Reducing The Deficit: Reagan/O'Neill v. Clinton/Gingrich

Tweety writes about his passion for the Ronald Reagan/Tip O'Neill relationship:

A vigorous debate over the role of government is always at the heart of our democracy. Since the shootings in Arizona, however, many have said that our partisan ferocity is unhealthy. So it seems like a good time to reflect on Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill. It would serve us well to understand how these very different politicians managed to temper their philosophical divide with a public, and sometimes personal, cordiality.

A nice yarn, but how do Reagan/O'Neill stand up on the Beltway's MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE OF ALL TIME! - the budget deficit? Not very well. More . . .

Reagan and O'Neill tripled the national debt, By contrast, the non-cordial Clinton/Gingrich relationship (after Dems raised taxes in 1993) produced budget surpluses.

It just goes to demonstrate what a joke the Beltway's deficit hawkishness is. This mooning over the era of Reagan/O'Neill tells it all.

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  • Display: Sort:
    And, importantly, deficit ... (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:27:36 AM EST
    hawkishness was nowhere to be seen in "the deal".  Proving it's just one of those things Republicans say in campaigns.

    Now tax cuts for the rich ... that's a whole different story entirely.

    Had Obama not taken "the deal" he could have raised these points.  Sadly ...  

    Deficit hawkishness regarding the GOP (none / 0) (#3)
    by Buckeye on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:39:46 AM EST
    is related to spending.  They will counter your above point by saying, "our position is that we have a deficit problem because we have a spending problem, not that people are not paying enough in taxes."  They will also use the economy excuse, "the last thing you want to do is raise taxes on anybody in a bad economy."  As a result, they do not believe they are being hypocritical when they continue tax cuts but scream about the deficit.

    Obama needed to win this argument (which was a comparatively easy one to win).  He did not.


    Obama won the argument by giving (none / 0) (#5)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:45:15 AM EST
    even more tax cuts to the wealthy. Wealthy corporation and individual support is need to fill his campaign coffers for 2012. He is not going to raise the billion dollars he wants by selling campaign pins and mugs.

    Obama is considering (none / 0) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:40:21 AM EST
    the additional tax cuts recommended by the Cat Food Commission. link

    Matthews is really fixated on (none / 0) (#1)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:14:51 AM EST
    Ron and Tip's relationship.  He opined the other day while interviewing Nancy Pelosi that Reagan and O'Neill were really great friends and it was rather funny because she actually politely suggested that he might be overstating how positive their relationship really was.

    In any case, he brings that relationship up a lot and every time he says it, I can't help but think about how much damage Reagan and those successive Congresses did to this country.

    But, I will say that other than his fixation which may even be historically inaccurate, he's been really good on this question of the verbal gunplay taking such a prominent role in our political debate of late.

    And the linchpin to the (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 12:05:28 PM EST
    supposed great relationship between Reagan and O'Neill, as part of Tweety's remembrance, is the "drinks" that had after 6 pm. If that social hour could counter O'Neill's characterization of Reagan as "the most ignorant man who ever occupied the WH", or "Herbert Hoover with a smile", or a "cheerleader for the selfish", maybe something along those lines would work for President Obama and Speaker Boehner.  Don't know about Obama, but my guess is that Boehner looks much more kindly on social hours than he does social programs.

    Tweety worked for Tip ... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:51:15 AM EST
    during that period, and he thinks he played a role in the Tip/Reagan "relationship".

    So it's all rather self-serving.  Like the old boxer talking about that fight where he got a few good licks in, but lost.


    Yup. He has been milking that (none / 0) (#9)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 02:35:44 PM EST
    for years. Was it his last job pre-talking head?

    He brings up his years ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:12:06 PM EST
    in the Peace Corps almost as much.

    And he went into print journalism after leaving government.  The talking head stuff grew out of that.


    Chris Matthews is one of the worst (none / 0) (#11)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:15:37 PM EST
    blatherheads out there.

    He is basing this whole talking point on a lie.  Namely that Reagan and ONeal where more civil then the politicians of today.

    That simply isn't true so his whole premise is false and we have yet another reason, other then he's unwatchable, to turn the channel.


    Nice post about the (none / 0) (#12)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:21:34 PM EST
    chummy relationship.

    yeah right


    Nice post about the (none / 0) (#13)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:22:00 PM EST
    civil relationship.

    yeah right


    I knew you'd join me (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 11:50:42 AM EST
    in the fight against the fight for civility!

    If you need someone to sign the (none / 0) (#14)
    by Slado on Tue Jan 18, 2011 at 04:22:59 PM EST
    petition I'm in.

    I would like, no demand, less Civility!