Truth About Reagan Not Same as the Myth

Editor, News-Register:

I wonder what would be the response of Republican conservative pundits and lawmakers, respective to their 20th Century “gold standard” of Presidents Ronald Reagan if the following that took place under his leadership were taking place in today’s most hostile political environment.

Some examples of President Reagan’s less than conservative legacy include:

1. Although candidate Reagan condemned our nation’s swelling budget under his predecessors, the federal budget deficit grew to record levels and the national debt more than tripled during his presidency.

2. Candidate Reagan often spoke of the need for a smaller government, but during his presidency, the number of civilians employed by the federal government increased dramatically.

3. Although he often advocated for lower taxes, they increased 11 times while he was in the White House.

4. Reagan promoted himself as a staunch anti-communist, referring to the Soviet Union as “the evil empire,” but engaged with intense negotiations with Soviet leaders, which lead to very positive results.

5. Reagan gave a speech at Kolmeshele Cemetery in Bitburg, Germany, where 49 Nazi SS officers were known to be buried.

6. Although history seems to indicate that the Reagan years were prosperous ones for our great nation, when in fact although the top 1 percent of income earners saw their “real income” increase by 17 percent, income fell by 7 percent for the bottom 20 percent of Americans. An inequity that had not been realized for the previous 100 years!

7. As president, Reagan granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

8. A terrorist attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, during which 274 Americans were killed, which led to Reagan’s order to systematically withdraw our troops from that nation would today be met with the charge of “cutting and running.”

9. The Iran-Contra affair, when our government, under President Reagan, literally sold weapons to Iran to precipitate the release of American hostages, while providing money from the documented “overpayment” to support the Nicaragun Contra rebels, which was a clear violation of the Boland Amendment, and by any estimation and impeachable offense.

Can you imagine the indignant outcries of Republicans/conservatives of the present era, especially of the perpetrator of the aforementioned happened to be a Democrat?

Instead, the largely strategically manufactured image created by conservatives of Ronald Reagan prevails and the actual facts of the “Reagan years” remain largely silenced.

Richard Hord

Martins Ferry