Monday, November 21, 2011

Are you a Reagan or a Bush Republican? You can't be both!

So, you say you're a Republican...

But are you a Reagan or Bush Republican? You must choose one, because they are most definitely NOT the same thing.

Although most Republicans over 40 remember the 1980 GOP primary race, many younger people who identify as Republican do not. Those of us who remember know that Ronald Reagan and George Bush weren't friendly at all in the primary, nor were they even remotely close ideologically.

The differences became glaring in the primary debates. When Bush decided to debate, that is.

Reagan insisted other candidates, regardless of their perceived chances, should get a shot in a primary debate. In typical neocon fashion, Bush only wanted to include Reagan and himself in the debate. After the Federal Elections Commission ruled against the funding of the debate, Reagan PAID FOR THE DEBATE HIMSELF. When Reagan invited all the candidates on stage, Bush insisted that they leave. Reagan, reminding the moderator that he paid for the microphone so he should get to speak, told the other candidates to stay.

Eventually, after the crowd had turned decidedly against Bush, Reagan relented. Bush looked quite foolish, and was seen as acting like a coward by refusing to debate.

Afterwards, the head of the Bush campaign complained, "we’ve been sandbagged by Mr. Reagan and we're not gonna forget that tomorrow." Reagan responded by saying, calmly, that the Bush campaign chairman knew that was a lie, and was simply desperate.

In spite of this, Bush had garnered a following among statist, neocon elites, who would have jumped to the Democratic party in order to avoid voting for a conservative Reagan ticket. When first asked about Bush as a potential VP, Reagan replied, "I can't take him; that 'voodoo economic policy' charge and his stand on abortion are wrong." To satiate the growing neocon wing of the GOP, however, Reagan held his nose and named Bush his running-mate at the GOP convention.

After his election, Reagan's Gold Commission, created by an amendment authored by Congressman Ron Paul, was besieged by the neocon establishment. As already noted, "Voodoo economics" is what Bush called Reagan's supply-side economic strategy. Although he made a commitment to verbally support Reagan's platform completely, Bush never supported Reaganomics.

In spite of this opposition, Congressman Paul was able to get gold coins once again minted by the US Mint and available for sale to the general public by 1986. It was a great first step towards restoring the "shining city on a hill" that was once America. It was a step opposed by George Bush.

Finally, when Reagan's 8 years were up, and riding the coat-tails of Reagan's popularity, Bush was able to take the reins of our economy for himself. It was disastrous. The analysis of Bush Economics by Ron Paul in 1988, when he opposed Bush, proved correct when the early 90's recession hit. In the years following his presidency, Federal Reserve actions increased the money supply by the largest amounts in its history in an effort to cover for the bad economic moves made during his 4 years.

This attempt at a manual correction resulted in an apparent turn around in the economy during the Clinton years, but as those who understand the boom/bust cycle know, it was merely the beginning of a bubble that was doomed burst under inflationary pressure.

When G.W. Bush took office, he took largely the same approach to economics as his father and Bill Clinton had taken: Inflate the money supply and spend. After 9/11, he was given a blank check. many of his missteps were overlooked in the wake of such a tremendous tragedy. The bubble, which was approaching critical mass in the late 90s, could not withstand the huge increases in money supply required by a Bush economy.

Bush had some heavy subjects in foreign policy to deal with. That, however, did not change the fact that he made mistakes, HUGE mistakes, with the economy.

There are many other issues where Bush and Reagan differed prior to 1980. From abortion to foreign policy, from monetary policy and economics to helmet laws, Bush and Reagan were at odds. It is amazing how much parity modern day Republicans put between the two opposing points of view. Most importantly, economics.

20 years of Bush era, neocon/neolib inflationary economics have broken our treasury. Reaganomics was not perfect, but, in all fairness, it was never allowed to be implemented. Reagan relented to pressure in an attempt to keep a united GOP. Some of the worst aspects came from concessions, and the best aspects remained unfulfilled. If Congressmen like Ron Paul had received the help from their party leaders that they were promised, 2 decades of waste and government growth would not have occurred.

At every step, Ron Paul has accurately indicated what would happen if the current policies were kept in place. Unfortunately for the country, although he has been correct in his assessments, his analysis continues to go unheeded. Much like any problem where the variables are accurately identified, you simply plug in the numbers and do the math. Bush economics, which are the economic and monetary policies of the neocon/neolib movement, do not work.

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