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During his failed 1994 Senate race, Mitt Romney tried to reassure liberal Massachusetts voters that "I was an independent during the time of Reagan-Bush; I'm not trying to return to Reagan-Bush." Now, Reagan's ghost is getting his revenge.

After Romney defended the carried interest exemption that allows him to pay a lower tax rate than many middle-class families, the Gipper's apparition emerged from 1985 to insist that "the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver." And now that Mitt Romney has slandered the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income taxes thanks to measures like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), the ghost of Reagan is haunting him once again.

As BusinessWeek explained, it was with good reason that President Reagan described the EITC as "the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress."

Reagan strongly supported the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which sends checks to Americans who work but earn less than around $46,000 a year, depending on family size. Recipients of the credit are among those who don't pay income tax, but Reagan never regarded that as a problem. His administration estimated that the 1986 reform of the tax code would remove 6 million working poor from the tax rolls. Reagan called the reform a "sweeping victory for fairness" and "perhaps the biggest antipoverty program in our history."
Which is exactly right.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

While virtually all working Americans shell out payroll taxes to Uncle Sam (and about three-quarters of all American households pay more in those taxes for Medicare and Social Security than in income taxes), incentives like the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits keep millions off the unemployment rolls and out of poverty. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the EITC, which for a couple with two children provides a $5,000 refund at $20,000 in income to zero above $46,000, lifted 6.3 million Americans above the poverty line, including 3.3 million children. (The Child Tax Credit expanded by President Bush helped another 1.6 million children and 2.9 million people overall live above the poverty line.)  As Suzy Khimm of the Washington Post documented, there can be little question that these measures succeeded as designed in reducing dependency on government:

"[T]he overwhelming finding of the empirical literature is that EITC has been especially successful at encouraging the employment of single parents, especially mothers," according to economists Nada Eissa and Hilary Hoynes, in a 2005 study cited by the Center on Budget Priorities.

Another study by University of Chicago economist Jeffrey Grogger found that the expansions of the EITC during the Clinton years "appear to be the most important single factor in explaining why female family heads [of households] increased their employment over 1993-1999″ -- helping to increase single mothers' employment and decrease the welfare rolls, perhaps even more than Clinton's 1996 welfare reform law, the CBPP continues. Altogether, "expansions of the EITC in the 1990s induced more than a half a million families to move from cash welfare assistance to work, according to research by economists Stacy Dickert of Michigan State University, Scott Houser of the Colorado School of Mines and John Karl Scholz of the University of Wisconsin-Madison."

The return on investment doesn't end there. A 2011 study by Harvard and Columbia researchers showed that the EITC raises children's test scores and which also "increase students' probability of college attendance, raise earnings, reduce teenage birth rates, and improve the quality of the neighborhood in which their students live in adulthood."

All of which is why, as Khimm rightly notes about these government policies proven to help families out of poverty and into self-sufficiency, "until now, Republicans have been such fans of them." Among those Republicans, Mitt Romney and his allies are learning the hard way, is the ghost of Ronald Reagan.

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent article- Thanks! (6+ / 0-)

    The current Republicans are just riding on the fading memory of Reagan for economic legitimacy.  It's a spurious notion at best even in 1980, but it's a political eon ago.

  •  It bears repeating (4+ / 0-)

    Saint Ronnie couldn't be elected in today's GOP.  

  •  Weeeellllll...BOO! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 01:43:23 PM PDT

  •  When you're too reactionary even for Reagan (10+ / 0-)

    As Margaret Thatcher might have said, you're focked you wanker.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:07:25 PM PDT

  •  Reagan's ghost in Romney's machine (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, Angie in WA State

    as channeled by B.O.B.?

    And I try to hide, but I just can't hide no more.
    There's nothing worse than feeling like a ghost.

    Tell me where am I supposed to go.
    And who am I supposed to believe.

