The conservatives of today live in a fantasy world, claiming to be Christian while genuflecting before icons of their chosen Messiah, Ronald Wilson Reagan; all have this vision of the Gipper with his tax cutting sword Excalibur flying through the halls of Congress slashing taxes and blessing the land with myriad tax cuts – reality check, while Reagan cut taxes his first year in office, it soon became clear his doctrine of supply side, trickledown economics was voodoo and that it wasn’t working, hence, for almost every year thereafter he raised one tax or another. It wasn’t the tax cuts that fed the government coffers, and fueled the start of economic recovery, it was the tax increases.
One such tax increase was in 1986, when on the south lawn of the White House under a beautiful sunny fall morning, Cabinet members, leading lawmakers and a large crowd applauded as they witnessed President Reagan sign into law the Tax Reform Act.
In order to get to this momentous bill signing, the President had to go to Capitol Hill to knock more than a few fellow Republicans heads together; all members of the House who had earlier blocked the measure – sound familiar?
“I think all of us here today know what a herculean effort it took to get this landmark bill to my desk,” Reagan said to the assembled crowd.
The Tax Reform Act of 1986 took the largest share of the country’s tax burden off the shoulders of the “really poor” whom Willard Mittens Romney “doesn’t worry about” and the middle class and placed it squarely on the corporations; it exempted millions of households of the “really poor” from any federal income taxes. Reagan called it “a sweeping victory for fairness” where “vanishing loopholes and a minimum tax will mean that everybody and every corporation pay their fair share.” The act was designed to be tax revenue neutral, because individual taxes were decreased while $30 billion annually in loopholes were eliminated and corporate taxes were increased
According to National Public Radio (NPR) it took more than two years to produce that tax code overhaul, and during that time, President Reagan went on the road to plead his case for the plan. At a high school in Atlanta, Ga., in 1985, Reagan said they were going to “close the unproductive loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.”
In Congress, Democrats and Republicans worked together to merge competing proposals for tax reform, and some like Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont says it was a different era.
“We had a lot of grownups in both parties, people who actually wanted the government to work,” Leahy says.
Yes you did Senator; you had what the current crop of Republican Tea Party (GOTP) members’ lack, maturity. The GOTP thinks it’s slick in portraying the uber-rich as the victims of the tax code; a code which allows a multi-millionaire to hide his money in the Caymans and in Swiss bank accounts and pay a mere 13% in taxes. The GOTP needs to read its own history, and see what its hero saw, that the rich don’t suffer under some stifling tax burden, that the economy isn’t struggling because the rich pay too much, but because they pay too little while everyone else carries the load. Reagan’s signature leveled the playing field while George W. Bush made it catawampus, tilting wildly in favor of those who didn’t need help. Reality check, Willard Mittens Romney, and his class – the deified 1% aren’t paying its fair share, they’re paying nowhere close to it and Mitten’s current tax proposal will decrease the current tax levels on his group to zero while raising taxes 60% on the middle class and poor. I had the very great privilege to work for and to know Ronald Reagan, and Mittens is no Ronald Reagan.