It’s become a chanting point on the left lately.
Liberals – many of whom are not capable of carrying Reagan’s jellybean jar – are chanting “Reagan, the [Jon Stewart-issue snark turned on] “Godfather of conservatism”, raised taxes!”
The occasionally-unspoken coda to that? “So you have to do it too!”
But is it true?
Silly people. It’s on lefty blogs. What is the rule with leftyblogs? Always assume it’s a lie, or at least grossly omitted context, until you can prove otherwise. And you can almost never prove otherwise.
If you look into the details – and your liberal friends certainly hope you don’t, because none of them really have (because the whole meme is something they got from Media Matters, that has been passed down from the higher-ranking ranking blogs to the lower-ranking local blogs. It’s the way they roll), you’ll see “no”.
Here’s a year by year walk through the major tax legislation of the Reagan administration, and the cuts (black) or hikes (red) they made in terms of percent of gross revenue.
|Economic Recovery Act of 1981||-1.21||-2.6||-3.58||-4.15|
|“Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 “||0.53||1.07||1.08||1.23|
|Highway Revenue Act of 1982||0.05||0.11||0.1||0.09|
|Social Security Amendments of 1983||0.17||0.22||0.22||0.24|
|Interest and Dividends Tax Compliance Ac of 1983t||-0.07||-0.06||-0.05||-0.04|
|Deficit Reduction Act of 1984||0.24||0.37||0.47||0.49|
|Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985||0.02||0.06||0.06||0.06|
|Tax Reform Act of 1986||0.41||0.02||-0.23|
|Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act 1987||.19||.3|
|Annual Total Cut/Hike As Percentage of Revenues||-1.21||-2.02||-3.30||-2.57||1.88||1.14||0.76||.13|
|Total Tax Cuts||11.99|
|Total Tax Hikes||7.35|
So the table shows us a couple of key facts:
Reagan’s Tax Cuts Were Greater Than The Hikes: Reagan’s total tax cuts outstripped his hikes by over 50%. But even more importantly…
When The Economy Needed Cuts, Reagan Cut Them: During Reagan’s first term, when the economy was reeling from the seventies, Reagan by an average of 2% of revenues per year. The result? The economy boomed. The cuts led directly to one of the greatest economic expansions in history.
Now, if you’ve been listening to your liberal friends, you are intellectually poorer you might say “But in his second term, he turned into a tax-hiking machine, didn’t he?”
Focus, people. This is leftybloggers we’re talking about. Because even if they’re not outright lying (the numbers are right there, so they’re not), they’re leaving out key context.
And so too with this issue. Because…
The Tax Hikes In The Second Term Were A Result Of Democrat Perfidy: Remember – Reagan always faced Democrat legislative majorities. And eventually Reagan had to deal. Part of the deal was that in exchange for some tax hikes, the O’Neill Congress would cut spending.
The Democrat Congress naturally reneged on the deal (as commenter Kermit pointed out yesterday).
So when your liberal friends stand by the water cooler and chant with their glassy eyes and Jon Stewart smirks “Reagan raised taxes”, you can respond “it’s true. Reagan raised taxes – after cutting them much more, and only as part of a deal on which the Democrats cheated”.