    Proud to be a Truth Vigilante

    by Calvino Partigiani on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:10:28 PM PDT

  •  St. Ronnie the Socialist -- who knew? (12+ / 0-)

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:10:56 PM PDT

  •  I hated Reagan and blame him for a lot of the (18+ / 0-)

    homelessness problem since it was his policy to drastically cut funds for public housing. But the EITC was a terrific help to families, and IIRC, was very bipartisan.
    It's pathetic that Reagan was rightly considered quite conservative (and his economic policies ballooned the deficit), yet he seems almost liberal compared to today's Republicans.

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:17:01 PM PDT

  •  So much for the Reagan-(Romney)-Ryan ticket. nt (3+ / 0-)

    Fuck Big Brother...from now on, WE'RE watching.

    by franklyn on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:17:13 PM PDT

  •  A sad sign of the times (17+ / 0-)

    when Raygun comes off comparatively well for a corporate shill who instigated more of what is wrong with American politics, government and economics today than anyone else besides Greenspan, arguably. Though Dubya and Sr. win the dunce caps for world lack-of-peace.

    I just flushed my Ronald Wilson Reagan Exclusive Economic Zone. Whaddya know, trickle down theory actually works somewhere.

    by cal2010 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:18:36 PM PDT

  •  ®Money (8+ / 0-)

    It there ANYTHING this man does NOT lie about?

    How did he get elected governor of one of the most lineral states in  the US?  I don't understand that.   He would  have to have been  a completely different person.

    Is the ®Money of today some  kind of diseased Cylon or something?

  •  Never a Prez candidate as sleazy as WM Romney (7+ / 0-)
    •  You'd think so, but look back to the mid-1800s (4+ / 0-)

      and see what some of those US Presidential candidates were like.

      omg.

      1884 Election
      Grover Cleveland vs Former Speaker of the House James G. Blaine

      The issue of personal character marked was paramount in the 1884 campaign. Former Speaker of the House James G. Blaine had been prevented from getting the Republican presidential nomination during the previous two elections because of the stigma of the “Mulligan letters”: in 1876, a Boston bookkeeper named James Mulligan had located some letters showing that Blaine had sold his influence in Congress to various businesses.

      One such letter ended with the phrase "burn this letter", from which a popular chant of the Democrats arose - "Burn, burn, burn this letter!"

      In just one deal, he had received $110,150 (over $1.5 million in 2010 dollars) from the Little Rock and Fort Smith Railroad for securing a federal land grant, among other things.

      Democrats and anti-Blaine Republicans made unrestrained attacks on his integrity as a result. New York Governor Grover Cleveland, on the other hand, was known as “Grover the Good” for his personal integrity; in the space of the three previous years he had become successively the mayor of Buffalo and then the governor of the state of New York, cleaning up large amounts of Tammany Hall's graft.

      "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
      -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
      "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
      -- Angie in WA State

      by Angie in WA State on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:11:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also blame Reagan for AIDS increases and the (10+ / 0-)

    concomitant devastation of the disease during the 80's, and for the epidemics of several childhood diseases -- including more than 100 deaths and about 55,000 hospitalizations from measles.
    He did some good things, but let's not give him a pass on all the destruction he caused.

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:23:02 PM PDT

    •  Reagan caused AIDs to increase? (0+ / 0-)

      Really? And Measles? Do tell. Jeez.

      And I'm sure you'll give Bush Jr credit for his efforts to treat AIDS?

      •  Reagan ignored AIDS when it really mattered. If he (7+ / 0-)

        had taken it seriously in the early 80s, the trajectory of the epidemic could have been far different, and many lives may have been saved. But it was an icky gay disease so it was ok to dismiss.

        Too many people I knew died in those days. I can never forgive him for his inaction (and for many other things like Iran/Contra) and still he looks reasonable compared to the current fuckwits.

        •  Who else was (0+ / 0-)

          all about fighting AIDS then (80's) in the political arena? No one? Carter? Mondale?

