosophy of Ronald Reagan.
I don't see how any conservative or right leaning Republican can be satisfied with the Bush domestric agenda.
I also believe that long after I'm dead and gone, this President's spending and policies will have the same effect on my great grandkids and their children ...... a much safer world as another threat to our way of life is vanquished because of the policies of this President.
In a perfect world I would like to see our fiscal situation to much like me and my family live (WITHIN OUR MEANS) but with the way our officials are elected, I see little chance of that happening. they get elected because of what they promise to give, instead of how they mange the money coming in, and it's a damn shame it has to be this way, but it is reality
>>>GWB started out with a 2.0 Trillion Dollar budget, it's now 2.6 Trillion and that includes all the spending after 9/11, except for actual funding for Military Operations. This means GWB has increased spending by roughly 25%. Ronald Reagan increased spending by well over 200% while he was in office...
Bush came into office with a budget of $1.863 trillion in 2001, Clinton's last budget year. Bush`s latest budget is up at $2.777-trillion. That is an increase of 49% from 2001 to 2007. Noting the 2006 budget will come in higher then estimated, as will the 2007 budget.
Reagan came into office with a budget of $678-billion in 1981, Carter's last budget year. Reagan's 1987 budget came in at $1.004 trillion. That is a budget increase of 48%.
Reagan's 48% is a lot lower then the 200% you quoted. And even a tick lower then Bush`s 49%, based on estimated spending projections.
Lets not overlook the big accomplishments by Reagan. Some that get overlooked with the passing of time.
President Reagan won the Cold War, dismantled the Soviet Empire and the communist Eastern Bloc, freeing 500 million people from totalitarian rule, rebuilt the US military, revived the US economy from the worst conditions since the Great Depression, cut taxes 25% across the board, reduced the top tax rates from 70% to 28%, reduced welfare state and non-defense discreationary spending, and reduced federal regulations like no POTUS before or since. Reagan also proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative, aka.STAR WARS. That proposal alone may have been the siginificant factor in bringing down the USSR. Reagan also negotiated reductions in the strategic nuclear weaponry of the worlds two super powers.
If it wasn't for President Ronald Reagan there would be no conservative movement today, no Newt Gingrich and the Contract With America, and no 43rd President called GW Bush.
To be clear here, Ronald Reagan is, and will always be, my hero, his leadership changed the world and his optimism was cantageous. The debate over who spent more money is not the issue IMHO, it's leadership, and I think they both are leaders
Ah yes, good-old name calling, when one cannot dispute the facts.
Bush has had the luxury of a Republican-controlled Congress and still isn't able to cut spending.
LOL! You know you're including yourself too, right?
Swallowed up by massive government spending
Rejection of the Kyoto Protocol and it's underlying assumptions.
Kyoto isn't dead, the envirowackos are taking their time - Bush is too afraid to take on the envirowackos and promote a sound, objective energy policy
Support for the Second Amendment
D.C., Chicago, New York still have unconstitutional gun bans. The 20,000 or so laws are still on the books.
Rejection of the UN as an organization for Global Government.
U.N. still on U.S. soil. U.S. continues to pay the lion's share of membership dues.
You have to have a legitimate starting point. You can't just start with Bush`s first budget. You can't just remove a full year budget year from the equation. The comparision has to be from Clinton's last budget year to the current budget of 2007. This shows the actual increases as the annual budgets have moved forward. Same with Carter and Reagan. I was using comparitive yearly statistical data of 1981 to 1987 and 2001 to 2007. Everything being equal. We can compare Reagan's last budget of 1989, with Bush`s last budget of 2009, once the Bush Presidency has finally ended.
My data come from OMB.GOV, Historical Tables, Section 3, Table 3.1.
I agree with you. Its all about leadership. Reagan was a great leader. Bush is still a work in progress. Bush has done a fine job in the WOT. Although, I'm more concerned with killing the jihad terrorists and keeping active US military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq, then I am concerned with nation building and democratizing the ME. Bush can't do that in three years, or 300 years.
Odd. I thought it was because the Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich, offered the Contract With America. The Democrats offered nothing, and they still don't.
Once Republicans lose the votes of those who are only voting against the Democrats, not for them, they will be in serious political trouble.
I don't buy it. If these people were merely dissatisfied with the Democrats, they could have just refused to vote at all. But, by actively voting Republican only as a means of voting against Democrats, that says their vote is unaffected by Republican behavior. Therefore, there's no reason to believe that the Republicans will lose these people's votes.
Good observation. I've read the book and this man (unlike Bush) is a TRUE conservative. But some so-called conservatives seemed to have established a Bush cult of personality and are impervious to any facts that disturb the image of their hero -- most of whom probably havn't even read the book.
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")
That's the way our system works.
This president is reducing the deficit thanks to the tax cuts.
Frankly, I agree with the priorities set out by the President. He does what he hs to do to achieve those priorites.
The deficit is being reduced. Eventually, if the tax cuts are made permanent and further tax relief is enacted into law, we will be be in a good place financially.
For now, unemployment is LOW and the stock market is doing reasonably well. Housing is a good investment and I fail to see the reason for all the whining by conservatives.
The venue is harmful to the issue, IMO.
To all the Reagan bashers on this thread, I dare to speculate what Reagan would have accomplished if he were President today. And I'd hate to think what Bush would have done had he been in Reagan's shoes. He may have "...looked the man [Brezhnev] in the eye," and got "...a sense of his soul."
Congressional make-up by party during Reagan's tenure. Democratic Party majority counts highlighted in yellow.
The office of the Clerk U.S. House of Representatives
Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present
House Senate Reps Dems Reps Dems 1981-1983 192 243 51 53 46 7 1983-1985 167 268 101 54 46 8 1985-1987 182 253 71 53 47 6 1987-1989 177 258 81 45 55 10
"....most of whom probably haven't even read the book."
Much less our Constitution!!!
I commend your post - and this link is for those who want to see how the Progressives rewrote our constitution via judicial fiat and what new laws allowed what.
BTW, in my book, ANY so-called conservative that holds up criminal FDR as any kind of role model whatsoever is a blatant political hack.
Not sure I follow - is Weinersavage just a joke re: Michael Savage??
I have a hard time listening to him sometimes. Most of what he says is true about left.
He tends towards the same emotionalism that gives the left little credibility.
But hey, any anti-socialist/leftist, no matter how much I may disagree with them on some isssues, I still consider them to be on my team.
You couldn't exactly have a show called Weiner Nation...........LOLOLOL
Another Jew that changed his name? Like Marx's father Herschel Levy did, or Adolph?
What's up with that? Of course I understand stage names etc., just strikes me as funny!
False. "Bush has enacted policies contrary to conservative principles on too many occasions." "Too many" is not "all."
Why not, since they apparently think hating liberals is all it takes to be a conservative?
A massive new Medicare entitlement has made us safer?
Sickening to ponder what might have been.
Bottom line is that Kerry & W are both CFR creatures, and while Reagan was not, his cabinet like W's is chocked full of them as have most presidents and their cabinets been, going all the way back to the big one, and even before.
The CFR usually has a horse from both parties in the race - they win no matter who gets elected. Reagan is the only exception that I can think of.
Bob Grant didn't use his ethnic Italian name when he broke into the business.
Perhaps your bias is showing?