8 reasons why Ronald Reagan was the worst president of our lifetime
If you ever happen to come across a Republican on television these days, chances are that you will hear the name Ronald Reagan. Recent Republican debates are the perfect example of the love fest that the current Republican party has for Reagan as each candidate name drops the former president at every turn. If you only listened to conservatives you would think that Jesus Christ was the only person above Reagan on the totem pole of conservative love. They talk about his love of low taxes, less government and conservative family values. The problem is that when you step out of the conservative dream and come back to reality, you find that not only was Ronald Reagan a bad president, but he was one of the worst presidents we've seen in modern times. Reagan's policies have destroyed the United States for three decades, and for the eight years he was in office, here are eight reasons why Ronald Reagan was the worst president of our lifetime.
1. Reagan cut taxes for the Rich, increased taxes on the Middle Class -
Ronald Reagan is loved by conservatives and was loved by big business throughout his presidency and there's a reason for it. When Reagan came into office in January of 1981, the top tax rate was 70%, but when he left office in 1989 the top tax rate was down to only 28%. As Reagan gave the breaks to all his rich friends, there was a lack of revenue coming into the federal government. In order to bring money back into the government, Reagan was forced to raise taxes eleven times throughout his time in office. One example was when he signed into law the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982. Reagan raised taxes seven of the eight years he was in office and the tax increases were felt hardest by the lower and middle class.
2. Tripling the National Debt -
As Reagan cut taxes for the wealthy, the government was left with less money to spend. When Reagan came into office the national debt was $900 billion, by the time he left the national debt had tripled to $2.8 trillion.
3. Iran/Contra -
In 1986, a group of Americans were being held hostage by a terrorist group with ties to Iran. In an attempt to free the hostages, Ronald Reagan secretly sold arms and money to Iran. Much of the money that was received from the trade went to fund the Nicaragua Contra rebels who were in a war with the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. When the scandal broke in the Untied States it became the biggest story in the country, Reagan tried to down play what happened, but never fully recovered.
4. Reagan funded Terrorists -
The attacks on 9/11 by al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden brought new attention to international terrorism. All of a sudden, Americans coast to coast wore their American flag pins, ate their freedom fries and couldn't wait to go to war with anyone who looked like a Muslim. What Americans didn't realize was that the same group that attacked the United States on 9/11 was funded by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. Prepping for a possible war with the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan spent billions of dollars funding the Islamist mujahidin Freedom Fighters in Afghanistan. With billions of American dollars, weapons and training coming their way, the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden took everything they were given and gave it back to the United States over a decade later in the worst possible way imaginable.
5. Unemployment issues -
When Ronald Reagan came into office 1981, unemployment was at 7.5%. After Reagan cut taxes for the wealthy, he began raising taxes on the middle and lower class. Corporations started to ship more jobs out of the United States while hiring cheap foreign labor in order to make a bigger profit. While corporations made billions, Americans across the country lost their jobs. As 1982 came to a close, unemployment was nearly 11%. Unemployment began to drop as the years went on, but the jobs that were created were low paying and barely helped people make ends meet. The middle and lower class had their wages nearly frozen as the top earners saw dramatic increases in salary.
6. Ignoring AIDS -
By the time the 1980s came around, AIDS had become one of the most frightening things to happen to the country in recent memory. No one understood what AIDS and HIV really was and when people don't understand something, they become scared of it. The fear of the unknown was sweeping across the country and Americans needed a leader to speak out about this horrible virus, that leader never came. Instead of grabbing the bull by the horns and taking charge, Reagan kept quiet. Reagan couldn't say the words AIDS or HIV until seven years into his presidency, a leader not so much.
7. Reagan gave amnesty to 3 million Undocumented Immigrants -
In today's GOP, the idea of any immigrant staying in the United States whether they are legal or illegal isn't something that conservatives embrace. What might shock them is that in 1982 Ronald Reagan gave nearly 3 million undocumented workers amnesty. The biggest reason for undocumented workers coming to the United States is because corporations hire them at a cheaper rate than they would an American citizen. All the laws that would have cracked down on companies who hire undocumented workers were, of course, removed from the bill.
8. His attack on Unions and the Middle Class - The Republican war on unions and the middle class has been heating up in states like Wisconsin and Ohio, but it has been going on for a long time. Unions are formed to give a united voice to the workers in an attempt to create fairness between the corporations and their employees. On August 3rd, 1981, PATCO (Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization) went on strike in an effort to get better pay and safer working conditions. Two days later, taking the side of business, Ronald Reagan fired 11,345 workers for not returning to work.
