Day By Day

Friday, March 17, 2006

Dubya and Reagan redux

Peggy Noonan discovers that Dubya is not a Reaganite. Well, duh! And decides that he is therefore not a conservative.

Read it here.

This prompted Orrin Judd to run some numbers and come up with this conclusion:

At any rate, given that Ms Noonan believes, for some reason, that Ronald Reagan was a conservative and George W. Bush isn't, it's perhaps helpful to just compare the two: when Ronald Reagan left office in 1988 he was dunning us 18.1% of GDP to pay for a federal government that spent 21.2% of GDP. In 2004, the last year for which I could find numbers, George W. Bush had lowered our tax burden to 16.3% of GDP-- a level last reached in 1959--to pay for a government that spent 19.8 of GDP.

There doesn't seem to be any coherent reason why a president's conservatism should be judged by how much he spends, but if you're using that as your yardstick then Mr. Reagan was the most liberal president since FDR during WWII and George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are the most conservative since Nixon.

Read it here.

Ah, yes..., ideological turf battles. Sorta reminds me of the old arguments over left and right wing deviationism [without the fatal consequences, of course]. Deviationists died violent deaths in those days.

I applaud Bush for building on, rather than being embalmed within, Ronald Reagan's legacy. Too bad that some of Ron's acolytes can't let go of their brief moment of glory two decades ago.

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