Growing Government Spending and the Decline of Capitalism


On Christmas Day of 1991, the Kremlin, the center of power for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, saw the hammer and sickle of the Soviet Union replaced by the Russian flag thus signaling the end of the totalitarian regimes of Lenin, Stalin and a host of other brutal dictators who terrorized the world as well as their own citizens. The seeds for this destruction were planted by President Ronald Reagan beginning in his first term.

To put it bluntly, Ronald Reagan drove the Soviet Union into bankruptcy. He forced the Soviet Union to spend significantly more than its economy could produce for a sustained period. The lessons from that international economic gambit appear to be lost on President Barack Obama and the Democrat leadership in Congress.

Ronald Hilton described the combination of forces as follows:

“From the outset, Reagan moved against détente and beyond containment, substituting the objective of encouraging “long-term political and military changes within the Soviet empire that will facilitate a more secure and peaceful world order”, according to an early 1981 Pentagon defense guide. Harvard’s Richard Pipes, who joined the National Security Council, advocated a new aggressive policy by which “˜the United States takes the long-term strategic offensive. This approach therefore contrasts with the essentially reactive and defensive strategy of containment’. Pipes’s report was endorsed in a 1982 National Security Decision Directive that formulated the policy objective of promoting “˜the process of change in the Soviet Union towards a more pluralistic political and economic system’. [The quotes from Peter Schweizer, Reagan’s War.]

“A central instrument for putting pressure on the Soviet Union was Reagan’s massive defense build-up, which raised defense spending from $134 billion in 1980 to $253 billion in 1989. This raised American defense spending to 7 percent of GDP, dramatically increasing the federal deficit. Yet in its efforts to keep up with the American defense build-up, the Soviet Union was compelled in the first half of the 1980s to raise the share of its defense spending from 22 percent to 27 percent of GDP, while it froze the production of civilian goods at 1980 levels.” [Emphasis supplied]

Through six Presidents (Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush federal government spending averaged about thirty-four percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It went from a low of thirty-one percent in the Nixon years to a high of thirty-six plus percent in the George H.W. Bush years. As government spending increased each year so did the GDP and thus neither the total government spending nor the increase in the national debt caused much concern amongst the nation’s economists.

But the advent of the Obama administration has changed that equation significantly. In less than two years, and before enactment of either a national healthcare plan or a cap and trade program, federal government spending has leaped to forty-three point six percent of GDP and is projected to remain at or above those levels for the foreseeable future. Because of a stalled economy, the nation’s GDP is expected to grow only marginally — if at all for the next two years while federal spending increases exponentially with every passing day.

The direction of the Obama administration is to create new and enlarge existing social or entitlement programs — welfare, unemployment, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, federal employees health plans and federal employee pension plans and next national healthcare. Every single one of these existing programs has exceeded congressional and administration budget expectations and the same will be true with national healthcare.

With the introduction of each new program and growth of existing programs America moves closer to the European socialist democracy model — one seemingly comfortable for President Obama and the House and Senate Democrat leadership. But Europe represents nations in their decendancy, basking in a long past history and wallowing in an expectation of life without consequences.

In stark contrast are the bold growth in the economies of China, India, South Korea and Brazil — all of whom follow the traditional capitalist model of hard work, acceptable risk and denial of instant gratification — a model pioneered and proved successful by America.

The question then is whether America will become a nation of social entitlement and begins its decline or return to its notion of self-sufficiency and rekindle its economic growth and standing in the world. The choice is for the next generation. And while President Obama has promised them “hope and change” they are finding neither.

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  • Rupert in Springfield

    This is probably a true assessment. What is interesting in the case of US decline as opposed to European decline is the American decline is being foisted upon us, whereas it was reasonably popular in Europe. The old world saw an opportunity to cede the expense of their defence to us, and use the money that otherwise would have been spent on it to pamper themselves.

    In America, if BO’s “strongly disapprove” and health care numbers are any indication, the decline is being forced upon us. No one wants it except to most drug addled of Democrat party loyalists.

    No one out there believes BO’s health care nonsense will meet CBO budget projections. Everyone understands that should it pass it will mean massive deficits leading to a debt we could never recover from. Americans simply arent going to fall for revenue projections that count ten years of revenue but only six of spending in order to come out revenue neutral. Health care will break the back of the American economy with its massive costs.

    Yet this one man, this one small man is intent on forcing it upon America. If American decline is something to be ashamed of, then at least the majority of Americans standing up to this man and saying they don’t buy into his plan to collapse America is something to take solace in.

    Americans are catching on, even if BO is not. We have elected a fool who does not have our best interests at heart. A man who loved to joke about his ability to multitask now seems incapable of doing anything but fixating on himself, his legacy – health care. He will destroy the American economy to accomplish it and saddle us with generations of debt we will never escape to pay for it. If the American attitude towards BO care is any indication, most people know this. Americans will not go down without a fight on this one, and in that we can all be proud.

