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21 Reasons Why Ronald Reagan Was a Terrible President

Updated on December 13, 2016
jeff61b profile image

Jeff is a computer professional who takes a great interest in politics and tries to always distinguish fact from opinion.

Official portrait of President Reagan, 1981
Official portrait of President Reagan, 1981

1. Reagan Supplied Weapons to America's Enemies

He armed Saddam Hussein's Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war despite the fact that it was widely known Iraq was using chemical weapons against civilian populations in violation of international law.

2. Reagan Ignored the Atrocities Committed by Saddam Hussein

Even after the whole world condemned Saddam Hussein for using chemical weapons to kill over 5,000 Kurdish civilians in Iraq, the Reagan administration continued to provide weapons and tactical information to Iraq. Iraq used this information to target its enemies with chemical weapons. Reagan even vetoed a UN resolution condemning Iraq.

3. Reagan Illegally Supplied Arms to Both Sides of the Iran-Iraq War

While he was supplying Iraq with weapons, Reagan also armed Iran during the Iran-Iraq War in direct violation of a U.S. law that he had signed.

4. Reagan Caved in to the Demands of Terrorists

After several Americans were taken hostage by terrorists in Lebanon, Reagan provided weapons to Iran in exchange for their release. Despite this concession, ultimately more hostages were taken.

Memorial to 241 Marines, soldiers, and sailors killed in the October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon.
Memorial to 241 Marines, soldiers, and sailors killed in the October 23, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon.

5. Reagan Caved in to the Demands of Terrorists Again

After Reagan sent Marines to Beirut for a peacekeeping mission, a terrorist’s truck bomb killed 241 U.S. Marines. Reagan responded by immediately doing exactly what the terrorists wanted, pulling all the troops out of Beirut.

6. Reagan Was Weak in the War on Terrorism

After the bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Reagan promised to track down and punish the terrorists who committed that horrible act. He never followed up on that promise.

7. Reagan Didn't Obey His Own Laws

He illegally supplied weapons to Nicaraguan rebels in violation of a law that he himself had signed.

8. Reagan Supported the Violent Overthrow of a Democratically Elected Government

He illegally supported the Nicaraguan Contras, whom he called “Freedom Fighters,” despite the fact that they killed civilians and wanted to overthrow the democratically elected government to restore the dictatorship that previously existed in Nicaragua.

9. Reagan Started an Unnecessary War to Divert Attention From His Failure in Beirut

Just days after the bombing that killed 241 Marines in Beirut, Reagan launched an attack on the island of Grenada to remove Cuban soldiers there. This successfully took attention away from the devastating loss of those Marines in Beirut.

USS Stark after 37 crew members were killed by an Iraqi missile on May 17, 1987.
USS Stark after 37 crew members were killed by an Iraqi missile on May 17, 1987.

10. Reagan Failed to Defend US From Saddam Hussein

When an Iraqi fighter jet fired a missile into a U.S. Navy ship in 1987, killing 37 men, Reagan did nothing in response to the attack. Iraq is still the only non-allied country to attack a U.S. warship without retaliation.

11. Reagan Helped Create Al Qaeda

The Reagan administration armed and supported the Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan. Many members of the Mujahideen, like Osama bin Laden, used their experience in Afghanistan to help them form the terrorist organization Al Qaeda.

12. Reagan Supported the Racist Apartheid Government in South Africa

When the white minority in South Africa (just 10% of the population) brutally repressed the black majority, even denying them the right to vote, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly passed the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 to apply pressure to South Africa to end Apartheid. But President Reagan opposed any sanctions on South Africa and vetoed that bill. Congress was forced to override his veto.

Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983.
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein greets Donald Rumsfeld, special envoy of President Ronald Reagan, in Baghdad on December 20, 1983.

13. Reagan Supported the Most Brutal Dictators in the World as Long as He Didn't Consider Them “Communists”

  • He supported Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. Later, when Noriega became too close with Fidel Castro, we suddenly considered him an enemy and removed him from power.
  • He supported Saddam Hussein when he committed the most brutal atrocities on Earth, killing thousands of his own people. Years later, when Saddam threatened our oil supply, we used these same atrocities as reasons to go to war with him.
  • He supported Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos even after Marcos killed his political rival and rigged his own reelection.
  • He supported the brutal regime in El Salvador when it was widely known that they were killing civilians, including Americans. After four American nuns were murdered by Salvadorian soldiers, Reagan’s Secretary of State defended the Salvadorians, suggesting that the nuns might have been shot while trying to run a military roadblock—but this wouldn't explain why they were also raped before they were killed.

14. Reagan’s Administration Had More Documented Corruption Than Any President in U.S. History

At least 138 Reagan administration officials, including several cabinet members, were investigated for, indicted for, or convicted of crimes. This is the largest number of any U.S. President. Many of them were pardoned by Reagan or President Bush before they could even stand trial.

  • Secretary of the Interior James Watt —Indicted on 21 felonies
  • Attorney General Edwin Meese —Resigned after investigations of corruption
  • Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger—Charged with Iran-Contra crimes and pardoned before going to trial
  • Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams—Plea bargained for Iran-Contra crimes and pardoned by President Bush
  • Two National Security Advisors Robert MacFarlane and John Poindexter—Pleaded guilty to Iran-Contra crimes and were pardoned
  • Three high ranking CIA officials, Alan Fiers, Clair George, and Joseph Fernandez —Convicted and pardoned for Iran-Contra crimes
  • At least nine Reagan appointees were convicted of perjury, lying to Congress, obstruction of Congress, or contempt of Congress

15. Reagan Frequently Repeated Bald-Faced Lies Even After They Were Publicly Revealed to Be Untrue

  • He told stories about having been a U.S. Army photographer assigned to film Nazi death camps. Reagan never visited or filmed any such camps.
  • He often told a story about a “Chicago Welfare Queen” who had 80 aliases and gotten $150,000 in welfare. She never existed but investigators did find one woman who had two aliases and received $8,000. Still, Reagan continued to tell the false version of the story.
  • He claimed that trees create more pollution than automobiles, an absurdly untrue statement that he literally pulled out of thin air.