          I'll Gibe Bush Jr. credit - he did more than any politician to fight aids. reagan (and others ) were men of their times).

          •  What is your obsession... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lineatus, lanshark, Tamar

            ...with letting Reagan off the hook when it comes to his (mis)handling of the AIDS epidemic?

            Your comparison with Carter and Mondale is irrelevant because they were out of office before anyone outside of a few public health experts in NYC and SF had heard of the cases of a (then) handful of gay men showing mysterious illnesses.  

            No, Reagan could not have prevented AIDS, but his policy of near total neglect was certainly not helpful.  Because a president who was willing to speak up and put some federal effort behind fighting this epidemic in, say, 1984 might have made a difference.  Although I will give him some credit for appointing C Everett Koop at Surgeon General, since Koop was about the only bright spot when it came to dealing with AIDS during the Reagan years.

            Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

            by TexasTom on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:24:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TexasTom, Tamar

              I remember this time quite well, and it marks the time that I first became disillusioned with Reagan (I was a Reagan voter and Republican at the time). He could have done a lot to provide some leadership and stop some of the hysteria that people had about AIDS and AIDS victims.

              If you remember the plight of Ryan White, a middle school student who contracted AIDS from a blood transfusion (White was a hemophiliac) and was ejected from his school, or the Ray brothers (HIV positive children and hemophiliacs whose home was burned down following a court order to allow them to attend their local school) you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

            •  not an obsession (0+ / 0-)

              but i hear this type of argument a lot. Some one person back in day SHOULD have taken  giant stand on some issue, when no one else did. And that is my point. He didn't take a giant magnanimous or heroic stand on an issues that was controversial, new, misunderstood (especially for HIS generation) and even medically people were all over the map on its cause, treatments, etc.

              No he wasn't Mother teresa- but who was?

              •  I'm FROM "back in the day" and was there to see (0+ / 0-)

                Reagan's ineptitude, lack of caring and his administration's hostility to providing what was needed to improve the health of the nation.
                I worked on a large federal child heath survey in the early 90's that was a follow-up to one conducted in the late 80's. There was a set of questions on the earlier study (conducted during the Reagan administration) supposedly to measure whether and how much families experienced barriers to getting health care for their children. But the questions were so bad, you couldn't measure anything with them. I went to the author of the survey, disgusted that he would write such bad questions. He didn't -- his original set of questions on this topic were very good, but the Reagan people had instituted a check on all surveys, and the political appointees rewrote the questions so that there would be no data showing people had trouble getting health care for their children.
                In comparison -- no one from the Clinton administration censored our survey questions and the Clinton administration proposed and successfully passed the Vaccines for Children program which has made a huge difference in the vaccine rates for children in this country.

                We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                by Tamar on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 03:19:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Back to the original point (0+ / 0-)

                  I am too (sort of). And I'm sure they did play awful games like that. But this is off point. Why single reagan out for his insufficient attention to AIDs?

                  •  did you see my quote in the other comment (0+ / 0-)

                    from And the Band Played On?
                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    Public health initiatives originate in the White House since the Secretary of HHS and the Surgeon General and the heads of all the federal health agencies are political appointees of the White House. Having been in public health through several administrations, I can tell you there's a noticeable difference in how Republicans and Democrats handle these issues.
                    Perfect example: flu vaccine shortage in 2004. There was an extremely limited supply, but the Bush administration didn't want too much government interference so they did nothing to organize the supply that was available. So we ended up with situations like my MIL's doctor, who treats mainly elderly people, with no vaccine supply at all while our pediatricians got their usual amount (they kindly agreed to give my MIL a shot). There was no directive from CDC about distribution, because god forbid that the premier public health agency in the nation, the agency responsible for immunization access and data, actually tell anyone what to do.
                    Gerberding, Bush's lovely appointed head of CDC had the same kind of reputation many of Bush's appointees had. Check out this article:
                    http://www.sfgate.com/...

