Was glancing through the economist, Brad Delong’s website the other day and he had a very perceptive article about what kind of president Trump could turn out to be by comparing him to Reagan. Its worth a read but he had a very striking passage in it.
“Reagan did not campaign for and enter the presidency thinking that he was going to more than double the national debt relative to GDP. That was not what he thought his agenda was.
Reagan did not campaign for and enter the presidency thinking that he was going to push the value of the dollar up by 70%, and thus deal a death blow to a surprisingly large component of American manufacturing–and thus both start the process of the erosion of the living standards of America’s blue collar workers and destroy communities of engineering practice that we really should have nurtured, encouraged, and expanded. That was not what he thought his agenda was.
Yet those were, in historical perspective, two of the three largest consequences of Reagan’s policies–with the launching of the explosion in income inequality that has created our Second Gilded Age being the third. That last was supposed to be part of an acceleration of economic growth: a richer rich, yes, but a rising tide that would life all boats; we got the richer rich, we did not get the rising tide.
This is a very concise, historically accurate accounting of the Reagan Presidency as seen from 40 yrs in the future. As modern GOP gives lip service to St Ronnie, should they answer for those failings? Was it incompetence or purposeful damage to the US and it citizens? Has to be one of the other. If the troubles of today can be shown to be a direct result of policies pursued and supported by the then GOP, policies that are still very much in vogue, that may be a way to assault Fortress Republican.