16. Reagan Set Records for Budget Deficits

After criticizing President Carter for having a $50 billion deficit, Reagan’s own deficits exceeded $200 billion. He tripled the national debt in only eight years. Although Republicans blamed Congress for the deficits, all eight of the budgets Congress passed had less spending and smaller deficits than the budgets proposed by Reagan.

17. Reagan's Economic Policies Put Millions of Americans out of Work

When he took office in 1981, unemployment was at 7.5% and dropping. A few months after his economic policies took effect, unemployment began to rise again. Millions of people continued to lose their jobs for the next two years until unemployment exceeded 10%. It stayed above 10% for nearly a year, peaking at 10.8%. Three years after he was elected, unemployment was still higher than when he was sworn in.

Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del Cielo, 1976.
Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del Cielo, 1976.

18. Reagan’s Policies Allowed Hundreds of Thousands of Family Farms to Go out of Business or Declare Bankruptcy

By some accounts, nearly one third of all farms were at risk of being foreclosed during the 1980s. Reagan vetoed a farm credit bill that would have given farmers some relief. His popularity among farmers dropped so low that at one point when discussing the exportation of grain to other countries, Reagan joked that he would like to “keep the grain and export the farmers."

19. Reagan’s Financial Policies Caused the Savings and Loan Industry to Collapse

The financial deregulation and changes to the tax code that President Reagan enacted ultimately caused nearly 750 different financial institutions to fail. This cost taxpayers about $150 billion.

20. Reagan Robbed the Social Security Trust Fund to Pay for His Budget Shortfalls

After Reagan cut taxes for the rich, the tax revenue to fund the government was so small that the budget deficit grew to four times what it had been under Jimmy Carter. So Reagan “borrowed” hundreds of billions of dollars from the Social Security trust fund to pay the country’s bills. That money has never been paid back.

21. Reagan Largely Ignored the AIDS Epidemic while Tens of Thousands of People Were Dying of the Disease

Many conservatives in the 1980s believed that AIDS was God’s punishment for being gay. Ronald Reagan did not publicly talk about AIDS until the 6th year of his presidency. In 1986, when AIDS fatalities were doubling every year, Reagan proposed cuts in funding for AIDS research.

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      Maureen Chamberlin 33 hours ago

      I remember all the atrosicties of Regan but republicans still think he was great!??? He had dementia and truly not capable of being a President he should of stuck with acting! His own children Ron and Patty with did not agree with his policies either. That should say it all!!!!

    • profile image

      Jin 3 weeks ago

      He was the last good president

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 5 weeks ago from Pasadena CA

      This one. Let's have the economic facts, ma'am.

      https://mises.org/library/myths-reaganomics

    • CELEBSFAN78 profile image

      Ara Vahanian 5 weeks ago from LOS ANGELES

      I'd actually like to make a correction for point #5 so that the author of this Hub knows: Reagan actually sent Marines to Lebanon to prop up a government there at the time, even though the official word is that he sent peacekeeping troops there that is false. And then Hezbollah with the help of Iran set off those two powerful truck bombs. The US lost 241 Marines when it should not have.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 5 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      SDM, so what policies would that be? It was not just writing speeches. He had a vision and policies to implement those visions. Not many presidents had that skill, including the last few. It is funny how so many native Americans on the left just don't get it, while people in the former soviet union does. ???

    • profile image

      SDM 5 weeks ago

      Good. So Reagan could write a compelling speech. He was a great speechifier. That doesn't mean anything when it comes to his disastrous presidency.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 6 weeks ago from Pasadena CA

      Interesting. I'll have to check out those speeches sometime. Because I didn't like Reagan and hated his economic policies (which resulted in the huge income disparity gap we have now) I never took the time to visit his library. I would like to see the speeches though.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Watergeek, I would have to disagree. Regardless what you thought of Reagan's health or state of mind, he was the man behind the policies which lead to the downfall of the Soviet empire and also getting us the star wars defense missiles system... he was not just reading his lines as some people claimed. He wrote most of his speeches long hand. I saw them in person when I visited the Reagan library...

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 6 weeks ago from Pasadena CA

      Guys - I accidentally deleted the comment I just made, saying that I met Reagan during his first term and agree that he was showing signs of Alzheimers. Sigh.

      What I'm saying, Jack Lee, is that Reagan was a public relations front man. I doubt he played a real role, other than being in front of the press with the other leaders, in the USSR breakup. I've always had the sense that Gorbachev was a little more of a statesman than most former USSR leaders, and that he had the courage to engineer the breakup himself. The USSR was falling apart, going bankrupt, and he needed to do something drastic to keep a sense of power and integrity. That's why it ticked me off that Reagan et. al. tried to grab all the credit for the U.S. We are not the only good leaders in the world.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Watergeek, I will take you at your word since you met the man.

      Would you think the soviet empire would collapse if it wasn't for Reagan and Thatcher and Pope Hpjohn Paul II ?

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 6 weeks ago from Cape Cod, USA

      I agree with eleanor. And who was running the show? Hw bush, whom reagan apparently didn't like. First as director of cia. Then veep. And by his side was colin powell, carrying out the dictates just as he had to lie about wmd for w.

      And im sure we've all heard the quote supposedly from hw to mary mcllelan (? reporter in Washington) where he said "if americans knew what we have done, they would hang us by the lamp-posts"

      Same reporter who gave refuge to kay griggs when she was being threatened by the military industrial complex.

      Then we had iran/contra, franklin cover-up, gulf war.....seems like another lifetime.

      But yes. Reagan was the beginning of the end of the usa. Trickle -up has been an absolute abomination.