- There are a lot of great reasons Reagan sucked as a president. For me, the biggest one is how he and his PR team made it socially acceptable to hate, blame and bash the poor.
There has always been a streak of "hate the poor" in American life and politics but during the Reagan years it became more socially acceptable than it had ever been when I was growing up. It was no longer necessary for conservatives to even try to hold back their contempt for America's poor.
Even more than the ridiculous "trickle down" economics, a fantasy still popular among Republicans, the open hatred and demonizing of the poor is the lasting legacy of Ronald Reagan.
- Such offensive garbage. Get bashed OP. Let us know when you've accomplished anything close to what Reagan accomplished. Nasty ass queen.
- Uh oh. Freeper R2 hears the truth and gets scared.
OP's article is too kind to Reagan. He was worse than that.
Thanks for posting OP
- Just f&f R2 and send his ass back to freerepublic.
- It leaves out how he celebrated greed and not caring about anyone but yourself and your path to wealth. And even worse was how he encouraged a celebration of ignorance and cut education.
- Perhaps, R2 would like to explain to us exactly what is inaccurate in the OP's post? Reagan tripled the national debt, cut taxes for the wealthy, attacked the unions, funded terrorists, and ignored the AIDS crisis. What is so offensive about the truth?
- Something that has not gotten significant attention is how during the Reagan years the deregulation of business accelerated. It got a lot easier to screw over customers and mistreat workers. And it's hard to get those things back once they've been dismantled.
- One letter for why Reagan is not the worst President: W.
- Is there suppose to be a debate about OP's theory?
- Lifting the regulations that prohibited the consolidation of media ownership was another crime of the Reagan administration. Five or six companies now own virtually every private TV network and affiliate, movie studio and radio station, magazine and book publishing company in America. Their choke-hold on the flow of information and their power to control the narrative of our society are an often overlooked peril.
- The judges he appointed. More unqualified people were elevated to the federal bench than the nation had scene in at least 150 years.
- Give it up, OP, he was the most popular president in US history He won almost every state in his reelection, including NY and Calif and lots and lots of Dems.
- he was evil, through and through. now back to free republic, with you r12, and take you homophobe froend r2 with you.
- seen obviously.
He treasonously bargained with Iran to keep the hostages confined until his inauguration and paid Iran off with arms from Israel.
He caved to terrorism in Beirut in 1983.
He launched an invasion of Grenada under false pretenses, and it was botched.
He encouraged banks to go on a huge Latin America debt binge and meddled with the affairs of Latin countries, leading to starvation and economic collapse in many of them.
He enouraged the apartheid regime in South Africa to stand firm.
He wasted many billions on military projects that were impractical and corrupt.
His EPA was the worst despoiler of the land in decades.
He put magical thinkers in charge of NASA which led to disaster.
More high officials of the government under Reagan were prosecuted for crimes than in any administration before or since.
Edwin Meese declared war on gay people and pornography.
The war on drugs was a thinly veiled race war.
He dumped the mentally ill onto the streets.
His CIA got into the drug running business.
The USA went into permanent trade deficit under Reagan.
His director of OMB admitted that the deficit spending was intended to force the government to cut its entitlement programs.
- Again, an ignorant jackass confuses competence with popularity: R12,
- My aunt's friend who was a stylist to ALL the big names in DC said that Ronald Reagan was a drooly-lipped pants-shitter at the end of his first term and that Nancy had to order specially-made monkey diapers so Ronnie wouldn't tear them off.
Alexander Haig resigned because he couldn't stand the ass stench. And that's how George "No-Nose"Shultz became RR's SoS.
- I can think of A LOT more than 8 reasons to hate Reagan.....but I get the general drift of this thread, of course.
- He apparently was responsible for some kind of change in banking regulations as well that lead to today's massive consumer debt.
I remember in the '70s it was almost impossible to get a credit card. By the end of Reagan's 12 years in office, it was almost impossible not to get one, and a Gold Card at that.
The Fairness Doctrine went away under his watch too, and gave us idiots like Rush Limbaugh.
- he was a horrible, small man (regardless of his large movie cowboy stature) and his 8 year reign indeed can be blamed for many of the current ills facing this country.
- Informercials. We have them because of Reagan's deregulation that also allowed more commercials per hour of television programing.
There is an impact even asshats can get mad about.
- But how would asshats know about the latest Ronco inventions, R21? Who do you think buys them?
- R12, you are wrong. Bill Clinton was at the end of his second term, despite Monica.
Reagan began the Republican policies that persist today and are the foundations of their approach to gov't. He mostly was successful in implementing his program- in that sense he was effective- if dead wrong and as such has contributed as much as any President to our current problems.