                    If the CDC and Surgeon General were doing nothing about AIDS, it's because the Reagan Administration didn't want them to do anything about AIDS.

                    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

                    by Tamar on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 05:25:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  But my point (0+ / 0-)

                      isn't what admin did or did not provide direction about flu vaccines in 2004.  Again, sigh, heavy sigh, is WHO WAS doing anything in the 80's regarding AIDs from a political perspective? To say he could have? yes. Should have? In a perfect world. But no one was jumping on that back then.

                      And as much as it pains me to say it, Bush2 did more for aids research and treat,meant than any president.

                  •  Why single out Reagan? (0+ / 0-)

                    The answer to that should be obvious:

                    Reagan was president during the period when AIDS was spreading like wildfire!

                    And, needless to say, the job of the president is to provide leadership.  In this particular respect, he failed utterly.  And you can't pin that on Carter (whose presidency ended before anyone other than a very small handful of medical personnel had heard of GRIDS, the original name for AIDS), Mondale (who lost in 1984), or anyone else...because they weren't in the White House during this crucial period.

                    Really, even if you otherwise liked President Reagan, his handling of the AIDS crisis was certainly a failing.

                    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

                    by TexasTom on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 06:36:18 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  BUt who else (0+ / 0-)

                      even brought it up? It wasn't a campaign issue  see: CARTER/ MONDALE (that I can recall) and It wasn't even a high profile public issue (sadly) until Magic Johnson. My point is it is easy to say THAT PERSON should have done something way back when I wasn't around.

                      But is one thing to say it is a shame that Reagan wasn't on the bleeding edge of a radical new mysterious medical condition showing leadership on an issue that was just emerging and, as the diarist did, say he was to blame for more AIDS cases.

      •  immunization rates among children were dropping (0+ / 0-)

        to low enough levels that public health officials knew there would likely be big outbreaks.
        The Reagan administration chose to address the problem by discontinuing the surveys that showed the rates were dropping. They made no effort to improve access to immunization or to make sure children were getting the vaccines they needed. There were a number of epidemics (measles, mumps, pertussis and rubella) in the late 80's because of the lack of immunization coverage.  Measles was the worst of them. In another comment, I overstated the hospitalizations, but there were 130 deaths, 11,000 hospitalizations and 55,000 cases of measles reported between 1989 to 1991. (I published an article on this in 1994:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/... )
        On AIDS, while there is certainly plenty of blame to go around, Reagan was the president and he essentially ignored the problem even though he knew it was a growing and dangerous issue. The author of the book: And the Band Played on:

        Shilts accused Ronald Reagan of neglecting to address AIDS to the American people until 1987—calling his behavior "ritualistic silence"—even after Reagan called friend Rock Hudson to tell him to get well.[35] After Hudson's death and in the face of increasing public anxiety, Reagan directed Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to provide a report on the epidemic. Though Koop was a political conservative, his report was nevertheless clear about what causes AIDS and what people and the U.S. government should do to stop it, including sex and AIDS education provided for all people.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/...

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 03:10:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just for the record (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    basquebob, Aunt Pat, Cedwyn, lanshark

    we counted Joe Scarboroughs Reagan mentions the other morning - at least 4 in less than 5 minutes. Joe is practically begging Mitt to go all Reagan on us - but in this tea party world it will never work. Heck of a job Dick Armey!

  •  Have I missed something, somewhere? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    basquebob, NoMoreLies

    Obama is talking about raising the upper income tax bracket on federal income tax.

    If you really wanted to fix this disparity, you would either get rid of the capital gains tax loophole or put some absolute maximum on its use on personal income tax.

    And yet I haven't heard that yet and I don't think Obama will broach the subject of reducing the capital gains tax loophole during the debates.  Mitt will stand there and go, "oh well, yes, I pay less, but it's because of capital gains, which even the president recognizes the need for, bla bla bla..."  Because, by default, Obama does, doesn't he?