      And dems like tim ryan who want to vote with repubs on this: change parties!

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 weeks ago from Yorktown NY

      Eleanore, with all due respoect, that is a total fiction with regard to Reagan. His first term was dealing with the resession brought on by Jimmy Carter. Inflation rate at double digits. His economic policies is what got us back on a track of growth. The unemployment rate dropped steadily in his second term. His policies lead to the greatest economic boom in modern times. He was not daignosed with Altzheimers until way after he left office.

    • Ewent profile image

      Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker 6 weeks ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      I believe I formed an opinion of Ronald Reagan as a child in the 50s when he appeared on General Electric Theater on CBS. When he became Governor of California, I felt that was the decision of Hollywood rather than the entire state.

      It's important to remember that in the 50s and 60s, celebrity played a huge role in influencing who would run for president. JFK's ties go back to his father's fling with then Actress Gloria Swanson. Even Nixon did his bit to court celebrities of a fashion, albeit more in the Ed Sullivan conservative style.

      By the time Reagan became president of the U.S., I believed the stage was already set by Republicans to choose ONLY men who could follow the back room GOP's dictates. No longer would Republicans allow any president to be as autonomous as Nixon had been. WaterGate was too too much a sore on Republicans minds.

      This is the reason why Dick Cheney was not given the GOP nomination to run when he requested it in 1994. Seems strange now to think that Cheney's decision to run would be affected by his role as chief advisor to Nixon.

      I believe I began to be aware of Reagan's mental deterioration when whispers of it came from relatives living in CA when he was governor.

      Since GHWB had been Nixon's head of the CIA, the GOP knew Reagan's medical history when they decided to allow Reagan to run for president.

      He was the perfect candidate even though he was already in Stage Two of Alzheimers disease. He was malleable, pliable and took back room GOP orders without complaints.

      For anyone to believe Reagan's second term was not run by his back room GOP cabient is to also refuse to admit GWB was a front man for Cheney from 2000 to 2008.

      Personally, my recollection of Reagan's second term was when I worked as a personnel tech recruiter and jobs were barely there in the late 70s and people were out of work in droves. This is proven by the number of DOL reports during the Reagan years.

      To fault Reagan, rather than his back room masters of the universe is to blame someone who was already too ill to make decisions.

    • profile image

      Remember 2 months ago

      His great strength was his charisma.

    • Angel Guzman profile image

      Angel Guzman 3 months ago from Joliet, Illinois

      He also went after unions even though he held a prominent leadership role in a union years prior.

    • jeff61b profile image
      Author

      jeff61b 4 months ago

      Dan,

      It is difficult to reach any other conclusion than Reagan was trying to draw attention away from Beruit.

      The American college students in Granada were not being threatened nor were they in any imminent danger until Reagan sent in the troops.

      There was no urgent need to invade Grenada at that time.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 4 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Dan, as a progressive, what is your current opinion of President Reagan? ...given some of the history of the presidents since Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr., Obama and Trump...

    • profile image

      Dan 4 months ago

      There is one claim that may be suspect here, number 9. Here, it is suggested that Reagan started the war in Grenada as a result of failing after the Beirut bombing. However, there were around 600 medical students there and there had been a long-time concern that the now active soviet-cuban government could launch newer aircraft with weapons. Reagan decided to make a move partly based on this concern which may be independent of the bombing the occurred in Beruit.

      As a Progressive, I did not vote for Reagan.

    • profile image

      Bob Klahn 4 months ago

      You got number 20 wrong. He did not borrow money from the Social Security trust fund to cover up his deficits, ALL money in the trust fund is automatically invested in Federal Treasury bills, and have been since Social Security was set up. There was no difference in the operation in that area. No, it wasn't paid back, but it will be when Social Security pays out more than the tax brings in, if that hasn't happened already.

      What Reagan did do was increase social security taxes, which did cover some of his deficits. It was a nice try, but didn't stand a chance after his tax cuts and spending increases.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 5 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      oh you're welcome! there is no need to insult you because you have a different view! insult public figures, not each other! and i agree w you about reagan.

      as is my right.

    • CELEBSFAN78 profile image

      Ara Vahanian 5 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Yes Dear: thank you very much for your support of me! I find it hard not to laugh whenever some people say things that are totally absurd. I was only stating how I thought and still think of Reagan. What is shameful is the constant idolizing of a man that had NO idea how in the heck to run the US. I have studied American history and went to school in the US. I know what is going on here. Some people just assume you are dishonest even if you are telling the truth. Thanks for your support.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 5 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      you are not allowed to call him shameful and dishonest because he doesnt like reagan, are you? what is it with the right? insult, insult, insult all day long. just like your prez.

      and fyi: reagan was beloved by those who liked him. plenty did not, including myself. this lionizing of him only applies to his fans.

      some of us see him as the beginning of the end of america.

      trickle down, voodoo economics and saudi love.

      his policies lead to where we are now.

      with Ronnie junior (trump) in the wings preaching more stale old policies of tax cuts for the rich. starve the gvt, more profits for corporate nwo.

      BOOOOO

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 5 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Do you understand how hubpages work? People can write about whatever subject they choose, and others are free to comment and debate and make their case. The reason I commented here is to counter your points. Your intolerance of my comment is more of an expose of who you are...my facts are clear.

    • CELEBSFAN78 profile image

      Ara Vahanian 5 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Jack Lee: I still stand by what I said. If you don't like it you don't have to comment on the article. Ronald Reagan was a piece of garbage as President and a piece of garbage as a human being as well. This was the same man who did absolutely NOTHING to address the AIDS crisis during his Presidency when people were tragically dying from the disease. It does not matter how many Americans liked the guy. That doesn't make him look good. I was just stating what I thought about the man. If you don't like it no one is forcing you to comment on the article and please be more respectful and just stick to debating the ideas here. Let's agree to disagree politely please.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 5 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Ara, a former actor who was also elected Governor of California, the biggest State. He was beloved by the American public and given an honorable sendoff. He was re-elected by a 49-1 majority.