  • Rick Hickey

    And it can get much worse if Pres. Obama, Sen. Chuck Schumer(D) and Lindsey Graham(R) get their Amnesty for illegals they are now working on. Why?

    Because 15-20 million people will no longer have to use stolen or fake ID to steal jobs/services, they will do it in the open and will bring in another 15-20 million Family members and they WILL ALL VOTE DEMOCRAT, or for more “free” stuff AND Captalism will be gone.

    “Free” trade w/ China, India & Mexico Plus tens of millions of “cheap” immigrant labor = Economic tragedy, obviously. Milton Friedman understood.

    As long as too many of our leaders ignore this reality of the causes of our demise and you all allow them to, our situation will not improve.

  • dartagnan

    “The seeds for this destruction were planted by President Ronald Reagan beginning in his first term.”

    I’m tired of Republicans pretending that Ronald Reagan destroyed the Soviet Union all by himself. Every president, Republican or Democrat, from Truman on down had resisted the Soviet Union and the expansion of Communism. The Soviet Union was rendered bankrupt by 40 years of fighting the United States, not by four years of fighting Reagan. Reagan just gave the final push.

    I’m willing to give Reagan all the credit he deserves, but to claim that he single-handedly defeated Communism is ridiculous.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >but to claim that he single-handedly defeated Communism is ridiculous.

      Probably the only thing more tiring than this claim is the frequency with which liberals make it.

      Its the standard tactic of rebutting an argument no one made.

      “The seeds for this destruction” is not the equivalent of “He single handedly defeated”

      I think everyone is also getting a little tired of this concept that every president resisted the Soviets equally. Its just simply not the case.

      I will remind you that the president prior to Reagan accepted Soviet expansion with only the most pitiful of protests, declining to participate in the Olympics.

      The Soviets were in full expansionist mode in this period, they were busy invading Afghanistan and setting up shop in Central America.

      >I’m willing to give Reagan all the credit he deserves, but to claim that he single-handedly defeated Communism is ridiculous.

      Then why not act like it? All that was claimed was that Reagan planted the seeds of destruction and drove the Soviets into bankruptcy with the military build up. You are going to argue that is not the case? Good luck.

      If you truly are willing to give Reagan the credit he deserves, then don’t try and turn an example of that, this article, into some ginned up argument that someone is claiming Reagan single handedly defeated the Soviets. No one is saying that but you.

      • davidg

        Actually, the best book I have seen to explain the Soviet Union collapse was written by Mikhail Gorbachev himself in 1986, several years before the collapse. The title of his 1986 book is “Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World.”

        In the first 30 pages of the book Gorbachev gives a searing indictment of everything that was wrong with the Soviet government and the economy. When you read those pages, you realize that it was no wonder that the Soviet Union collapsed just five years later. Free market economists had been making the argument for years: a government run economy won’t work. Gorbachev, unable to see the future, simply provided the details as they applied to the Soviet Union.

        So Reagan didn’t cause the Soviet collapse by his military spending. Gorbachev in his book says the Soviet Union had no ability to compete with the US on military spending in the early 1980’s and didn’t even try. I don’t know where Hilton, quoted by Huss, got his mistaken figures otherwise.

        The Soviet Union collapsed because socialism just didn’t work. See Gorbachev’s book for the details.

      • dartagnan

        “The seeds for this destruction” is not the equivalent of “He single handedly defeated”

        Maybe not, but saying Reagan “sowed the seeds” for the USSR’s collapse isn’t accurate either. Saying Reagan “sowed the seeds” makes it sound like no US president did anything to oppose the USSR or Communism until Reagan came along. The seeds of the Soviet Union’s destruction were sown long before 1980 — and many of them were sown by the USSR itself.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          Sounds more to me like you were predisposed to an interpretation that agreed with an argument you wanted to make.

          No one argued that Reagan single handedly defeated the Soviets, and no one but you is arguing the claim was made no other president stood in opposition to them.

          This really sounds like you are reading something with a predisposition to make an argument about something no one but you ever claimed.

          So sure, other presidents did things to counter the Soviets. Did anyone ever say otherwise? Of course not.

          However Reagan was unique among presidents because the Soviet Union was clearly on the ascendancy in terms, of expansionism, when he came into office and clearly on defense in retreat of that expansionism when he left.

          That doesn’t mean Reagan single handedly defeated the Soviets. It does mean that he probably did more than any other president in that regard however.

          Keep in mind, saying that he did more than any other president does not mean, and should not be interpreted as meaning, no one else did anything.