But by far the worst President of my lifetime was G W Bush. He bungled everything and got us into the two longest wars of our history- both of which were politically strategically and morally wrong. Getting Al Qaeda was the goal- not war Iraq and Afganistan- and he foolishly abandoned that moving special op forces to Iraq. He also was stupid enough to continue the Reagan tax cutting policy in the supposed effort to stimulate economic growth- which Reagan provded did not work when he subsequently increased taxes after decreasing them because of continued poor growth in the economy.
Bush was incompetent and surrounded by others(neocons Cheny etc) who were simple dead wrong on every major issue, or sycophants (Condi). He will go down in history as the worst or near worst. Reagan will be viewed as a leader of failed policies.
- what r24 said...Christ, W was just horrible on so many levels.
If somehow, Jeb Bush gets the repuke nomination in 2016 and is elected, my head will explode.
- I remember being alarmed during Bush 43's presidency and some well-informed friends of mine said, "This is nothing compared to what Reagan did."
- Seriously, I think getting rid of the fairness doctrine was the most damaging thing he did. It shifted control of the media away from the public's best interest.
- He had camera charisma. Movie actor.
- I disagree with just about everything on this thread and was about to respond, and then thought, "nah, why bother?"
- What R2 says....
- Bush 43 was a worse President than Reagan...
Bush had Cheney acting as President, Reagan kept Cheney out.
Bush appointed Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary.
Bush invaded and tried to occupy Iraq.
Trying to privatize social security.
- I was a lobbyist during his earliest days and I saw the emergence of right wing nutjobs in the administration that no respectable republican before would have paid the slightest mind to.
They first started creeping up in small appointed positions and like cockroaches they multiplied and were everywhere - on the bench, throughout all the agencies.
Even some of what used to be considered conservatiove Senators or Members of Congress were a bit taken aback by the extremism and the nastiness.
When Reagan started to deregulate the banks my mom warned me that this was very dangerous - she had been in stocks and bonds at a huge NYC savings & loan bank before she married. There was, after all, a reason the regs were first put in place following the stock market crash and it wasn't to jam the rich.
- Reagan deregulation resulted in e coli in ground beef and salmonella in eggs and chicken.
Reagan interior secretary, James Watt, declared the BEACH BOYS dangerous hippies who encouraged drug use and alcoholism and had attracted "the wrong element."
Have the first trillion dollar deficits -- under Reagan -- been mentioned? I'll mention it again.
The worst is that no one will TOUCH Reagan today, not even Democrats. He's established such an iconic image based on myths, everyone's afraid.
- R33, MARY!
- R33 - Reagan didn't give us trillion dollar deficits. Bush did.
- You're mistaken, dumbass, r35. Reagan lowered taxes and increased spending = the recipe for trillion $ deficits! Bush did the same thing only worse.
You are an ignorant little ass, aren't you r35, in love with Ronnie's image by chance?
- After the no cost to taxpayer redesign of White House rooms Nancy's designer and his partner were allowed to spend the night in one of the famous rooms.
- R36 Yes, you are right. Reagan cut taxes and increased defense spending which led to larger deficits, but they did not hit a trillion till 2007-8. See link.
I'm no fan of Reagan, but I think Bush was far worse.
- I LIVED IT, it WAS trillion dollars deficits, dearest.
AND REAGAN RAN IN 1980 ON BALANCING THE FEDERAL BUDGET!!! MARY MARY MARY!!
- And I'm going to comment AGAIN on the worst of it:
Reagan does not get the credit/blame he deserves for ruining this county.
- R39, No it wasn't. Look at the link. Deficits went up under Reagan, but only to 300 billion.
Bush's deficits were worse.
- YOU ARE WRONG.
Yeah Bush was worse, duh. Reagan racked it up to the trillions too:
"As a short-run strategy to reduce inflation and lower nominal interest rates, the U.S. borrowed both domestically and abroad to cover the Federal budget deficits, raising the national debt from $997 billion to $2.85 trillion. This led to the U.S. moving from the world's largest international creditor to the world's largest debtor nation. Reagan described the new debt as the "greatest disappointment" of his presidency."
- Not to mention the global terror at his nuclear brinkmanship.
Bush was an idiot and a mess. Reagan had an agenda that he ruthlessly pushed forward that used division, fear and hatred to consolidate power.
Reagan was worse.
- Yes, he raised the debt by more than a trillion over the course of 8 years. But the deficits - the annual shortfalls - were much less than a trillion.