      Your dishonesty about this great man is shameful.

    • CELEBSFAN78 profile image

      Ara Vahanian 5 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      This is what happens when a country elects a former actor for a President! Some people may not like this but there is no way that a former movie star would know how to govern a country as large and as complex as the United States. Let's even take a look at what happened when California elected Arnold Schwarzenegger as a governor. Did he make California better? Of course not. I would even go so far to say that Reagan was a worse president than George W. Bush and that's really saying something. Reagan should be ranked as one of those bottom feeders when it comes to American Presidents. As long as Americans continue to be fascinated by celebrities and be of the low information voter types, events like this will happen. Thank you to the person who wrote this article and I hope that this can circulate around the country so that maybe, maybe Americans can start to wake up little bit.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 5 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      +100

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      Tom 5 months ago

      Someone needs to write a book titled Reagan: The Worst President In US History. In addition to your points: (1) He broke the labor movement by the way he handled the air traffic controllers strike (2) His tax policies set in motion the grotesque income inequality we see today (3) He created homelessness by turning the mentally ill out onto the streets and ending support for mental health programs---before Reagan there were very few people on the streets (4) He set back the move to renewal energy by decades, undoing every conservation and renewal energy program Carter had put in place (most infamously declaring SUVs as trucks so they didn't have to meet the MPG standards of cars--kind of like calling ketchup a vegetable)--therefore he owns a lot of blame for current environmental conditions (5) His efforts to undermine the Soviet Union, which were supposed to be one of his great triumphs, haven't exactly turned out that way, have they? (6) He missed the golden opportunity to get rid of nuclear weapons forever by insisting on holding on to ineffectual Star Wars technology (probably because of the corporate welfare involved) (7) He created a POV that individualism is more American than communalism and that the private sector is always better than government.

      These are both grotesquely false points of view and are directly responsible for a lot of the greed, corruption, cynicism, and isolation in America today. (9) He gave us trickle-down and supply-side economics, which didn't work then, and didn't work under Bush, and will once again not work under Trump (but because the sainted Reagan with his mythical economic boom that few enjoyed used these tactics, they've become zombies that can't be killed). I could go on and on and on--the reality is that almost every problem we have in this country today you can trace back to the Reagan years. He did one good thing, which is raise the spirits of the American people--he was sunny (though in reality cold), folksy, he made people feel good. But his policies, which, for the most part he had little to do with, because he was already suffering from Alzheimers when he was elected, turned this country into the divided, mean-spirited, despairing nation it is so often today.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 6 months ago from Pasadena CA

      Reagan apparently supported the use of nerve gas by Iraq against Iran, according to CIA reports recently released (via the Freedom of Information Act). When pundits add these facts to what they already know, it reveals a really ugly story.

      http://www.newsweek.com/how-us-nerve-gassed-its-ow...

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 6 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      we didn't use to. i heard a comment yesterday that at one point, america took in half of all refugeed world-wide!

      our closed-door policy now is the result of one man: donald j trump, and whichever mercer-funded s for brains hes installed in the white house.

      he does not speak for most americans. thats a fact.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 6 months ago from Pasadena CA

      Anyone wonder where immigrants come from? Most are refugees fleeing from violence in their own countries. For quite some time now the United States has been a leading perpetrator of that violence. Not only does bombing kill people, but it also kills the soil that used to grow food and poisons water that used to be drinkable. How can we do this to other countries and then shut our doors to their hungry and hurting?

      http://www.workers.org/2015/09/08/u-s-wars-caused-...

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 6 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      and you sound like every other right winger out there.

      ive said for years...we are in parallel universes.

      good thing for you, your leaders have stolen all the power.

      everything you believe will be law of the land. just like 2000-2006.

      everyone else just dont matter.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      You fell for all the talking points.

      1. A wall does work, ask all who have build it...Israel, Saudia Arabia, Korea...

      2. We don't need illegals, doing jobs Americans won't do.

      How did America survive for 200 years without illegals?

      The 93 Million Americans out of work will pick up the slack...

      3. American people support it, that is why Trump was elected...

      Keep spinning about immigration as if it is the same as illegal imigration. They are two different animals.

      Finally, illegals contribute to our economy... wrong, they use more resources in terms of jail, medical, schools and welfare...than they pay into system...

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 6 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      we dont need a gd wall, and most americans are against it.

      teachable moment for you:

      experts in terrorism say this wont stop terrorists.

      immigration has been decreasing.

      shut down people who hire illegals problem solved.

      wont work, know why?

      America needs illegals.

      too many rely on them. wont DO that work for that pay.

      better idea is work permit or path to citizenship.

      stop terror? stop saying radical islamic jihad.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      lovemychris, what a teaching moment for you. there is a big difference between the Berlin wall and Trumps wall? do you know what that is?

      The Iron curtain was designed top keep people in the former East Germany...

      The Trump wall is designed to keep people out. People needs an invitation to come here as with every other sane country. There is an orderly legal immigration process.

      you have to pass medical tests...

      you have to have a reason...(join a relative)

      you have to have skills in the case of H1B1 visa...

      you are seeking political asylum...

      Thanks for a teachable moment.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 6 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      now we get an iron curtain of our own...

      and we shut our doors to the huddled masses.

      we are becoming east germany. stasi is next.

      all coming by reaganites!

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      watergeek,

      no need to speculate. Go lookup from the words of Gorbachov. He credits Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II with the fall of the Soviet Union...

      It is funny how some will reject the truth. They could not give credit where credit is due. Reagan, by escalating the arms race, is what brought down the soviet empire. We had the resources and they tried to keep up and in the process bankrupt their country...