  • Bob Clark

    I think the biggest economic risks for the U.S long term (next ten years) is the inability to meet its unfunded liabilities namely, medicare, social security, and local/state pension obligations. There are a number of ways these burdens can be dealt with, but I think most likely Medicare and social security will be means tested. Moreover, taxes are likely to significantly increase, particularly for high income earners. These taxes will slow economic growth, limiting government revenues and increasing these unfunded burdens even more.

    I actually think China poses a more near term (next five year) economic risk for the U.S. Developing countries like China have more pronounced boom and bust cycles, and China’s current boom is getting long in the tooth. Best hope is the current world economic recovery can spur some export growth for China. But this probably doesn’t last but a couple of years at most.

    An Asian meltdown poses special problems for Oregon’s export oriented economy. So, the future of taxes and economic prosperity looks particularly challenging over the next 10 years, just as the past ten years. A new Reagan revolution would help counter some of these challenges by encouraging U.S competitiveness and productivity. Barring this, the individual probably has to try playing the system as much as he or she can. Marginally shift from working to leisure so as to reduce income taxes. Invest in things hard to assess market value, and thereby, tax. Move more goods through the underground economy, and squeal a lot more for public benefits. Not particularly postive for the overall economy.

    What mentality will it be: Fixed pie with ensuing food fights, or Economic growth with more pie for everyone? We’ll find out with this coming November’s elections.

    • Ron Marquez

      Bob,

      See Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap for America’s Future”. Not perfect but a good start to restoration of fiscal sanity in the good old USA. Sadly it’ll probably never fly because it requires political courage, a quantity in short supply in Washington DC.

      I’d like to see a Mitch Daniels / Paul Ryan ticket for 2012 but so far, Daniels is not having any part of it. Too bad as the two of them, with congressional support (don’t laugh), could get the country back on a sane financial track.

      For now, I’d be happy to stop Obamacare and save the $2 trillion plus it will ultimately end up costing us.

  • Rick Hickey

    Told ya…

    said Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), a Cuban-American who has urged the administration to move more quickly.

    Immigration reform, he added, “would seal the community’s commitment to the Democratic Party

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0310/34162_Page2.html#ixzz0hnNRv3Lu

    30 Million new DEMOCRAT voters via Amnesty!

    and again too many of YOU continue to just wish this would go away and ignore this instead.

  • Anonymous

    The date 4/26/1986 had more of an influence with the collapse of the Soviet Union then Ronald Reagans Vaudeville routines. The meltdown of the Chernobyl nuclear plant shook the foundations of the Soviet government; if Chernobyl had not happen the Soviet Union may to this day still exist. There no doubts that the U.S. used this opportunity too help push the Soviets into its collapse. It’s typical operating procedure of rightwing think tank to keep trying to rewrite history, to make Reagan look lot better then he was. This is wrong of them and that why we have such a trust problem. I recommend the younger republican to study the affect of Chernobyl on the soviets. Honesty is the best policy.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      Chernobyl?

      Good lord you have got to be kidding.

      Yep, might have shaken the Soviets peoples faith in a supreme government, but so did the soviet Viet Nam in Afghanistan.

      Lots of things lead to the Soviet collapse. Much as the left may hate to deal with it, Reagan was one of them.

      However I will say to you, nice touch with the weird grammar. It definitely lends itself to this Russian accent reading of things.

      “I recommend the younger republican to study the affect of Chernobyl on the soviets. ”

      I mean that’s great. You almost can’t help but fir up the samovar and read it with this Boris and Natasha accent.

      Please to understand, Boris and Natasha is imperialist American reference to moose cartoon.

  • valley p

    “The seeds for this destruction were planted by President Ronald Reagan beginning in his first term.”

    The seeds were planted by Stalin. Reagan maybe fertilized and irrigated, but the weed patch was fully formed by the time he took office.

    “To put it bluntly, Ronald Reagan drove the Soviet Union into bankruptcy. ”

    Its blunt and wrong. They were already broke and falling far behind technologically. Ask anyone who lived in the East Block what life was like there in the 60s and 70s, long before Reagan.

    “In less than two years, and before enactment of either a national healthcare plan or a cap and trade program, federal government spending has leaped to forty-three point six percent of GDP and is projected to remain at or above those levels for the foreseeable future.”

    Lets parse this. Obama’s first year budget was handed to him by George Bush, who also handed him a collapsing economy, the worst since the 1930s. So Keynes has been rediscovered and we have to make up for lack of private spending with federal debt spending. its the only strategy other than taking our lumps with a very deep and long depression. Monetarism doesn’t cut it when interest rates are 0.

    “Forseable future” is based on current fiscal and monetary policies projected ahead. We won;t have those deficits because we won’t continue current policies. We will cut spending and raise taxes, but gradually, so as not to choke off a recovery. Larry has a better idea? I didn’t think so.

