The Right Opinion

Republican Suckers

By Michael Reagan · Nov. 29, 2012

Republicans had better learn from history – and from Ronald Reagan's mistake.

President Obama and his fellow big-spenders in Congress are promising if they get higher tax rates today they'll make even higher spending cuts tomorrow.

It's an old sucker's game. Republicans – and the rest of the country – should know it by now, because for three decades we've all been suckers.

If history is our guide, and Republicans in Congress don't grow a spine, by this time next year we'll have higher taxes, higher spending, more debt and a bigger government.

Twice before, Republicans have been fooled into playing the Democrats' con game.

It happened to my father early in his first term when he sought to close a growing federal deficit caused by the deep economic recession. He believed Democrats in Congress would keep their pledge to make $3 in future spending cuts for every $1 in immediate tax increases.

In 1982 he signed a compromise tax bill with the horrible name of TEFRA – the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act. And, when those promised spending cuts never materialized in Congress, TEFRA became one of the biggest regrets of my father's presidency.

My father was duped by the duplicity of Democrats. And so was George H.W. Bush less than a decade later, when he foolishly allowed himself to be taken for the same ride.

In 1990's budget wrangling, which was aimed at reducing the federal budget deficit by $500 billion over five years, Bush 41 was seduced by the Democrats' promise of making $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes.

The first Bush fell for it completely, reneging on his “Read my lips, no new taxes” pledge, opening the door for “tax-cutter” Ross Perot and losing in 1992 to Bill Clinton.

Even before he was de-elected, Bush 41 regretted the “bargain” he had made with Democrats. In March of 1992, the sucker in chief said, “I thought this one compromise – and it was a compromise – would result in no more tax increases.

"I thought it would result in total control of domestic discretionary spending. And now we see Congress talking about raising taxes again. So, I'm disappointed, and given all of that, yes, (it was) a mistake.”

Fast-forward to “Nightmare on Obama Street, Part II.” We have trillion-dollar federal deficits as far as our children's eyes can see. We have an economy that's looking at four more years of low growth and higher taxes.

And now some Republicans in Congress – who apparently don't have a piece of conservative cartilage left in their bodies – are getting ready to be duped again.

What's that old saying? “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” Well, Republicans look like they are about to be fooled for the third time, which is so stupid there's no adage to describe it.

While my father was bargaining with Democrats in 1982 over spending and tax cuts, he spoke over the heads of Congress to the American people.

“In a few days the Congress will stand at the fork of two roads,” he said. “One road is all too familiar to us. It leads ultimately to higher taxes. It merely brings us full circle back to the source of our economic problems, where the government decides that it knows better than you what should be done with your earnings and, in fact, how you should conduct your life. The other road promises to renew the American spirit. It's a road of hope and opportunity. It places the direction of your life back in your hands where it belongs.”

America is at that same fork in the road today. Twice in 30 years Republicans have let Democrat promises lead them and the country down a one-way road to bigger and bigger government.

Double shame on us. And if the GOP allows itself to be suckered again, it won't be just another disaster for conservatism, it'll be a tragedy for the whole country.

Copyright ©2012 Michael Reagan

11 Comments

Howard Last in Wyoming said:

Michael you are asking a lot for the Republicans to grow a spine and learn from their mistakes. Remember it is not called the God Owful Party for nothing. As long as Boehner and McConnell control the House and Senate there is no hope.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 1:19 AM

enemaofthestatistquo in Monroe, GA said:

G.O.P.- Gelatinous Opposition Party

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 2:11 AM

Lee in Phoenix said:

It's all part of Barry's Grand Plan: In the names of "fairness" and the "balanced" approach, insist on "soaking the rich" now in exchange for a deal to slash entitlements later, when we have "plenty of time next year" (or some other future year) to come up with some really good ideas to get us out of this "mess that Bush put us in".

By forcing the Republicans to oppose this counterproductive killing of the golden goose, we go over the fiscal cliff. In doing so, the military gets cut and the expiring "Bush tax cuts" cause tax increases on EVERYONE, so other spending cuts that might affect Barry's base are no longer needed.

And, of course, the whole catastrophe is the fault of the Republicans and Barry still cares about the little guy, who's now being soaked, too! Finally, the only thing needed to fix it all is for Barry to get a Democrat house in 2014 so the conservatives will no longer be able to frustrate his every effort to save us.