      A bit of trivia for you.

      Who brought down the iron curtain?

      Answer, Reagan. His quote "Mr. Gorbachov, tear down this wall..."

      He added the words to the speech which his advisors at the time thought it was too provacative. It took a real leader to lead.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 6 months ago from Pasadena CA

      My take, also, David McKibben. I remember when it happened how angry I was at the arrogance of the U.S. to claim responsibility for the end of communism. Here's another, more realistic take on the events in the USSR, this time from the inside.

      https://www.pri.org/stories/2011-09-26/gorbachev-y...

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Greengeek, wow, your diatribe against Reagan is over the top even for a liberal.

      So it is the US fault under Reagan that caused the failure in Mexico which lead to all the illegal immigrants?

      It is that kind of anti- American rhetoric that gives liberals a bad name.

      Reagan was a man of peace. He build up our military and defeated Soviet Union without firing a shot.

      He restored our economy that was failing under Carter with double digit inflation...

      He created the largest economic boom by reducing government regulations that hurt the free enterprise system know as capitalism.

      He fired all traffic controllers and stood up to the unions that was holding America hostage will illegal strikes.

      He freed millions of people from communism in eastern Europe.

      You know nothing about Reagan and you criticize him for being a failed president. The real failure is the education system in America today where they don't even teach the Constitution...

      Your views of Reagan is in the minority. Most historians agree with me. He is revered as a great man. Your criticism shows your own bias and not reality.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 6 months ago from Pasadena CA

      You don't see my "problem" because there isn't one. My first degree was at a very conservative college known for its business program. The second one was ten years later at a more liberal university, after I'd worked for both the most "liberal" and the most "conservative" of government agencies.

      I'm sure that Reagan did some things that were OK (unfortunately making us more dependent on fossil fuels), but he relied too much on an economic paradigm that doesn't work for anyone but the rich - that is, "trickle down". Money doesn't trickle down. It's like cream that rises to the top and stays there, and further enriching the rich just compounds the problem.

      The strength of the US economy has always been its innovation and diversity. So if one big industry starts declining, there are new ones that can take over and balance it out. Those few presidents who fostered the development of renewable energy were encouraging the growth of a new industry that has proven to be highly viable and is lessening our dependence on fossil fuels.

      Reagan was not one of them. Furthermore, because of his (and others) insistence on grabbing more oil from outside sources, he got us into wars we perhaps shouldn't have been involved in. After that we had excess guns we needed to sell. Guess where those went?

      NAFTA had several consequences Reagan had been warned about but ignored, one being that the cheap food we pumped into Mexico destroyed their local agricultural sector. Another being that the maquiladora plants that moved to Mexico along the Rio Grande cost Americans their factory jobs; and caused massive birth defects of Mexican workers' babies from dumping their chemicals into the river and local watershed. There were many more problems than this triggered by Reagan's policies, but this is not the venue to bring them all out.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      watergeek, I see your problem. You went to liberal college and learned all the left wing anti capitalism economic policies. You need to read some books on Reagan and his administration. His conservative policies saved us from the Carter hyper inflation and oil and gas shortages. I can't go into details but Reagan was a great President and the world/UN and American Left never gave him credit.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 6 months ago from Pasadena CA

      Jack Lee - Reagan was hell on our economy. He dismantled all the safeguards that stopped big companies from taking over. He passed NAFTA, which was a disaster for us and Mexico both . . . again, except for the top layer of capitalists in both countries. He cut taxes for rich people, who were actually benefitting more from our country's infrastructure than the average person, but now had to pay less. And he used our taxes for wars (like nearly every president since), which also benefits the rich and hurts the poor.

      I've got stories about all this stuff. And I understand it, because I had to study economics (4 semesters) for my BA in business, then later got a masters in sustainable development. Plus the Peace Corps taught me a lot about how economics works. Have you ever read The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man? Good book.

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Watergeek, what is it about Reagan you didn't like? By all means you should write a hub about Grenada. First hand information is always better than news or press releases.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 6 months ago from Pasadena CA

      I didn't like Reagan at all, even after I met the guy. Where? In Grenada, West Indies, where I was a Peace Corps volunteer less than a year after the US invasion. And I am going to take issue here with your "facts" on Grenada. I looked it up while I was there, talked to a local lawyer supplying information to the CIA, read public documents of President Maurice Bishop's discussions with Castro. I wanted to discredit us sending soldiers there, but couldn't in the end.

      Contrary to your assertion, we did not go in to remove Cuban soldiers. We went in to remove the Marxist former vice president of Grenada, Bernard Coard, who had just assassinated Maurice Bishop and seven of his government ministers. The US put Coard in prison (he was still there when I was serving), set up a temporary US embassy (I knew many of them) and an interim Prime Minister (I met him too). A year later Grenada held elections and a local candidate was democratically elected.

      We did do Grenada a good turn, and several of its citizens thanked me as a representative American, while I was there. Some of the residual communists living in the hills even applied for loans from the micro-finance agency I helped set up.

      In writing this I'm realizing how much information I gathered that most people don't know, and now I'm wondering if I should write a hub on just that topic (lol).

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 6 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Even Gorbachov disagreed with you.-

      http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5148407/ns/us_news-the_l...

      Checkmate.

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      David McKibbin 6 months ago

      How about claiming credit for ending the cold war, when it was really Gorbachev who engineered the end of Russian communism. But most of all for convincing Republicans today that he was the best thing that ever happened to this country.