    “Because of a stalled economy, the nation’s GDP is expected to grow only marginally”

    Huh? If the economy is stalled then it isn’t growing, but it grew at 6% last quarter after growing 2% the quarter before. If it grows this quarter at 2% or above, it is no longer stalled. What is “stalled” is employment growth. And high unemployment means the dreaded government has to keep on spending until more people are able to find decent jobs in the private sector.

    Rupert writes: “Then why not act like it? All that was claimed was that Reagan planted the seeds of destruction and drove the Soviets into bankruptcy with the military build up. You are going to argue that is not the case? Good luck.”

    Because Reagan did not plant any seeds. He helped push over a crooked, weak, rotten tree that had been seeded decades ago by the Soviets themselves. Communism was fatally flawed from the beginning. Regan deserves credit, I suppose, for helping push, or at least standing out of the way of the fall. Fine. All hail Reagan. Of course he bankrupted us in the process by convincing Americans we could party on without paying the bill, but no worries.

    “Lots of things lead to the Soviet collapse. Much as the left may hate to deal with it, Reagan was one of them. ”

    There you go Rupert! Spot on! Reagan was one of them.

    • Steve Plunk

      The Keynesian spending hasn’t helped us. In fact the high deficit spending has led to a crisis of confidence within consumers and business. With no confidence the economy stalls. I should probably say the private sector economy stalls. The evidence is the further eroding of jobs. When the good news is job loss is slowing down then we’re in trouble. We’re not gaining jobs, just slowing down the losses. Pathetic. The government is pathetic in the way they are killing the US economy.

      I find all this discussion of Reagan pointless. The topic at hand is runaway government spending and the shrinking private sector. If anything the liberal’s points about the failure of the Soviet Union should be a warning about where this country is headed. Larry’s point about government spending growing to a high percentage of GDP should have us all worried.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      >Because Reagan did not plant any seeds.

      You are familiar with the quote Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall. Which by the way, the left was apoplectic about. Pretty weird for the left to be so upset about taking a hard line with a regime supposedly everyone knew was falling apart.

      What absurdity.

      >Of course he bankrupted us in the process by convincing Americans we could party on without paying the bill, but no worries.

      Of course he did not bankrupt us.

      Reagan upped defense spending orders of magnitude less than BO has spent in a single year.

      Let’s please not get idiotic with this nonsense that Reagan bankrupted us. Even you don’t believe that one.

      Let’s also remember that although Reagan did spend a lot more on defense, he also close to doubled revenues with the tax cut. So, the money was there, it was just spent pretty irresponsibly by congress, which you guys controlled.

      As I often like to quote your own quote back to you – you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts, and those my friend are the facts.

      In addition, its a little late in the game to wax on about bankrupting us. Your boy in the White House is taking care of that quite handily thank you very much. I think we all need to face facts and understand that after Obama, you guys will own the deficit and debt issue probably for the rest of your and my lifetime.

      >There you go Rupert! Spot on! Reagan was one of them.

      Yep, which has pretty much been the republican and Conservative line from day one.

      Glad you finally caught up.

      If any liberal out there can list for me one quote, from a reasonably major conservative ( your uncle in CT doesn’t count, Pat Buchanan, Rush Limbaugh, does ) from a reputable source (The Daily Kos doesn’t count, but liberal bastions like The Nation or CNN do ) that ever claimed Reagan was the sole reason for the Soviet collapse, I will admit I am wrong.

      So can we please hear it? What Republican or Conservative out there ever claimed Reagan was solely responsible for the collapse of the USSR?

      I doubt anyone argues that Reagan was probably the person most responsible, after all they were in total expansion mode prior to his taking office on the verge of collapse after.

      So please, anyone?

      Any of the smart liberals out there can name one conservative, or Republican who made the claim Reagan was solely responsible?

      Just one noted conservative or Republican who ever made the claim, quoted from a reasonable source and I will admit I was totally wrong.

      Id love to hear it, because I think this is just another example of the liberal pathology of rebutting arguments no one ever made so that liberals can feel they can at last argue a point without losing.

      • valley p

        “Let’s please not get idiotic with this nonsense that Reagan bankrupted us. *Even you don’t believe that one* .”

        Factual Correction #1. *I do believe it* . He enabled a generation of so called conservatives like yourself, on up through George the Squanderer, who believe we can cut taxes, ramp up military spending (and start unnecessary wars for that matter,) and simply put it on the credit card or magically grow our way out, all while pretending to be against “spending”. The combined record of Reagan and 2 Bushes is clear. Zero balanced budgets after 20 years of leadership and a cumulative national debt in the multi-trillions. To use your analogy, Reagan “planted the seed.” To use my analogy, a mighty rotten tree has grown.

        “So, the money was there, it was just spent pretty irresponsibly by *congress, which you guys controlled* .”

