President Barack Obama can’t let former President Ronald Reagan rest in peace. He’s constantly comparing himself to Reagan and every time is worse than the last. This is what Obama said yesterday.
In reiterating on Wednesday his proposal that the federal government should increase taxes on wealthy Americans, President Barack Obama said he was following the model of President Ronald Reagan, whom he mockingly called–in likening himself to Reagan–a “wild-eyed socialist.”
“That wild-eyed socialist, tax-hiking class warrior was Ronald Reagan,” Obama said, while contending his idea for increasing taxes on high-income earners was derived from the philosophy and policies of the conservative, Republican president who served in the White House from January 1981 until January 1989, and who died in 2004.
He’s so full of crap. First of all, he admitted that his calls for taxing the wealthy more is just a gimmick. It wouldn’t do anything to reduce the deficit or the national debt. Further, he’s lying about Ronald Reagan’s record. Reagan reduced the top tax rate dramatically, and revenue to the government increased.
In fact, President Reagan signed legislation dropping the top marginal income tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent. Yet, despite slashing the income-tax rate on the wealthiest Americans, the percentage of federal income taxes actually paid by the wealthiest Americans increased.
Economist Arthur Laffer, who had inspired Reagan’s supply-side tax cuts, later explained the measurable effect they had on federal revenue in a report he published with the Heritage Foundation in 2004.
“The most controversial portion of Reagan’s tax revolution was reducing the highest marginal income tax rate from 70 percent (when he took office in 1981) to 28 percent in 1988,” Laffer wrote. “However, Internal Revenue Service data reveal that tax collections from the wealthy, as measured by personal income taxes paid by top percentile earners, increased between 1980 and 1988–despite significantly lower tax rates.” (Read More)
Using Ronald Reagan to try to push his anti-growth, spread-the-wealth around policies is despicable.
Update: So, what did Reagan actually say about a rich guy making more than his secretary?
Obama’s failure to acknowledge this distinction was hammered home in the same speech, when he suggested renaming the Buffett Rule the “Reagan Rule.” His remarks followed up on a video clip posted by the liberal group ThinkProgress in which Reagan, in a 1985 speech on the tax code, told a story about an executive paying a lower tax rate than his secretary.
Yet Reagan told the story as part of a larger pitch for tax reform. Unlike Obama, Reagan was interested in targeting loopholes so that he could lower rates, to allow people to keep more of their own money.
“Lower, flatter tax rates will give Americans more confidence in the future,” Reagan said in the speech referenced by Obama. “It’ll mean if you work overtime or get a raise or a promotion or if you have a small business and are able to turn a profit, more of that extra income will end up where it belongs — in your wallets, not in Uncle Sam’s pockets.”