November 14, 2016
Why Reagan isn't a very good role model
As president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ronald Reagan informed on fellow actors to the FBI.
The Reagan admininstration was one of the most corrupt in American history, including by one estimate 31 Reagan era convictions, including 14 because of Iran-Contra and 16 in the Department of Housing & Urban Development scandal. By comparison 40 government officials were indicted or convicted in the wake of Watergate. 47 individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes with 33 of these occurring during the Clinton administration itself. There were in addition 61 indictments or misdemeanor charges. 14 persons were imprisoned.
Using a looser standard that included resignations, David R. Simon and D. Stanley Eitzen in Elite Deviance, say that 138 appointees of the Reagan administration either resigned under an ethical cloud or were criminally indicted. Curiously Haynes Johnson uses the same figure but with a different standard in "Sleep-Walking Through History: America in the Reagan Years: "By the end of his term, 138 administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations."
Four members of the Reagan cabinet came under criminal investigation, as compared with five in the Clinton cabinet. Three top officials of the Harding administration were in indicted in the Teapot Dome scandal.
The Reagan administration had secret plans for an unconstitutional takeover of the federal government under an ill-defined national emergency. Members of the government created by the coup had been selected and included Richard Cheney.
During the Reagan administration the number of families living below the poverty line increased by one-third.
Reagan's policies led to the greatest financial scandal in American history: the Savings & Loan debacle which cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
Reagan made major cuts in Medicaid, food stamps, aid to families with dependent children, and school lunch programs.
Reagan fired 13,000 air traffic controllers in a devastating blow to government union members from which the labor movement never recovered.
Washington Post: "Reagan, during his 1980 campaign, blamed trees for emitting 93 percent of the nation's nitrogen oxide pollution -- giving rise to jokes about 'killer trees.'"
The national debt tripled under Reagan
The AIDS crisis exploded (with 20,000 deaths) before Reagan could even bring himself to address the issue six years later. In his authorized biography he is quoted as saying that "maybe the Lord brought down this plague," because "illicit sex is against the Ten Commandments."
After a major tax cut, there was a long recession and unemployment that hit ten percent.