Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) introduced legislation yesterday to replace the likeness of Ulysses S. Grant with that of Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill. Every
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) introduced legislation yesterday to replace the likeness of Ulysses S. Grant with that of Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill.
“Every generation needs its own heroes,” McHenry said in a statement launching his proposal. “President Reagan was a modern day statesman, whose presidency transformed our nation’s political and economic thinking. Through both his domestic and international policies he renewed America’s self confidence, defeated the Soviets and taught us that each generation must provide opportunity for the next.”
Conservatives’ efforts to deify Reagan, of course, are nothing novel. In 1998, a GOP Congress renamed Washington-National Airport to honor the 40th president. There’s that enormous $800 million trade center on Pennsylvania Ave. bearing Reagan’s name. The Navy christened the USS Ronald Reagan, an aircraft carrier, in 2001. And there was even a 2005 congressional push to replace D.C.’s 16th St. in favor of Ronald Reagan Boulevard. (It failed.)
What’s confusing is why Reagan would be the hero of anyone claiming to be a fiscal conservative. In 1980, the year Reagan was elected president, the federal debt was just under $908 billion. Eight years and several tax cuts later, it was $2.6 trillion — a jump of 186 percent.
Put another way: Reagan racked up more debt in eight years than the previous seven presidents had managed in 35 — a span that included the Korean and Vietnam wars.
How disillusioned are Republicans by Reagan’s legacy? In 1998, after the airport renaming, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) called the move a fitting tribute to “the man who initiated the concept of a responsive, smaller government.”
He might have added: that can’t afford itself.
UPDATE: Libertarians aren’t fooled. While GOP leaders were celebrating their claims to fiscal rectitude last month at CPAC, Wes Benedict, head of the Libertarian Party, issued a statement pointing out that Reagan “signed massive spending bills that made his the biggest-spending administration (as a percentage of GDP) since World War II.”
An article posted at CNS News, linked prominently from the Drudge Report, noted that the Obama administration is on track to beat the Franklin Roosevelt administration in terms of average federal spending as a percentage of GDP. However, the article failed to note that the Reagan Administration already beat the Franklin Roosevelt administration easily. Roosevelt’s average was 19.4 percent of GDP, while Reagan’s average was 22.3 percent of GDP.
With that in mind, Reagan’s face on the $50 bill might carry something much different than the flattering symbolism that supporters envision.
$1.3 trillion in federal spending unaccounted for, report finds
Despite calls for independent bodies to keep government accountable, the Sunlight Foundation’s most recent Clearspending report has found the federal
$1.89 billion given to states to fight HIV
The federal government Monday announced more than $1.89 billion in funding to states to fight the HIV epidemic with access to care and with more cash for the failing AIDS Drug Assistance Program. According to an HHS press release , $813 million of that money will go directly to the ADAP programming. An additional $8,386,340 will be issued as a supplement to 36 states and territories currently facing a litany of unmet needs and access issues.
1 Brigade and 1 Battalion
ISTANBUL – It’s 10 p.m. in the lowest level of the Istanbul airport. In 20 minutes I’ll be allowed to board my plane to Kabul, bringing me to the
1. Brian Schweitzer
As governor of Montana, Schweitzer doesn’t represent one of the most highly populated, high-profile electoral states in the country. But this
#1 in Conspiracy Theories
Andrew Young’s tell-all biography of John Edwards, hitting shelves next week, is surging in one Amazon.com category in particular. #1 in Conspiracy
$1 Million for Toomey
Pat Toomey, the former Club for Growth president and leading Republican candidate in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Senate race, has announced a $1 million haul in the
$1 Trillion for Fannie and Freddie?
That is the worst-case scenario, according to Egan-Jones Ratings Co., quoted in a Bloomberg article making the rounds. The agency says that if home prices
$1.3 Million for Brown
The GOP’s candidate in the Massachusetts special election raised more than one million dollars -- double the goal -- in a 24-hour moneybomb on the Ron Paul
Ten Loopholes That Can’t Make It Into FinReg
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, wrote a blog post that lists the loopholes lobbyists most want inserted into Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.)
Bachmann uncomfortable over earmarks ban
Republicans appear to have boxed themselves into a corner with their portrayal of earmarks as wasteful spending, as many of them have backed a moratorium on
Troubled mine holds hope for U.S. rare earth industry
China currently controls 97 percent of the world’s rare earth production. The Mountain Pass Mine could change that -- if it can overcome serious environmental concerns.