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      emily 8 months ago

      You should obey you own law

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      Richard Vert 8 months ago

      That was fun ! Do the Clinton one next ! And don't forget Chinagate where he sold the chinese our missile tech and much , much more for campaign money. Stealing the George Washington china the silverware , rented out the Lincoln bedroom for 4 mil . Of course travlegate , cattle futures , whitewater , sex scandals , lying to congress , the little "impeachment" issue , oh there's just so much

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      Eugene Braswell 8 months ago

      Do forget Reagan took billions away from the civil service fund that was taken out of our pay checks. Never paid back and even tried to force us in to ss. We paid almost twice as much as people paid in ssi. To put salt in the wound those who had worked in the public sector for 12 years had to take a "double dipper cut" in our ss retirement check. At the same bill he gave the top income earners a 3% tax cut. I had no sadness when he died. He is also the reason we can not buy cars from the makers. One of his cash supporters got that gift . I get a sick feeling when people call him great . He was a working mans nightmare.

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      Brubsy 8 months ago

      I want thank jeff61b for this accurate and very important list/analysis. Though Reagan wasn't all bad, he was ultimately a mediocre president who cynically favored corporations and multimillionaires over working people. With hindsight, we can see that his union-busting, trickle-down economic policies were ground zero for the destruction of the US middle class. The wealthiest 1 percent is richer than ever, yet precious little of their money “trickles down” to the working class in any substantial way.

      Unfortunately, many of Reagan’s economic theories are still being followed today, not because they’re popular, but rather because they’re supported and promoted by the aforementioned billionaires who bankroll our politicians. These tycoons have lots to lose if Reagan’s policies are ever questioned, challenged and/or replaced.

      I wish more working class conservatives would study and confront the unfortunate truth about Reagan. Maybe then they could climb out from the economic abyss they're in now. But sadly, many conservatives get their information from biased sources, including right-wing radio and Fox News. They’ve invested so much emotion into the Reagan Myth that it would hurt to admit that their hero plunged the middle class into debt and near-oblivion.

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      GA Loren 9 months ago

      Reagan may have been a bad President, but he was a pretty good actor. Unfortunately, his role as President sure didn't get any Acadamy Award nominations

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      William Murphy 9 months ago

      Reagan was a mouth piece for the rich and companies - remember they got the Lexus we got the muffler

      Came in as president with the US being the largest CREDITOR NATION and left 8 years later with US being the LARGEST DEBTOR NATION. He gave huge tax cuts to his mentors - companies and the 1%. Raised taxes on the middle class , crazy military build up and to cover his massive deficits raided the social security trust fund and stuck us with worthless IOUs.

      It's been down hill since this traitor was elected.

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      GA Loren 9 months ago

      Ronald Reagan may not have been a great President, but he was an outstanding actor. He should have got an Acadamy Award for his "role" playing himself as The President

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      GALoren 9 months ago

      I'm still trying to find out what Reagan did that benefitted our nation or citizens. He messed up Social Security, encouraged chemical warfare to be used against Iran, by Iraq and that's about it. Reagan was an actor, nothing more, nothing less. What's that you say? He got the "Wall" torn down? If walls are meant to be torn down, why is Trump building another one?

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      Frank 9 months ago

      We had a long economic expansion under Reagan, that was politically credited to him, somewhat inappropriately. The Republicans created the Reagan myth with what George Bush correctly claimed to be Voodoo Economics. i.e. That the Reagan tax cuts triggered the expansion. The Reagan tax cuts were paid for by deficit spending, which does not expand the economy like Republicans would have us believe. The Republican rhetoric was that when business pay less tax, they create job with the savings. But that is not what happened. What happened, was CEOs took the tax savings and gave themselves larger and larger salaries, while holding back on workers raises. Looking at the graph of productivity versus worker wages, will clearly show, that productivity continued to clime, but worker wages stagnated. Higher corporate taxes do not necessarily hurt the economy, but they do encourage putting more money back into the business in order to reduce those taxes.

      The expansion was created by Paul Volker, who was selected by Jimmy Carter after a long period of stagflation created by OPEC's radical cut in Oil production to countries who supported Israel, in 1994 and again in 1998. The inflationary period actually started in 1965 with the Vietnam spending.

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      Lincoln clay 10 months ago

      This is pretty cool, I listen to old school reggea and punk bands like bad brain's for the longest time they were saying the same thing.

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      Sharon Smith 11 months ago

      This was a good article and I agree ge was not this great president that the republicans claim him to be.

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      John 11 months ago

      I looked up the unemployment percentage through the website you provided. By the time Reagan left the White House, unemployment was almost down to 5%. The only time it was greater than when he got into office was his 2nd year after Reaganomics kicked in. Besides that, the rest is a bunch of half truths or the same terrible thing he did repeated in a different way. Instead of 21 terrible things he did, it should have been closer to 14 terrible things.

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      nicomp 11 months ago

      Wow, Sean, tell us what you really feel.

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      Sean 11 months ago

      Reagan was Traitor Trash............. Rotted POS.... Don't Forget The Iran Contra Affairs?????? Rethuglicans are The Worst

    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 12 months ago from Corona, California.

      Not enough of them.

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      Donald 12 months ago

      Reagan destroyed unions

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 13 months ago from Ohio, USA

      Jeff61b -- "Ronald Reagan vetoed a farm credit bill that would have given farmers some relief"

      That's a spending bill.

    • jeff61b profile image
      Author

      jeff61b 13 months ago

      nicomp -

      Nowhere in the article does it suggest he didn't spend enough money. He certainly could have set better priorities for how the money was spent.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 13 months ago from Ohio, USA

      #16 opines Reagan spent too much money, #18 whines he didn't spend enough money.

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      CELEBSFAN78 13 months ago

      Now that I have taken the time to read this informative piece, let me offer my perspective on it. Yes you are right, Ronald Reagan was not a good president at all. In 1982, unemployment in the US was REAL bad. And secondly, Reagan claimed that raising the minimum wage would hurt the economy. Absurd! And also I believe that the GOP has not had a proper president since Lincoln in the 1860's. Great article and informative. The average American should absolutely read this!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 13 months ago from Ohio, USA

      #19 is side-splitting. I am laughing so hard I can hardly type. Reagan is somehow blamed for law passed by Congress? ROFL. He signed it, sure, but all the blame falls on him? Congress is innocent?