        Factual Correction #2. *Republicans had majority control of the Senate for the first 6 years of Reagan’s presidency* . Last I checked the Senate was 1/2 of Congress. And “boll weevil” conservadems from the south voted with the Republican minority in that body.

        “I think we all need to face facts and understand that after Obama, you guys will own the deficit and debt issue probably for the rest of your and my lifetime.”

        Maybe so, if you guys can convince the nation that despite 3 straight Republican Presidents running things for 20 years prior, who between them balanced 0 budgets mean nothing because the next one will….trust us. As for all needing to “face facts,” I’m all for it.

        “If any liberal out there can list for me one quote, from a reasonably major conservative …that ever claimed Reagan was the sole reason for the Soviet collapse, I will admit I am wrong.”

        Factual Correction #3. Dinesh D’souza, considered to be a reasonably major conservative “intellectual,” wrote an article for the National Review in 1997, considered to be a major conservative publication, titled: *How Reagan Won the Cold War* . Use ‘the Google” Rupert. Then submit your admission of error.

        Note he did not title it, nor does he say in the article, that Reagan was simply one of multiple reasons the Soviets collapsed. No. He makes a clear argument it was Reagan and only Reagan, all part of his master plan. Grover Norquist, also a fairly prominent conservative has made the same argument many times. I’m sure between us we could dig up more with a little effort.

        So Rupert. I have given you not one, not two, but three chances to admit wrongress. Don’t disappoint us now.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >So Rupert. I have given you not one, not two, but three chances to admit wrongress. Don’t disappoint us now.

          Hey, lets remember, I have throughly admitted I was wrong and you were right three times prior to this. I even reminded you of it last week when you stated otherwise. However to admit you were wrong, even in the case of my having to correct you on my being wrong, is something you cannot do. We all know very well, Dean can never admit being wrong, thus can never learn.

          So, that aside, let’s see how you did this time

          ( Hint Hint, I have some good news for you, Dean )

          >He enabled a generation of so called conservatives like yourself,

          Actually I was far left when Reagan was first elected. I actually never voted for Reagan. I wasn’t even a registered Republican until Clinton v. Dole.

          I did not vote for Reagan the first time around because at that time we were on the verge of a ground war with the Soviets.

          Oh yeah, that’s right, you are under the impression they were about to collapse.

          Well, anyway, we were on the verge of a ground war with the Soviets, and I felt it likely Reagan would exacerbate the situation.

          I was actually wrong about that vote and learned so immediately after casting it. I was completely ignorant of Reagan policies and had believed the war monger hype.

          Thus, unlike you, I actually listened to what Reagan said, and what he was about.

          When Reagan told Gorbachev to tear down the wall, and the left through a conniption fit was when I realized how full of crap they were.

          Anyone who could say that speaking the truth, as Reagan had done, was the wrong thing to do in the face of clear evil, as the Soviet Union was, clearly was not concerned with doing the right thing.

          At that stage I abandoned the left. They were interested in power and nothing more. I have never seen a single action since then on the part of the left to counter that basic belief. In short I grew up. Obviously you haven’t as you still follow the Democrats unquestioningly.

          But so what? Who cares? Certainly not a guy who is as unquestioning of his leaders as you are.

          >who believe we can cut taxes, ramp up military spending (and start unnecessary wars for that matter,) and simply put it on the credit card or magically grow our way out,

          Unlike your boy BO, who simply believes in spending a whole lot of money with no plan to grow our way out of it or pay for a damn thing.

          >The combined record of Reagan and 2 Bushes is clear. Zero balanced budgets after 20 years of leadership

          Any yet those twenty years of deficits probably add up to not a whole lot different than the deficits of BO’s first term!

          >of leadership and a cumulative national debt in the multi-trillions.

          Wrong, Reagan came close to doubling revenue with his tax cuts. Face it, you are fighting a losing battle with this one.

          Besides, dont you think its a little sad to be going on about 20 years adding up to multi trillions when your boy is accomplishing that all by himself in just a couple of years?

          Im laughing at you now Dean.

          >Maybe so, if you guys can convince the nation that despite 3 straight Republican Presidents running things for 20 years prior, who between them balanced 0 budgets

          Well, there is the fact that if we added up the deficits under Republican presidents it would add up to at best BO’s first term.

          Lol, sorry, had to hit you with that one.

          At this stage no one is looking for a blanced budget like the kind Republicans forced Clinton to finally submit.

          No one spends like BO, and there aint nothing you can do to change that.

          >Factual Correction #3. Dinesh D’souza, considered to be a reasonably major conservative “intellectual,”

          Well, I have read a lot of D’Souzas books, and I do know for a fact that unlike you, he has heard of the Federalist papers.

          So, comparitivly speaking, he is more of an intelectual than you. Is that why you find his being an intellectual so threatening you have to put it in quotes?

