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How Reagan Destroyed America & The Middle Class

Added: Sunday, July 25th 2010 at 10:03am by southwesterngrad

Daring to write a negative post about Ronald Reagan is like playing Russian roulette.  It can be dangerous to one's health. Republicans tend to regard the man as some sort of demi-god.

Nonetheless, this is a post I have wanted to try to write for a long time because I believe that Reagan is directly responsible for destroying the Middle Class of America, and I am not the only one who thinks so.  A number of political analysts have written on this very subject.

James Joiner on allvoices.com calls him "the destroyer of main street" and "the father of this nightmare we are living.

 He goes on to state of the Republicans:  "They call themselves the party of Ronald Reagan!  That scares the hell out of me because Reagan was the Father of the war mongering high Deficit compassionate Conservatives that gave Birth to much war present and future unless Obama can turn around the disaster they created around the world with their war mongering!" (http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/2743781-the-truth-about-the-ronald-reagan-who-destroyed-america-and-main-street-and-a-ronald-reagan-jr-i-agree-with).

Pablo Mayhew, a columnist on rawstory.com goes so far as to refer to Reagan as a criminal no better than his Republican predecessor, Richard Nixon.  He relates Reagan's role in the Iran-Contra affair in which Reagan pled "forgetfulness" when pressed about it.

Mayhew concludes with these words:  " as one great writer has contended, that Richard Nixon broke the heart of the American Dream, then Reagan broke its back  Now.... the American Dream is clearly down for the count." (http://www.rawstory.com/exclusives/mayhew/reagan_destroyed_american_dream.htm)

And listen to what Thom Hartmann, prominent television and radio talk show host and commentator,  had to say about the devastation today on our economy that was the direct result, he reports, of Reaganomics  when he appeared as a guest on Dateline just prior to Obama taking office.

"when Reagan came into office we were the largest exporter of manufacturing goods and the largest importer of raw materials on the planet. And, the largest creditor--more people owed us money than anybody else in the world. Now, just 28 years later, we're the largest importer of finished goods, manufactured goods; the largest exporter of raw materials--which is kind of the definition of a third-world nation -- and we're the most in-debt of any country in the world. This is the absolute consequence of Reaganomics." (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thom-hartmann/thom-hartmann-defends-the_b_150964.html)

These graphs bear out exactly what all these people have been saying about Reagan being directly responsible for destroying America and the Middle Class.  In looking at these pay particulular attention to 1981, the year Reagan took office.

Obviously, George H. Bush, Clinton, and Gorge W could have reversed this trend; instead, they, for the most part became keepers and harbingers of it. 



Working people's share of the benefits from increased productivity took a sudden turn down:

This resulted in intense concentration of wealth at the top:


And forced working people to spend down savings to get by:

Which forced working people to go into debt: (total household debt aspercentage of GDP)

"Conservative policies transformed the United States from the largest creditor nation to the largest debtor nation in just a few years, and it has only gotten worse since then: " So avows the author who researched the subject and collected the graphs.  (http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2010062415/reagan-revolution-home-roost-charts)

You can find all kinds of books and articles praising Reagan, but what I have presented are the cold, hard facts about what the man did to our economy with his Reaganomics.  For those who would like to read more on this subject, go to: 

Reagan Revolution Home To Roost: America Drowning In Debt
Reagan Revolution Home To Roost: America IsCrumbling
Finance, Mine, Oil & Debt Disasters: THIS Is Deregulation

















User Comments

Gotta love Thom, because he is so smart and calls it like it is. He often has a guest, an economics professor and author named Dr. Ravi Batra, who discusses the financial situation in the nation on his show. He did an essay on Reagan, pointing out that he "redistributed" nearly 3 Trillion dollars from the middle and lower classes right up to the top earners. You can read that essay HERE . Alot of what Reagan did needs examined better, and with an objective light, people would see he was not the saint that conservatives portray him as.

Great post!

Thanks, eky.  Yes, I love Thom.  He is, as you say, such a smart and astute guy.  It was under Reagan that the Middle Class lost all its tax breaks as Reagan shifted the tax burden from the wealthy to the poor and the Middle Class.  When Reagan took office, the upper 2% in wealth were in the 74 per cent tax bracket. When he left office, they were in the 28 per cent tax bracket.  To make up that huge break he gave them, Reagan all but eliminated the medical deduction, the charitable deduction, the higher education deduction, and took away the interest deduction on everything but homes.  He also began dismantling as many unions as he could, and deregulated the savings and loan industry, which led to its demise.

Have you seen the recent calculations of where the wealth is today? Just read this elsewhere, it's stunning....


From what I have b een reading Reagan is getiign  toppled off his high horse litle by little as people realize what he did.

If people would take the time to really study all the things this man did that have led to the demise of the Middle Class, not to mention secretly selling contraband weapons to Iran to fund his secret war against the left in Sandinista. they wouldn't think he was quite such a swell guy.  He also sent Donald Rutherford to Iraq when Iraq was fighting Iran to tell them that the U.S. would look the other way if the Iraqis wanted to use the WMD's they had used on the Kurds against Iran.  Talk about hypocrisy.

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