Snookered again.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM

wjm in Colorado said:

The marxists are winning, and America is losing. We are the Titanic after the iceberg. There aren' t enough conservatives left to overcome the propoganda and indoctrination that Lenin promised would do us in from within. We now witness the decline and fall. Atlas has shrugged. I believe the Conservatives should send a balanced budget to the Senate, let Reid trash it, and let the colapse begin. Make them responsible. They will only blame Bush or Beohner if compromise with the devil only postpones the crash.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Gregory in Yakima Wa. said:

Ya know...I'm kind of sympathetic to Michael Reagan. He's too lazy to work...and no successes of his own to give him any authority. His and his siblings treatment...neglect really...by his famous parents is enough to make anyone feel incapable and inadequate. Look at his siblings for confirmation of these observations.

But sympathy turns to empathy for Michael because he has managed to turn lemons into something better. He has turned his poor fortune into a career. By virtue of his father's name Michael has been able to create a career for himself just by mentioning his father's name in every article.

I wonder if there is an formal organization for people in his situation. G.W. Bush, Michael Reagan, Frank Sinatra Jr....all gained entry into jobs and celebrity they had not and could not earn on merit. Don't get me wrong...I'd do the same if I had a famous father's legacy to exploit.

But Reagan bamboozled by Democrats? How silly. That's o.k Michael...you've learned to persevere like a brave little soldier. Good for you.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 11:34 AM

billy396 in ohio replied:

Gregory, your envy is showing. Michael Reagan has the right and, maybe, the DUTY to mention his father at every opportunity. Both Michael Reagan and his father are and were very well-educated in the art of reality and economics, as opposed to the art of the con-game, as in Chicago lawyer con man politics. Obozo and his supporters are traitors to our Constitution and, therefore, they are all treasonous in their actions, even the supporters who don't know any better. Ignorance of the objective facts is no excuse. Obozo is a Commie to the core and he's trying his worst to destroy our freedom in America. IMPEACH, INDICT, PROSECUTE. Those who ignore their sworn oaths are all traitors, plain and simple.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 1:42 PM

Tex Horn in Texas said:

"And if the GOP allows itself to be suckered again, it won't be just another disaster for conservatism, it'll be tragedy for the whole country."

Amen, Michael. A key word in that sentence is "again." Howard Last is right, the leadership (tsk) in the Republican Party couldn't claw their way out of a paper bag. In the strategic game that is politics, they keep allowing themselves to be put in loser positions. Perhaps it's because they are losers to begin with. Let me ask: what has Boehner' McConnell, and Cornyn done for us lately? Roll over? This is conservatism? From what I'm seeing, I'm pronouncing conservatism's death in the Republican Party...at least those in Washington.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Linda in Apple Valley, Ca said:

Histroy is repeating itself over and over again. Those in charge in DC own their allegiance not to the people that elected them but to the Special Interest groups and lobbyists that line their pockets. Too bad so many were put back into DC. too bad so many Americans simply sat home and let the socialist in the White House stay there spending upwards of $1 BILLION dollars on parties etc. Money that could have gone towards the budget. Too bad no one has attempted to stop the madness that closes businesses in America then gives GM billions of dollars to start up a car company in China? Too bad not enough people care about this country but only what it can do for them. President Kennedy would be rolling over in his grave.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM

richard ryan in Lamar,Missouri said:

Michael, your dad was a great and good man. His mistake was in believing that Democrats are honest. Sadly, in ignoring Ronald Reagan`s lesson, the Republicans are about to add credence to the saying that you can`t fix stupid. I might add that the Democrats are about to show that you can`t fix dishonesty.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

It is interesting that Karl Marx was an athiest. All wisdom is God-given.Wise business principles and fossil fuels, built Great Empires.The need for labor, allows laborers to join or refrain from joining a union of laborers. Upward mobility is the reason so many successful citizens live in these United States of America. Honesty/Integrity can be a stong sword, in the battle against pagan reprobates, like the LEFTists!!

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:05 PM

demsarerats in Oregon said:

Michael, I don’t believe that “He believed Democrats in Congress would keep their pledge to make $3 in future spending cuts for every $1 in immediate tax increases.” You dad knew better than that, he went along with squish Repubs on that bs only because the cowards wouldn’t back him up. Wait and watch them cave in again.

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 8:11 PM