    You could raise the highest tax bracket rate to 100% and it wouldn't change Mitt Romney's 14% income tax very much, because it's all Richie Rich investment income.  

    So all of this discussion is bullshit.  Sorry to say.

    •  Yes you missed, badly (16+ / 0-)

      On Thursday the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees held a rare joint hearing on taxing capital gains in the context of tax reform. The timing couldn't be better because President Obama recently restated his support for lifting the top capital gains tax rate next year on those with earnings above $250,000 to 23.8%, or almost 60% above today's 15% rate. If Mr. Obama's Buffett Rule is also adopted, the rate would rise to 30% for those earning $1 million—the highest rate since the late 1970s.

      http://online.wsj.com/...

      •  Quote (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dsb, bear83, Angie in WA State

        The above is a quote, sorry, posting from a tablet, I mess up.

      •  Tax It All The Same (10+ / 0-)

        I don't care if it's revenue neutral, but the favorable treatment of capital must be removed from the tax code.  Working for a living should not suffer a tax penalty.  There was a time when the favorable tax treatment of capital was a net boon to the country, when we needed capital for development.  Now, we don't need so much development, so the distortion in favor of capital is only benefiting other countries, driving development in other countries, but not here.  It's no longer helping us in this country, so it should be discontinued.

        •  I don't think it ever helped more than the 1% (7+ / 0-)

          in this country (they were, after all, the original lobbyists of the tax rate), but I do agree that it is immoral to argue that accumulating wealth is worth a penny more than actual labor.

          "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

          by progressivist on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:46:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  In an era where we see that "Jobs Creators" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoreLies, basquebob, Calamity Jean

            are NOT Businesses or Wealthy Investors...

            but rather the demand created by Working & Middle Class CONSUMERS. When they have extra cash, they spend it, or at least most of it...

            which leads to the businesses needing extra workers to meet the demand of the consumers who shop there.

            Proof positive that if the US Congress wants to manipulate the IRS Tax Code to benefit Jobs Creators, they they need to assess the same INCOME Tax Rate on all income, regardless of source (hmmm... now where have I heard that before... hint: 16th Amendment).

            Removing any benefit to the wealthy for creating jobs, as they do not create jobs merely by dint of having money. That is patently absurd, and it's past time that people stopping pretending it were true.

            In addition, they might want to reconfigure the EIC (earned income tax credit), to further subsidize the lower end of the income scales, as any Tax Return checks to them will be almost immediately injected into the economy upon receipt creating demand and thus, jobs.

            Imagine, if you will, the spooky ambiance which would pervade the hall where a Presidential Debate were held in which the preceding were presented as a Democratic goal? The Republicans heads would simply explode from the sheer audacity of the person with the nerve to say out loud, on broadcast TV, that the Tax Code is designed to keep the wealthy wealthy and the poor, poor - and that we should do something to change that...

            oh, boy...

            "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
            -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
            "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
            -- Angie in WA State

            by Angie in WA State on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:27:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Oh... (0+ / 0-)

        Very good.  Carry on.

        I'd be very pleased if this came up in the debates.  I still suspect this will go nowhere.

        •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cedwyn, Calamity Jean

          ...that increase really already is the law.  Part of it is the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, and the other part is from the ACA.

          Specifically, if the Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire, that increases the capital gains tax rate from 15% to 20%.  The ACA tacks another 3.8% on top of that amount, for the total of 23.8%.

          Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

          by TexasTom on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 10:27:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not sure if you missed it or I did, but... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      basquebob

      My understanding is that President Obama wants to raise the capital gains tax from 15% to 20% - of course this idea goes over like a lead balloon in the GOP (same as most of the proposals by our President).

      I'm unable to research this at the moment (and not in my area of legislative focus these days) but if you find definitive information as to where this potential increase stands I would be appreciative - this is an important issue.

      Good diary by the way.

