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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Enough with Reagan Already!

Apparently Republicans in congress have little to do because some of them are floating around the idea of putting Ronald Reagan's image on the $50.00 bill. I guess being the party of "No" leaves plenty of time for amusing pursuits like preserving the legacy of one recent Republican President.

Just a few years ago the Republicans insisted on renaming the Airport in Washington D.C (originally called Washington National Airport) Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Now it seems they want to have him staring up at me from my bill fold for all eternity.

However, a problem arises: the $50.00 bill currently has an occupant or I guess the Republicans would consider him a squatter. That would be none other then Ulysses S. Grant the 18th President of the United States. In order for President Reagan to be placed on the bill they would have to oust old U.S. Grant. The Republicans must have sensed that of all the faces on the bills President Grant was the most vulnerable. But why?

Grant led the North to victory over a militarily more proficient South and then went on to become President of the nation. He played a key role in preserving the union: which many think is kind of a big deal. After the civil war Grant saw to reconstruction efforts that brought some former slaves to congress. Reagan on the other hand is known for cutting taxes but then also (less known) for raising them. In fact, he is responsible for one of the largest corporate tax hikes in history. Reagan started his Presidency with a 700 billion deficit and left with a three trillion dollar deficit. On the foreign policy front he is credited with helping to bring about the demise of the Soviet Union, which finally crumbled under his successor Bush I. In fact, Mikhail Gorbachev probably deserves a lot more credit for that then Reagan, but some Republicans would disagree. Notably, Grant was dead almost 30 years before he was put on the bill, Reagan has been dead six.

Do not get me wrong: although I am a Democrat I liked Reagan. I do not know why I liked him but growing up in the mid-eighties he reminded me of a kindly grandfather, with a twinkle in his eye, eating jelly beans by the fist full. I am just not sure he is dollar bill material since he is lacking (at this point) the historical weight to merit a memorial in my wallet. More than likely the impetus for all this is less a need to venerate Reagan and more the creation of a rally point for Republicans. Bush II followed the Republican creed of cutting taxes at all costs and drove the country off an economic cliff; then he pranced about like a cowboy and ended up starting a war for no reason with a trillion dollar price tag and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis. The Republicans may feel that since the present does not bode well for their ideas why not harken back to the past. People may find comfort in the memory of the old actor and perhaps it will distract them for a moment from record high unemployment and an economic crisis unmatched in 80 years. Then again, the people may ask why politicians are not making better use of their time.


Here is a video from CNBC's Kudlow Report: Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) is interviewed.

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4 Comments :

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very interesting post. I agree with you.

March 17, 2010 at 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your posts.

March 17, 2010 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Mr. Bruzzo is devoid of any sense of history whatsoever. Ronald Reagan is one of America's greatest statesman and a cinematic treasure to boot. His firm stance against the USSR prevented a nuclear war and made the US the sole superpower. Although Bush-Cheney squandered that power Reagan surely deserves to be on the bill and much more.

March 17, 2010 at 4:56 PM  
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