- I remember reading the newspaper when I was in high-school, and the article was talking about how Reagan saw Armageddon coming but was staying optimistic. As a 15 year old, this scared the crap out of me. I also read his biography, and was stunned that he didn't realize the nations fear of nuclear war until they showed "The Day After". How in the hell are you the President of The United States during the cold war, and not realize this? Scary times indeed.
- In all history would be more like it.
- As bad as Reagan was, I still think Bush was worse.
- Stating the obvious.
What is truly scary, is how many Americans think otherwise. Makes you realize that the problems with the USA are the people, not the Presidents.
- True, I know foolish people that idolize RayGun. They're crazy as that nutcase Backkkman from Minnesota.
- R21, I want to hear more about Reagan and infomercials. The person who allowed that to happen deserves capital punishment.
- Was it him who had a hand in shutting down old mental hospitals?
- Yes, and adding to the streets tons of homeless, mentally unstable, unmedicated people. Thanks Ronnie, may your time in Hell be spent swimming in the lovely water of the Styx.
- "Let us know when you've accomplished anything close to what Reagan accomplished. Nasty ass queen"
I shat my diapers...
Oh sorry - that was when I was 18 months old - not when I stood for President...
I've got another 30 years to go, though.
- “They make their own choice for staying out there.”
- Interesting that he is so beloved in history when he was far more destructive to the country than Dummy Dubya. The first Bush called his trickle down economics 'voodoo economics' but still accepted the offer to run for Veep. I never respected Bush the Elder after that. Reagan was a disaster; it is amazing that OPs list is widely known, yet he is still revered. I remember him trying to pass off ketchup as a vegetable to cut down on costs for lunches for poor school kids. The man was an abomination. When he left office, more people than ever were working at minimum wage jobs.
- Don't forget the scariest part - long before he left office, we now know he was at some stage of Alzeihmer's; I wonder if he even was aware of some of his decisions.
- He won the Cold War, and despite his best efforts did it without a nuclear war.
- Bush was a worse president, obviously, but Reagan started us down this path.
- With all of the Right-wingers running around bragging about Reagan defeating communism, I wonder how many of them secretely wish they could still point to Russia and silence the country as they try to throw together a Reagan look-alike presidency with all the wrong pieces.
Meanwhile, I think we need to focus more on not falling into the war on terror and allowing them to get the kind of control that Reagan had.
- Please pick up a history book, R58.
- Reagan is NOT a beloved president. He is beloved by the crazy right wing, but not the general public. Today Clinton polls much better than Reagan, and no one calls Clinton beloved.
Reagan won a landslide election in 1984 because the democrats were in disarray, nominated a terrible candidate, and few people realized just how terrible Reagan was. Today most people do realize it. His stock will sink lower and lower as history tends to get things right in retrospect.
Reagan was basically Sarah Palin in drag.
- Reagan's 1984 landslide was around 8 points in the popular vote.
- R63 - Try 20.
- R59 is right.
- Congress knew Reagan should have been impeached for the Iran-Contra scandal but they didnt charge him because that would have been a terrible blow to public confidence in government, and it was considered way too soon since Nixon/ Watergate.
Reagan was a shithead. If in 1975, someone told me Ronald Reagan would become president I would have laughed my ass off. That actor was just the electable face of the military industrial complex and Wall Street banks. He definitely pulled off his lines better than Dubya.
- Let us also not forget that Taliban leaders visited the White House under Reagan's administration.
Reagan funded Al Qaeda and the Mujahideen/Taliban when Afghanistan was fighting the Soviets.
Bin Laden didnt hate the West in the 80s. He loved the U.S. back then. Bush 41 also funded Saddam & he also is good family friends with the Laden family.
All this is quite sinister when you think about it & it is the tragedy of our time that none of this information is common knowledge in the U.S.
It's common knowledge in the Middle East.
- Millions of reasons in my book, namely all of those who died from AIDS and those who now have it and HIV.
And in the tens of millions living in extreme poverty and those who are homeless, virtually unheard of in America before Reagan. Hell add up all those destroyed lived and there are probably hundreds of millions of reasons why Reagan was the worst and the most evil.
Not to minimize what he did (I am a Jew who lost great grandparents in the Holocaust) even Hitler didn't kill as many or cause as much suffering to so many as Reagan and after almost 35 years the suffering and death Reagan caused is still going on.
- [quote]One letter for why Reagan is not the worst President: W.
Dubya would never have gone into politics if it weren't for Reagan.
- R69 - Doubtful.
W was son of HW. HW was a leading candidate in 1980. If it were not for Reagan, HW (a moderate then) could have become President eight years earlier. He might have won another term,
- Reagan's administration was more terrible. At least W signed PEPFAR which is the best piece of legislation he ever signed. It has dramatically curbed deaths from HIV/AIDS in Africa. W did not wage a war on the middle class like Reagan did. Reagan did not sign one damn thing that helped others, and it sickens me that he has an airport named after him despite what he did to those air traffic controllers.
If Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac didnt crash in 2008, I believe Bush would be held today in much higher regard. Before the recession & foreclosure crisis was finally being headlined in mainstream media, he was vindicated by the success of the surge in Iraq.
- [quote]W did not wage a war on the middle class like Reagan did.
- I've always thought that he was one of the very worst things that happened to the American middle class. And not because he raised taxes on the middleclass but because he killed the unions, the only thing American workers had to keep them from living in Scroogetown.
- Actually, I hated Reagan and Nancy so much, I really hoped they would live forever. If they each lived for at least a hundred years...maybe eventually they would learn compassion.
- Ignoramus R64:
Reagan won by 9.8 % points in the popular vote. Not 20, not even a lousy 10.
- Bush only delivered a fraction of the funding he promised to Africa on AIDS, and it was heavily weighted to right wing states.
- Reagan espoused faux happy nationalism, using faux patriotic imagery.
- Left winged loones everywhere you are creeps, misfits, and no one likes you. So enjoy the misery, loves company.
- OP, are you forgetting the scumbag that preceded Obama that the republicans managed to shove into the White House illegally who started 2 wars, taxed the poor and gave tax breaks to the rich and let the environment go to hell among other things? He was equally as bad if not worse. Actually I think he may have been slightly retarded which just goes to show you that if you have enough money even retards can go to Yale. What is it about mental retardation and republicanism of today?
- It was Welfare for the Rich and Warfare for the Poor with both ronnie reegin and dubya.
- F&F R2 for the "bashed" comment. And the rest of it.
- [quote]Reagan espoused faux happy nationalism, using faux patriotic imagery.
He made me PROUD to be American! (chokes up, misty-eyed)
- He made the entire South proud to be racist, antigay, anti-feminist, and anti-union. For that alone, he should burn in hell.
- R70 - Bush waged war on the middle class and the poor at least as much as Reagan did.
- Somebody, PLEASE take a shit in my mouth!
- r78 doesn't wipe well.
- Mommy, what's that smell? Mommy, I feel something in my pants, it's like a cushion. Mommy, what's that smell? Mommy, I feel something in my.....
It's Nancy's turn now, long overdue, to do what Ronnie did. Let's hope they make her up so that she doesn't look like a Pez dispenser for once and that they'll plant her inside of a week rather than a month as they did with ronnie--for a while there I thought we'd have our very own American cold cut like Lenin in Moscow (I understand Lenin is 3/4 wax now).
- Worst, next to W
- margaret thatcher pal bump
- He was definitely one of the worst. He was an absolute clod, an idiot who had other people, unscrupulous, corrupt people, make his decisions for him. I think a lot of the American public took him at face value; who could this grinning cowboy doofus be anything but a good ol' boy who loves America? Well, the truth was he didn't give a SHIT about America, at least middle-income and lower-income Americans.
Weirdly, people in depressed rural areas (the white ones, anyway) loved Ronald Reagan. They thought he was on their side, but he couldn't have cared less about them. Rural areas tend to vote for Republicans, who are the least likely to do anything to improve their standard of living. I guess it's just pure ignorance that causes them to do that.
Ah, the eighties, the era that so many Dataloungers look back on so fondly. It was the Reagan era. He kept saying "We're the best! It's morning in America! Everything is going to be hunky dory for everybody and it's never going to change! So let's spend, spend, spend, and borrow, borrow, borrow and have biggest, bestest time EVER!" And people believed it. And it was a DISASTER. How can people be so stupid? How can they?
- Conservatives are, by their very nature, stupid. It's what makes them conservative.
- Thanks to Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher the divide between rich and poor in this world will probably never recover. Two people who only cared about the wealthy and loathed anyone else. (And two people who could have helped the AIDS crisis, as well as gay rights, enormously, but instead chose to follow their homophobia.)
I don't know which one was worse.
- Maggie and Ronnie are sunning themselves along the river Styx now....laughing about their atrocious legacies.
- R84 - yeah, but he did it 20 years after Reagan did his.
- What R91 said.
- Never EVER understood his appeal. I guess he made conservative politics look cozy and homey. He was an actor after all, the first actor ever to occupy the White House instead of just entertain there.
I agree with the 8 reasons. When the White House split open unexpectedly during Iran/Contra and there was little Ollie North down in the basement shredding documents I couldn't believe it. And he was having Fawn Hall take the rest out in her panty hose. Remember her? Ugh.
But Carter was worse.