    •  The way I understand it, (4+ / 0-)

      what you say is absolutely correct. The real problem is that in the dogmatic times that we live in taxing capital gains is some sort of apostasy, but when you read Adam Smith the opposite should be true. I can understand in a time when capital was truly invested to create new industries and expand existing ones that such capital would be given some preferential treatment. But in our times when most capital seeks rents and uses financial engineering to enrich a few rather than producing tangibles that benefit most of the population, the practice should be penalized through higher taxation. That we don't and that most people really don't understand why we should, tells the story of how far we have strayed.

      "The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Belief in myths allows the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." -John F. Kennedy

      by basquebob on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:54:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is interesting (0+ / 0-)

    Something I've always found interesting is the attitude and opinions expressed whenever there is some sort of tragedy in the USA, whether that be man-made via a horrific crime or a tragedy brought about via mother nature that reaps disaster upon a community or neighbourhood.

    During these times you always hear stories about people sharing, coming together, and helping each other out and how wonderful it is to see people sharing and caring for each other so much.

    What I don`t understand is why people applaud such actions at these disastrous times, but when it comes to government attempting to implement policies so that everyone gets a fair chance at the American dream, it suddenly becomes socialism with some of the same people espousing, “everyone for themselves” and “only the strong survive” attitudes.

    •  There is a distinct difference (0+ / 0-)

      between people of a community pitching in to help their neighbors each other and a centralized, often bloated and inefficient government program. Or so the argument goes.  I can see that up to a point.

  •  There's (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, the good witch, mrsgoo, Cedwyn

    1) Never Knowing Poverty and that's Romney

    2) Knowing Poverty and forgetting

    3) Knowing Poverty and never forgetting and that's Obama

    I just can't tell if Reagan; being an actor; was in category 2 or 3

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:25:35 PM PDT

  •  What A Pinko That Reagan Was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angie in WA State

    Republicans don't know their political deity very well, do they.

  •  SOCIAL SECURITY was the biggest anti-poverty (10+ / 0-)

    program in the history of the country, and still is despite an average benefit of just over a thousand dollars a month. It's what has allowed seniors to live in independence and dignity since it was passed in the 1930s. I don't think people can properly appreciate how stunning elder poverty was in the days when few had pensions, and when you stopped being able to work you became a pauper. Well over half of citizens in their 60s and older were in the most abject kind of poverty imaginable prior to social security. It didn't just raise seniors' quality of life, it promised working and middle class people that they could count on something at the end of a working life and not live in constant financial fear. Medicare in the 60s obviously was the necessary addition to that, so that seniors also did not have to live in misery and illness, necessarily, or be consigned to waiting for death, but have a prosperous and even productive retirement.

    With all due respect to the EITC, it's nothing compared to what Social Security did for this country.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:40:34 PM PDT

  •  EITC, though, best anti-WELFARE program ever (4+ / 0-)

    Since it addressed that "gap" where you could be, ironically, too poor to be able to work, in that you could make less money working than you could on various forms of social assistance. And that was an awesome idea and still is.

    Some people are intolerant, and I CAN'T STAND people like that. -- Tom Lehrer

    by TheCrank on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:42:11 PM PDT

  •  So Reagan too was a Socialist Redistributor (4+ / 0-)

    Romney is not ready for prime time.

  •  Once the baggers see "more children = more money" (0+ / 0-)

    you think they'll start calling for the gummint to increase Planned Parenthood funding?

    Thanks, Mitt. Really. Thank you for being such a craptastic candidate.

    by here4tehbeer on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 07:46:30 PM PDT

  •  The real question is why does Romney hate Reagan? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    progressivist, dsb, Quantumlogic

    Why is he trying to destroy Reagan's legacy by gutting his programs?  At least that's what I tell my Republican acquaintances.

  •  You're a better person than I. I will never ever (3+ / 0-)

    be able to say "Reagan was rii".

    Wait.

    "Reagan was rrrr ".

    Can't do it.

    It's a great program, though!

