Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Letter I Wish I'd Written

In today's Minneapolis Star-tribune, there was this gem:

As a Democrat, I would like to add my support to Rep. John Kline's effort to put President Ronald Reagan on the $50 bill (Star Tribune, Sept. 17). I think we should make them collectors' items and only issue 33,442,554,240 of them.

Why 33.4 billion? Simple; that is the number of $50 bills it would have taken to pay off the $1,672,127,712,041 increase to the national debt that took place while Reagan was president.


Now that's prose. The adoration placed on Reagan has always puzzled me, particularly here in Peoria. The town almost shuts down, CAT almost goes away, economy fizzles, debt grows. In Minnesota, where I'm from, family farm after family farm shuts down in favor of mega (corporate) farms, same in Iowa. I saw it first hand, when my Grandfather, after 40 years of successful capitalism (bolded for Bill Dennis), has to not only sell his farm before he's foreclosed on, but he has to sell his country general store (classic American store: gas, groceries, hardware, tools, etc.) because all the corporate giants (read: rich a-holes) put him out of business.

I thought the Reagan presidency was pretty lame, actually. I just don't get the love. He wasn't the worst, but he sure as hell wasn't deserving of having his name put on airports and money. Now some wackos are talking Mount Rushmore. Gag me with a deficit.

5 comments:

pollypeoria said...

Hmm... Selective memory you got there B.J. What did we have before Regan? Thats right... Carter. The years of double digit unemployment, the Iran Hostage Crisis, the energy crisis, long lines at the gas pumps, horrid inflation, proliferation of nukes and the cold war. Carter was a good man but an awful president. Regan was devoted to strengthening the economy and toppling the Soviet Union and succeeded in doing both. Regan was flawed, but he served his purpose well.

BJ Stone said...

I'm sorry, Ronald Reagan did NOT strengthen the economy, Polly.

He is also given too much credit for toppling the Soviet Union (when in essence it was 40 years of hard work by presidents from both parties before him as well as the work he did), and he got to say, "tear down this wall" to the great delight of people, but the wall was coming down with or without him.

But domestically, he ruined my Grandpa, he ruined my farming uncles, he ruined my small-business father, he basically ruined my family and countless others with his economic policies. We went from having everything we needed throughout the late 60's all the way through the 70's.

I graduated High School in 1979. Inflation apparently wasn't bothering us, as my Dad - despite the costs of raising five kids - had three new cars, a new pickup, a 30-foot travel trailer for camping, a new boat, a trailer to hual it on, a motorcycle, four new snowmobiles, bought me a stock car, and enough left over to take us on two or three big vacations yearly.

That continued until about 1982, when Reagan started to get his programs rolling. By 1986 my grandpa was selling his farm before it was foreclosed upon, my dad lost his business and relocated to the west coast for work, my uncles (except for one, the insurance man) lost control of their farms and businesses, basically the family wealth, modest by GOP standards but okay by Southern Minnesota standards, was gone.

My dad hasn't owned a new car since. My grandfather lived in a trailer house until Grandma died, then went to an assisted living apartment, and has nothing left. One uncle has meandered through jobs throughout Minnesota, trying to make ends meet. Another uncle took up semi driving at a distinctly lower lifestyle than he was accustomed to. Did they suddenly all - at the same time - forget how to do business? Did they all lose their minds simultaneously? No. Ronald Reagan destroyed them. Ronald Reagan will get no love from me. Ever.

Ironically, I think he was deep down a good man, a VERY smart man, and a fairly honest man...for a president...which put him in the same standing as Carter. But they were both awful presidents. But economically, he was a disaster. Period.

Now, check with those who were involved in the early years of the AIDS crisis, and I'd be willing to bet they'd drop "good man" from Ronald's description.

pollypeoria said...

"I graduated High School in 1979. Inflation apparently wasn't bothering us, as my Dad - despite the costs of raising five kids - had three new cars, a new pickup, a 30-foot travel trailer for camping, a new boat, a trailer to hual it on, a motorcycle, four new snowmobiles, bought me a stock car, and enough left over to take us on two or three big vacations yearly. "

Uh... Think we might have figured out why your dad went broke.

My Dad was able to quit his crappy job and start his own sucessful business, which still exists. Regan eliminated a lot of the government bureacuracy that existed previously for small businesses. He was good for the economy, kind of, if you over look that whole national debt thing.

It seems everyone agrees that he screwed over farmers, which is surprising since he grew up surrounded by them.

I think he was a flawed president, robbed Peter to pay Paul. He was better than Carter by a mile!

BJ Stone said...

Ah, obviously, the point about my Dad was our ability to have what we wanted. Which went away in the 1980's. Squeeze and pinch, that's what Reagan did to everyone not in the upper crust. We were upper middle class, which is obviously a no-no in a GOP presidency in my lifetime.

Please, don't insult my father's intelligence. He knows how to manage money.

Flawed? T-shirts at an outlet mall are flawed. Reagan was a disaster.

Vonster said...

Geez. Polly and I on the same side? ;-) Anyway, wasn't it under Reagan that fed revenue went way up but the Democrats spent it all? I've heard from numerous sources that they spent $2 for every extra buck that came in.