      Anyway, the law was passed because S&Ls weren't making any money. They were constrained by other laws also passed by other Congresses and signed by other Presidents. Interest rates were so high that other investment instruments were attracting customers that used to frequent Savings and Loans. So Congress tweaked the laws and allowed S&Ls more flexibility in what they did with their customers' money. Human nature being what it is, that flexibility was abused by the bankers. That caused the crisis.

      If we blame Reagan for the S&L crisis then we must blame Clinton for the Real Estate crisis. A little research goes a long way.

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      dale 13 months ago

      worst presidents in past 80 yrs? johnson, nixon, ford, reagan, bush, and

      topping the list, george w and then hoover.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 14 months ago from Ohio, USA

      #18 is typical Liberal bias : somehow they have convinced themselves that the federal government is empowered to take care of farmers, particularly "family farms."

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      alex figueroa 14 months ago

      you forgot crack

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      a. frazier 15 months ago

      Reagan was an out of work actor who wooed the AMERICAN public to the extent that republicans have made him a demi-god. between reign and the bushes, our country has a terrible deficit! his deregulating of companies have cost the trillions of dollars when we later had to bail out the "new"super companies. banks, airlines, pharmaceutical companies and god only knows who else put their face in the republican slop-trough.

      now, they have a candidate that has filed for bankruptcy 3 or 4 times and can't keep a wife (not even a foreign one)

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      Lencha Turk 15 months ago

      Was it Ronald Reagan who made vaccine court?

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      SixLakes 16 months ago

      Jberry writes, "No president can instantly turn a bad economy around, but I witnessed and experienced his economic policies that gradually turned our economy into a great one that continued for years, even through the years of a Clinton presidency and to his credit, Clinton saw that Reagan's policies worked and he was intelligent enough to leave them alone and let us continue to prosper."

      Jberry, Reagan ran up astronomical debt. You could give an impression to your neighbor of great wealth if you had unlimited credit cards. In fact, Reagan's economy was built on deficit spending. And ... for you to assert that Clinton followed Reagan's policies -- you do not seem to really know about their respective economic approaches. In fact, they were opposites!

      Reagan was a supply-sider. Clinton was a classic Keynesian. Clinton raised taxes on the rich, and to his great credit, got rid of Reagan's deficit mess. Then, GW Bush, another supply-sider, got us back into indebtedness again with his Iraq War and his unfunded gift to the pharmaceutical companies, Medicare Part D. Obama inherited Bush's mess and has tried to keep the nation afloat despite Republicans' pathological stubbornness to not raise taxes on the rich again.

      Reagan wrecked our nation. Prior to Reagan, the US had a functioning public sector, including the adequate funding for regulatory agencies. which protect human health and the environment. Reagan stripped those, and his pernicious philosophies have tainted the whole Republican party, which is FAR to the right of what it was in the 1950s-70s.

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      jberry 16 months ago

      I lived through the 21% inflation rate and the extremely high mortgage rates of the Carter years that just about destroyed the middle class of our nation. I lived through the cold war that had most Americans concerned that any day the Soviet Union would launch the first missile that would begin World War III and result in the destruction of both of our countries and much of the world. I lived through the years just prior to the Reagan years when the morale of most Americans was at an all time low and when hope for a better future was virtually non-existent. Then I lived through eight years of a Reagan presidency when a very imperfect president almost single handedly restored hope and pride in our country and a belief that we, as Americans, could overcome any and all obstacles and once again have a strong middle class and a free and safe country in which to live and raise our families. No president can instantly turn a bad economy around, but I witnessed and experienced his economic policies that gradually turned our economy into a great one that continued for years, even through the years of a Clinton presidency and to his credit, Clinton saw that Reagan's policies worked and he was intelligent enough to leave them alone and let us continue to prosper. I witnessed his diplomatic and communication skills that ended the cold war and brought down the Berlin wall and made our country and world much safer and I witnessed the tremendous improvement in morale in our nation. I witnessed and was part of the dramatic rise in the American spirit that resulted in our again being a nation that volunteered and gave to help those less fortunate, rather than demand that the government do everything for us. So, I don't know what fairy tales some of you have been reading. I'm neither a right winger, nor a Rush listener, but I have lived through a lot of presidencies and the Reagan years and those that followed shortly after were the best years for most Americans and far, far better than anything we have experienced in the last eight.

    • CELEBSFAN78 profile image

      Ara Vahanian 19 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Jeff,

      I really love the headlines after each number! It gives me a very good laugh as well as provide useful information. I have read and extensively studied about Mr. Reagan and I will say he was not a good president. I haven't read the full article yet but I plan to do so sometime soon. As I said, I love the bolded headlines after each number. Hilarious!

    • profile image

      History0000 20 months ago

      Reagan also Deinstitutionalized the Mentally ill

      and cut funding for programs to transition them into society

      creating a nationwide homeless problem. Everytime you encounter a homeless mentally ill person on the streets of an American city or town you can thank Reagan.

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      Chris 22 months ago

      Two words:

      THANK YOU!

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 24 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Well, not to some.....But I'm a patriot.

      My bell is ringing loud and clear.

      "Ding Dong the witch is dead".......

      There's no place like home, and I aim to protect her.

      This man "gets" America

      https://youtu.be/ETNoPqYAIPI

      I urge all to listen. Made me cry.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 24 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Well, not to some.....But I'm a patriot.

      My bell is ringing loud and clear.

      "Ding Dong the witch is dead".......

      There's no place like home, and I aim to protect her.

