The Ghost of Ronald Reagan tells Mitt Romney to “Get out!”
CALIFORNIA – In a not-so-stunning Super Tuesday turn of events, the state of California – along with most other states voting on Tuesday – sent Mitt Romney a message: “Pack up your stuff and get the hell out of the Ronald Reagan house!” Unfortunately, the house that Reagan built didn’t have a room reserved for good ‘ole Mittens. As it turns out, we at Wag the Dog aren’t the only ones who think Mitt is a joke. The best part is that the joke continues giving us laughs because Mitt has yet to leave the race. Yay – Go Mitt!
Now, let’s take a closer look at this house built by Reagan. Stephen Colbert put it best when he described the house as being built “…in the hardest possible way. Using supply-side economics, you build the top floor first, you prop it up with homeless people, and you hope the rest of the house trickles down.” [please watch this Colbert Report clip]
Basically, the national debt belongs to Reagan, but the Bush economic policy follows the same philosophy. First things first, you’ve got to give tax cuts to the richest of the rich and assume they’ll either spend their tax savings or create jobs in their companies for poor folk (thus, the trickle down economics). Then, you spend trillions of dollars on defense build-up (or in Bush’s case, you spend it on no-bid contracts given to defense contracting companies owned by your friends and/or political supporters who are part of the military industrial complex – see also Carlyle Group). And, finally – here’s the best part of the policy – instead of actually having the money up front to do all this, you borrow the trillions of dollars from other countries, like Japan and China, and leave a mammoth national debt behind for your children and grandchildren to worry about. And here’s the kicker. If anyone complains about the national debt, just tell everyone that the Democrats want to raise your taxes to pay for it! Undoubtedly, there will be MILLIONS of individuals and families earning below $100,000 per year who will think that it’s THEIR taxes that will be raised by the Democrats because the pundits on Fox News say so. Of course, Wag the Dog readers know that it’s only the taxes of individuals earning more than $150,00 or families earning more than $268,000 per year who will see their Bush tax cuts disappear.
By the end of Reagan’s second term, the national debt had reached $2.6 trillion. Perhaps the best way to consider the size of the national debt, however, is in terms of Gross National Product (GNP) – comparing the size of the debt to the size of the economy. Under Reagan, the debt reached 53% of GNP, its highest level since WWII. Today, the national debt exceeds $9.2 trillion (more than $5 trillion is owned by the public – which includes foreign governments). [source]
||Debt Held by the Public
||Total Public Debt Outstanding
Don’t get us wrong. As far as presidents go, we’ll take Reagan over Bush every time. But to hear some millionaire running for president in 2008 boasting that he wants to “strengthen the house that Ronald Reagan built” is a bit much. And this same guy boasts that he “changed the Olympics”. What? How? Did we miss something? Athletes still sped down snow-covered hills wearing skis didn’t they? As far as the Olympics goes, wasn’t Romney merely a glorified event planner? We mean no offense to any event planners out there… we’re sure your work is very important. Anyway, hang in there, Mitt!
Bogart is the Senior Political Correspondent for Wag the Dog. He enjoys searching the Internet for some sign that Reaganomics was a good thing. But at publishing time, no such sign has been located. The search continues…