          >wrote an article for the National Review in 1997, considered to be a major conservative publication, titled: How Reagan Won the Cold War . Use ‘the Google” Rupert. Then submit your admission of error.

          Ahh, ridiculous try.

          As I mentioned I have actually read a few of D’Souza’s books.

          I like his writing style, and unlike you, I actually do read.

          Sorry bud D’Souza does not claim in that article that Reagan single handedly won the cold war.

          He actually states explicitly to the contrary. Which you would have noticed if you actually ever read anything.

          Here is the quote from the article:

          “When Czech president Vaclav Havel visited Washington, D.C., in May 1997 I asked him whether Reagan’s defense strategy and his diplomacy were vital factors in ending the Cold War. Of course, Havel said, adding that “both Reagan and Gorbachev deserve credit” because while Soviet Communism might have imploded eventually, without them “it would have taken a lot longer.”

          Havel’s point is incontestable. ”

          So much for that.

          I mean this wasn’t even a decent try. You have been warned about not reading. I have done so repeatedly, recently, and often. Again you pop off without reading what you are citing and it comes back to directly contradict you. How someone can keep making the same mistake over and over and over is beyond me.

          >So Rupert. I have given you not one, not two, but three chances to admit wrongress. Don’t disappoint us now.

          *Ok, I was totally wrong on point one.*

          You do clearly believe Reagan bankrupted us. Why you do so is more testament to your lack of knowledge than anything else, but yes, I was clearly and unequivocally wrong that you do believe this nonsense.

          Correction number 2?

          Sorry Bubba, having a majority in the Senate ( and not a 60 vote one at that ) hardly means you control congress.

          Not even close on this one Dean.

          Oh, and don’t try and do a weasel out on this one, not when your boy is trying to pull the nuclear option to spend us into oblivion in the Senate because of the 40 vote thing. Uh Uh, dont even think about it.

          Ok, so you got 1 out of three, although you have to put yourself in the position of being a fool to win point one.

          Fine, you truly do believe the demonstrably false notion that Reagan ran us into bankruptcy.

          *On point one, I was wrong, you were right.*

          Trumpet fanfare please, even though it took admitting to believe something demonstrably untrue, Dean proven his point to the extent of me having to admit I am incorrect!

          That makes four times now I have admitted you were right and I was wrong.

          • valley p

            You are hopeless Rupert. Night night.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Actually I am utterly hopeless when someone tries to convince me of something but has nothing but utter nonsense to support their contention. You are correct again.

            In this case we have a vintage Dean pratfall .

            The article you cite directly contradicts your point but you had no idea because you didn’t even read it.

            That aside, nothing destroys this idea that Reagan had nothing to do with the USSR’s collapse than citing the fact that just prior to him we were close to a ground war with them for the first time in our history.

            Once that is brought up, the left usually has no answer to support their inane contention to the contrary.

            Clearly you do not either.

  • surefoot

    Rupert, You’re a one man band; plus your own groupie. It’s threw not through, quite sloppy, bubba.

    • Steve Plunk

      Watch out Rupert. It seems some people are more concerned with spelling and grammar than logic and ideas. If that’s the best they got I guess you’re on the right track.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        It would seem so.

        I have long been on record as the self admitted worst speller in the world. I figure if all someone can do is take issue with spelling mistakes, then they really don’t have a whole lot to say.

        • valley p

          “citing the *fact* that just prior to him *we were close to a ground war* with them for the first time in our history.”

          I know I will regret this, but please explain this “fact” to us on 2 levels. (1) that we were never close to a ground war with them prior to 1980, and (2) that we were close to a ground war with them in 1980. What constitutes “close?” Were Russian tanks massing at the borders? Were ours?

          “The article you cite directly contradicts your point”

          Uh no…it doesn’t. Desouza spends 99.9% of the article claiming Reagan was the sole reason the Soviets collapsed and then gives himself a convenient escape valve, just like you. He raises and dismises every argument otherwise, including the role of Gorbachev. Then he quotes Havel as giving Gorbachev some credit, and makes a point about the timing being hastened by Reagan, but not the fact of the collapse. Desouza says Havel’s point is “incontestable.” But which point since he made 3? The point that Gorbachev deserves equal credit? The point that Reagan’s belligerence followed by diplomacy hastened the collapse? Or the more subtle point that since collapse was inevitable anyway, containment, followed by every president prior to Reagan but which he explicitly rejected, may have been the right strategy all along. I mean, why risk complete destruction in a war with a system that could not prevail? Why raise the stakes? Why not just wait them out?

          And by the way Rupert, that lesson can be applied to Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and Cuba, and should have been applied to Saddam. Are all rotten systems that can’t last.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >Why raise the stakes? Why not just wait them out?

            Um, because several hundred million people were living under a torturous evil regime and there is a basic duty of humanity to do something about that since waiting them out had only lead to the expansionism we saw under Carter.