      This man "gets" America

      https://youtu.be/ETNoPqYAIPI

    • thecrookedbell profile image

      thecrookedbell 24 months ago

      LOL. Not even worth a comment.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 24 months ago from Cape Cod, USA

    • profile image

      SixLakes 24 months ago

      BD writes, "Reagan brought down the wall, brought home the hostages." You should read up on the October Surprise. The Reagan team met up with Iran's government BEFORE the 1980 election. They promised to sell them arms in exchange for Iran keeping the hostages LONGER, as Reagan did not want the hostages released in the fall, before the election. What an honorable man you worship. *cough*

      It seems that many posting here defending Reagan are the "sheeple," the type that want a Big Daddy to think for them. These are also the type that listen to Rush Limbaugh.

      Fact: Ronald Reagan ran INTENTIONAL deficits. This is according to his own Budget Director. Reagan didn't care about the future debt. He wanted a reason to cut government programs, the ones that actually help people. He is currently burning in hell.

    • jeff61b profile image
      Author

      jeff61b 2 years ago

      Gregas -

      It's not my intention to disrespect the dead. But Republicans have been rewriting history for the past 25 years to convince us that the very policies that did such harm to our country were actually good.

      They double down on all of Reagan's policies to a point that Reagan himself would find appalling.

      People need to set the record straight so we don't keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Because they keep doing it over and over and over again.....

      Tax cuts/Trickle down...

      Been there, done that. It needs to stop!

      Those who ignore mistakes of the past repeat them. Let us be ever vigilant, and not keep making the same mistakes ad-nauseum!

      and I would say I would respect your take on this more if you would look a few posts up, and reprimand bd for insulting Carter, who is also dead. TY

    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      I hear about people talking bad about dead people all the time. The media doesn't do anything but add fuel to the fires all the time. You won't find me talking bad about them. Can you explain to me what good it is going to do anyone with what has been said against Mr. Reagan on this hub. There is no sense in any of it.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Well, you're one in a million then.......ever hear of Chappaquiddick?

    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      I won't pick on anyone after they are dead.

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Because they still hail him as conservative God.....we have right to say no more of your Gods....with their inhumane policies.

      And let me guess...you want to save the crap for Hillary, right?

    • gregas profile image

      Greg Schweizer 2 years ago from Corona, California.

      You know Jeff, only Gods are without fault. None of our presidents have been Gods. If you don't like someone you can find fault in them, I don't care who that person is. We all have them. If someone doesn't like, or believe in Jesus, I am sure they can dig up something on Him too, that would make him out to be a bad guy. Anyway, I have been reading these comments and every time someone disagrees with you they are wrong, according to you. You might be right on some of this stuff, maybe even all of it. But why do you have to bring up this crap on someone that is dead in the first place? Just my opinion, Greg.

    • jeff61b profile image
      Author

      jeff61b 2 years ago

      Elton,

      Please feel free to go into detail about anything you think is inaccurate. A lot of people have tried but all the facts listed here hold up to scrutiny.

    • profile image

      Elton Hartzler 2 years ago

      . . . . I didn’t have time to write a book. You listed 21 highly subjective claims that are misleading and dishonest at best or gross distortions of fact at worst. Anyone here can google any of them individually if they really care about the facts. Number #11 is just one example. Aid and support to the Mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan started under Carter. Guess you missed the movie with Tom Hanks.

      .

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      BD 2 years ago

      Reagan brought down the wall, brought home the hostages. All the Man Child Obama, the guy who is obsessed with word "I" has brought down is the entire country. Worst president since the flake Jimmy Carter

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      There was no retaliation for USS Liberty....In fact, I'm surprised we aren't taught that "Muslims did it".

      And we probly gave them MORE money after it happened! So, I don't care who's prez...we get used and abused by Israel, IMO.

      And yes, people DID blame Obama for TARP: The Tea Party, to be exact. I didn't see any signs of Bush or Cheney with a bone thru their noses--did you?

      And people still blame Obama for Hurricane Katrina!

      Furthermore---you righty's have the benefit of hating Obama without being told you hate America: one of the most despicable things done to liberals during Bushco.

      "Hate the president, hate the troops"

      "Hate the war, hate America"

      blah blah blahhhhhh

      and you're still at it. NOW--if we LIKE the president, we hate America!

      It's idiotic in the EXTREME!

    • jeff61b profile image
      Author

      jeff61b 2 years ago

      bayouelton -

      You are entitled to your opinion about Obama just as I am entitled to my opinion about Reagan.

      This article lists facts about President Reagan. There is no hateful hysteria here like what you expressed toward Obama. You offer nothing to dispute any of the facts stated here about Reagan.

      I watched the Obama Gaffe Mania video. Most were either not gaffes at all or were very minor. Was it really a Gaffe to confuse Sioux City with Sioux Falls? I've heard the one about 57 states many times over the past 8 years because the Obama-haters, like the maker of that video, are hard-pressed to find any real gaffes since Obama seldom provide new ones to ridicule.

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      bayouelton 2 years ago

      “The fact that you had to create this hub says so much about your bias,” by jackclee.

      Probably one of the more prescient comments so far.

    • profile image

      bayouelton 2 years ago

      lovemychris:

      “Perhaps now you understand the absolute idiocy of blaming Obama for TARP…”

      No on blamed Obama for TARP. He was a senator at the time and he voted for it.

    • profile image

      Dean 2 years ago

      The worst ever

    • lovemychris profile image

      Yes Dear 2 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Don't forget USS Liberty....no retaliation for that either.

    • Mason Weasly profile image

      Mason Weasly 2 years ago

      "Iraq is still the only country to attack a U.S. warship without retaliation."

      Wrong! The USS Cole was fired upon and 17 Sailors were murdered by Al Qaeda without retaliation by Bill Clinton.

      The ring leader was killed in a drone strike two years later that was sent by GW.

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      paul hyland 2 years ago

      had his wife on tv, telling everybody 'just say no' to drugs, while the CIA were helping the Contras ship tonnes of cocaine to the US to fund their war.