Friday, February 04, 2011

He's not a Reagan fan...

Some have raised the image of the former president to such a high level that it's no wonder some take issue -- this piece by Jeff Riggenbach is one that looks at some of the things people like to credit Reagan for and how he disagrees. One small part:
Like most Republican politicians since the early 1930s, Ronald Reagan always portrayed himself throughout his political career as a champion of limited government, individual rights, and free enterprise — the classical-liberal values, which, of course, he absurdly described as "conservative." But, like almost all Republican politicians since the early 1930s, he seemed to forget all about these values once he got into office and assumed the reins of power. Consider, as a case in point, Reagan's eight years (1966–1974) as governor of California. As Murray Rothbard noted in 1980,

Despite his bravado about having stopped the growth of state government, the actual story is that the California budget grew by 122 percent during his eight years as governor, not much of an improvement on the growth rate of 130 percent during the preceding two terms of free-spending liberal Pat Brown. The state bureaucracy increased during Reagan's administration from 158,000 to 192,000, a rise of nearly 22 percent — hardly squaring with Reagan's boast of having "stopped the bureaucracy cold."

President Reagan was very good at one aspect of politics, salesmanship ...

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