            Because there is something wrong about walling people into a city and shooting them if they try and escape and maybe it was the right thing to point out “Mr. Gorbachev tear down this wall”

            I realize your side was on the wrong side of history on this one ( as I pointed out, the left was apoplectic about Reagan’s wall remark ). Please don’t try everyone’s patience with being on the wrong side of logic as well.

            >(1) that we were never close to a ground war with them prior to 1980

            Are you kidding me?

            Wait, wait a second, you were unaware of the Federalist Papers, did not get a basic Animal Farm reference, and now you have no idea we were close to a ground war with the Soviet Union prior to Reagan’s election?

            You’re kidding me right?

            Ok – Well, Ill clue you in about it. Prior to Reagan, we had a president named Jimmy Carter.

            In Dean terms he would be called Former President and Nobel Peace Prize winnrer Jimmy Carter.

            During Carters term the Soviet union invaded Afghanistan and was in expansionist mode everywhere. Central America most notably.

            In response Jimmy Carter started selective service registration.

            That means registering for the draft.

            Now I know you missed having to register by a few years, however its a little inexcusable to be so ignorant of it.

            I’m not sure what constitutes preparing for a ground war any more than starting draft registration. this is especially so since Carter said he was starting such registration specifically due to concern over Soviet expansionism in Afghanistan.

            So, it was very serious business at the time. It strains credulity to believe that Carter, a man who by his own proclamations has devoted his life to peace, and Peace Prize winner to boot, would start up draft registration on a lark.

            Pretty hard to claim Reagan was not a huge factor when Mr. Peace prize is starting draft registration in the term before, and the Berlin wall comes down in the term after.

            Then again, you have also admitted you believe Reagan bankrupted us with the military build up when any check of the US Treasury web site shows his tax cuts brought in more than he ever spent on the military.

            *Strategy* – you have no strategy. This one is as bad a flub as the ignorance of The Federalist Papers. Bow out now or simply do the “your hopeless”or “you don’t know what you are talking about” routine. Hope no one notices your ignorance about the draft registration under Carter.

          • valley p

            So the sum total of your evidence that we were on the verge of a ground war with the Soviets was Carters not actually drafting anybody, but re-instituting registration just in case? And on this piece of evidence you concluded that Reagan was a hero and liberals are hopeless, so you changed your own personal politics? That’s it Rupert?

            Wow. I can’t argue with that iron clad logic. It would be like arguing with the Brad Pitt character in 12 Monkeys. “Focus James….focus!”

            FYI, I was not only registered for the draft, I had #18 as my lottery number and was called up for a pre-induction physical, which I passed. I escaped being drafted when Nixon decided to stop drafting people. So once again, for the umpteenth time, you made an assumption based on no evidence, but with great confidence. We seem to have a pattern here.

            “Then again, you have also admitted you believe Reagan bankrupted us with the military build up when any check of the US Treasury web site shows his tax cuts brought in more than he ever spent on the military.”

            You go bankrupt Rupert, when you spend more than you take in for too long and eventually can’t service your debts. If your income increases, but not as fast as your debts, that actually does not add up to solvency. You don’t get an “out” because defense spending is not subject to economics. I would think as a business person you would have a grasp of that.

          • Rupert in Springfield

            >That’s it Rupert?

            Nope, I listed all the other reasons above.

            You asked for clarification as to my ground war statement. I was addressing that.

            Your inability to read does not encumber me with the necessity to restate my entire argument of the entire point every time you ask for clarification on a single point.

            Please, next time try and follow your own argument. Don’t ask a question, get an answer, then forget what question you asked.

            >So once again, for the umpteenth time, you made an assumption based on no evidence, but with great confidence.

            Again, try and follow the discussion. I was speaking to Carters registration. You are a few years older than me and I just caught it, so you were not subject to the Carter registration, as I stated.

            Again, for the umpteenth time, please learn to read before making a fool out of yourself like this.

            >I would think as a business person you would have a grasp of that.

            And I would think that as the person who made the argument in the first place, that Reagan bankrupted us with his defense build up, you would have more to back it up than trying to change the argument.

            Fact is the Reagan tax cuts brought in more than his defense build up costs us. Therefore it is impossible that the defense build up bankrupted us. which is what you claimed, and was what I argued against.

            Apparently you have now forgotten you made that ludicrous claim because now you are trying Dean Weasel number one.

            Its probably the smartest move you have made in this exchange, because the treasury numbers in no way support your contention that the defense build up bankrupted us.

            *Strategy* Next time remember your argument before going into rebuttal. Not having command of the facts in a discussion, as you have demonstrated here, is a sure way to lose. Not having command of what your argument was in the first place is a way to look loony.