  •  a Question................... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexasTom, Cedwyn

    has anyone who has seen Mitt's tax returns looked into answering the question:

    Is Mitt better off now than he was four years ago?


    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous..........got me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:32:24 PM PDT

  •  Romney: The glass isn't half-full or half-empty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKinTN, Cedwyn

    It's half-lazy.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 08:33:19 PM PDT

  •  oh, boy... (0+ / 0-)

    You know, if you keep on posting stuff like this:

    Reagan strongly supported the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which sends checks to Americans who work but earn less than around $46,000 a year, depending on family size. Recipients of the credit are among those who don't pay income tax, but Reagan never regarded that as a problem. His administration estimated that the 1986 reform of the tax code would remove 6 million working poor from the tax rolls. Reagan called the reform a "sweeping victory for fairness" and "perhaps the biggest antipoverty program in our history."
    You are going to force me to rethink my position on Ronald Wilson Reagan as the scourge of the 19th century. I'm not sure I'm ready for that....

    I was a young adult when Reagan won the White House (and describing it as by "hook or by crook" seems quite apropos, considering the whole 'arms for hostages' deal his VP (GWH Bush) and team negotiated with the Iranian fundamentalists holding 52 fellow Americans hostage.

    Wiki has a good, short take on the entire Iran-Contra imbroglio.

    The Iran–Contra affair (Persian: ایران-کنترا‎, Spanish: caso Irán-contras), also referred to as Irangate, Contragate or the Iran-Contra scandal, was a political scandal in the United States that came to light in November 1986. During the Reagan administration, senior Reagan administration officials secretly facilitated the sale of arms to Iran, the subject of an arms embargo.[1] Some U.S. officials also hoped that the arms sales would secure the release of hostages and allow U.S. intelligence agencies to fund the Nicaraguan Contras. Under the Boland Amendment, further funding of the Contras by the government had been prohibited by Congress.

    "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.''
    -- SCOTUS Justice O.W. Holmes Jr
    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"
    -- Angie in WA State

    by Angie in WA State on Sat Sep 22, 2012 at 09:38:20 PM PDT

    •  No need to rethink. (0+ / 0-)

      This diary is VERY forgiving of Reagan, who only supported the EITC as a way of costuming his huge tax cuts to the top brackets as "alms for the poor."

      He was bullshitting.

      Still enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 06:26:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Romney Triptych (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies

    The Wake:

    If this election goes the way New York Times pollster Nate Silver, (Intrade gives him a 29% chance) and Huffington Post pollsters, conservative columnists, among others think it's going then foreign policy or alien invasion, the Republican party may, good riddance, go the way of the Whigs, a 19th century party that died because of factionalism within the party over the issue of expanding slavery into the territories. Given that the Republican party is home to corporatist greed junkies ( see the Night of the living Dead House of Representatives stooges), the new robber barons personified by fat of the land cutie pie Sheldon Adelson (with an aspirin between his knees and one-armed bandits for eyeballs), right wing religiosos, mysogynists (who can't keep their political hands off women's reproductive health issues), veiled racists vs chair lynchers, homophobes, and neo-nazis (see Arthur Jones, Illinois), among other delightful factions vying for anger management poster child of the century, it's hard not to imagine that something like cell division--mitosis for starters--isn't in the tea leaves. Willard on pay per view, only 50,000 a pop.

    Philosophical Interlude:

    Mitt strolls into an ice cream parlor wearing a hairy woodpecker, a yellow warbler and a blue-footed boobie on his head. The soda jerk asks, "Where did you get that?" The hairy woodpecker, the yellow warbler and the blue-footed boobie answer, Cayman Islands--jerk-off, they're falling out of the trees.

    The 47% Solution: President Obama.

  •  Holy cats the GOP has moved far to the right (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, Calamity Jean

    When Ronald Wilson Reagan, kids, would now be considered a lefty under the current definitions.

    Never thought I would live through that happening.