          • valley p

            “And I would think that as the person who made the argument in the first place, *that Reagan bankrupted us with his defense build up* ”

            Winning another argument with yourself Rupert? Too bad I did not make the argument you attribute to me “in the first place.” Here is what I claimed, word for word, right up above:

            *he bankrupted us in the process by convincing Americans we could party on without paying the bill*

            Does it say anything about defense spending? No. He cut taxes on the rich, raised them on the working class, doubled defense spending, and failed to cut other spending sufficient to come anywhere near balancing the budget. And he convinced you and your so called conservative movement that this approach was “conservative”. As Cheney said, “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter.” Party on George Bush.

            “Fact is the Reagan tax cuts brought in more than his defense build up costs us.”

            No Rupert, that is not a fact. What is a fact is that economic growth and SSI tax raises on the working classes brought in additional revenues. To what extent economic growth was enhanced by his tax cuts is unknowable. What is also a fact is his deficit legacy. And 20 years of Republican deficits.

            “Not having command of the facts in a discussion, as you have demonstrated here, is a sure way to lose.”

            I couldn’t have said that better. There is so much we agree on.

          • John in Oregon

            1980 last year of Carter presidency
            1988 last year of Reagan presdency’

            1980 Federal revenue $359.9 Billion
            1988 Federal revenue $583.3 Billion
            *Change in revenue + $223.4 Billion*
            IRS

            1980 Federal spending $591 Billion
            1988 Federal spending $1,064 Billion
            *Change in congressional spending + $473 Billion*
            OMB

            1980 Military spending in Dollars $303 Billion
            1988 Military spending in Dollars $426 Billion
            *Change in military spending + $123 Billion*
            Historical Charts of the Budget

            1980 Federal non-military spending $288 Billion
            1988 Federal non-military spending $638 Billion
            *Change in congressional non-military spending + $350 Billion*
            Calculated from above

            1980 Military spending as percent of GDP 4.9%
            1988 Military spending as percent of GDP 5.8%
            *Change in Military spending as percent of GDP + 0.9%*
            OMB

            1980 to 1988
            *Growth in revenue + 62%
            Growth in overall spending + 80%
            Growth in Military spending + 40.6%
            Growth in non military spending +121.5%*

          • valley p

            Accumulated Federal debt in 1980: $900 Billion
            Accumulated Federal debt in 1988: $2.7 Trillion

            Check out this comparative charts of the economic performance of every president since Eisenhower and explain how it is that Republicans are better managers of the national economy than Democrats.

            http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2009/01/23/business/20090124_CHARTS_GRAPHIC.html

            Or better yet. Explain it away.

          • John in Oregon

            > *Accumulated Federal debt in 1980: $900 Billion*
            > *Accumulated Federal debt in 1988: $2.7 Trillion*

            AND NOW THE REST OF THAT STORY

            1980 to 1988
            Growth in Reagan requested Military spending ,, + 40.6%
            Growth in revenue ……………………………………….……. + 62%
            Growth in overall congressional spending…….. … + 80%
            Growth in congressional non military spending … +121.5%

            Debt accumulated 1980 to 1988 ……………………………… $1.8 Trillion
            Average debt accumulated per year 1980 to 1988 ….. $0.225 Trillion
            Average debt accumulated per month 1980 to 88 …… $0.019 Trillion

            Debt accumulated 2001 to 2009 …………………….…………. $5.027 Trillion
            Average debt accumulated per year 2001 to 2009 …… $0.420 Trillion
            Average debt accumulated per month 2001 to 2009 … $0.035 Trillion

            Debt accumulated CY 2009 ………………………..…… $1.611 Trillion
            Projected debt accumulated CY 2010 ……….…..… $1.5 Trillion
            Total accumulated and projected debt 09-10 .,, $3.11 Trillion

            *Debt accumulated Jan 2009 through Feb 2010 ….… $1.807 Trillion (14 months)
            Debt accumulated 1980 to 1988 …,,,,……………..… $1.8 Trillion*

            Debt accumulated in the month of Feb 2010 ….… $220.9 Billion (all time record)
            Debt accumulated in average Reagan year ……… $225 Billion
            Debt accumulated in average Bush year ……..…… $420 Billion

            Average debt accumulated per month 1980 to 1988 … $19 Billion
            Average debt accumulated per month 2001 to 2009 … $35 Billion
            Debt accumulated in the month of Feb 2010 ………….… $220.9 Billion (all time record)

            *Increase in monthly debt spending 1980-1988 to Feb 2010 + 1063.2 %
            Increase in monthly debt spending 2001-2009 to Feb 2010 + 531.4 %*

            IN OTHER WORDS

            *The current congress spent more debt in 14 months than all the congress’ did in the 8 years under Reagan.

            The current congress nearly spent more debt in the month of February than congress spent in an average Reagan year.

            The current congress spent half as much debt in the month of February than congress spent in an average Bush year.*

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