    But then again, Ronnie did start out as an FDR Democrat.

  •  America has not changed in 50 years...!!! (0+ / 0-)

    "Take my word for it"...Joseph Smith said about the "Golden Plates"....

    "Take my word for it"...Mitt Romney said about his taxes from 2002-2009....

    THE AMERICAN ELECTORATE IS A BUNCH OF SUCKERS...!!!!

  •  Great diary. Reagan is just a symbol (0+ / 0-)

    and facts do not matter because we humans are wired to have our fact-based rational brain overwhelmed easily by visceral and emotional impressions, alas.

    My favorite Reagan clip, BTW:
    Reagan Campaigns for Truman in 1948.

    Reagan campaigning for Truman. Transcript:


    "This is Ronald Reagan speaking to you from Hollywood. You know me as a motion picture actor but tonight I'm just a citizen pretty concerned about the national election next month and more than a little impatient with those promises the Republicans made before they got control of Congress a couple years ago.

    I remember listening to the radio on election night in 1946. Joseph Martin, the Republican Speaker of the House, said very solemnly, and I quote, "We Republicans intend to work for a real increase in income for everybody by encouraging more production and lower prices without impairing wages or working conditions", unquote. Remember that promise: a real increase in income for everybody. But what actually happened?

    The profits of corporations have doubled, while workers' wages have increased by only one-quarter. In other words, profits have gone up four times as much as wages, and the small increase workers did receive was more than eaten up by rising prices, which have also bored into their savings. For example, here is an Associate Press Dispatch I read the other day about Smith L. Carpenter, a craftsman in Union Springs, New York. It seems that Mr. Carpenter retired some years ago thinking he had enough money saved up that he could live out his last years without having to worry. But he didn’t figure on this Republican inflation, which ate up all of his savings, and so he's gone back to work. The reason this is news, is Mr. Carpenter is 91 years old.

    Now, take as a contrast the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, which reported a net profit of $210 million after taxes for the first half of 1948; an increase of 70% in one year. In other words, high prices have not been caused by higher wages, but by bigger and bigger profits.

    The Republican promises sounded pretty good in 1946, but what has happened since then, since the 80th Congress took over? Prices have climbed to the highest level in history, although the death of the OPA was supposed to bring prices down through "the natural process of free competition". Labor has been handcuffed with the vicious Taft-Hartley law. Social Security benefits have been snatched away from almost a million workers by the Gearhart bill. Fair employment practices, which had worked so well during war time, have been abandoned. Veterans' pleas for low cost homes have been ignored, and many people are still living in made-over chicken coops and garages.

    Tax-reduction bills have been passed to benefit the higher-income brackets alone. The average worker saved only $1.73 a week. In the false name of economy, millions of children have been deprived of milk once provided through the federal school lunch program. This was the payoff of the Republicans' promises. And this is why we must have new faces in the Congress of the United States: Democratic faces.

    This is why we must not only elect President Truman, but also men like Mayor Hubert Humphrey of Minneapolis, the Democratic candidate for Senator from Minnesota. Mayor Humphrey at 37 is one of the ablest men in public life. He's running against Joe Ball, who was a member of the Senate Labor Committee, helped write the Taft-Hartley law. The Republicans don't want to lose Ball, and are spending a small fortune on his campaign. They've even sent [Thomas] Dewey and [Earl] Warren to Minneapolis to speak for him. President Truman knows the value of a man like Hubert Humphrey in the Senate, and he has been in Minneapolis too, campaigning against Joe Ball. Mayor Humphrey and Ball are the symbols of the political battle going on in America today. While Ball is a banner carrier for Wall Street, Mayor Humphrey is fighting for all the principles advocated by President Truman; for adequate low cost housing, for civil rights, for prices people can afford to pay, and for a labor movement freed of the Taft-Hartley law. I take great pride in presenting my friend from Minneapolis, Mayor Hubert H. Humphrey, candidate for United States Senator."

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