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Blame Reagan

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As long as the GOP and their media shills continue to blame every problem and their own wrongdoings on former President Bill Clinton, we will fight back. We are going to counter their "blame Clinton for everything" game with our own campaign to "blame everything on Ronald Reagan". Not only will it be truthful [even if we stretch the truth as much as they do] but it will also counter all of the false positive spin and adulation Reagan has received all these years by people who aren't interested in acknowledging or understanding all the damage his presidency did to our country.

We are asking our viewers for help in adding to this list by utilizing your creative spirits, historical knowledge, energy, and funny bones. We have started this list to help you get a feel for the types of ideas we might be looking for.

Feel free to email notice of this campaign to all of your friends. This project will become very informative if everyone pitches in to help! Who knows? We might even be able to change the political discourse in a major way in this country.

We blame Ronald Reagan for these things:

  • Had it not been for Reagan busting the air traffic controllers union, 9/11 might not have succeeded because former union air traffic controllers would have been better able to spot and isolate the hijacked planes from the others on their screen so they could have been intercepted BEFORE they hit their targets.
  • In 1988, President Ronald Reagan changed the position of F.D.A. commissioner from civil servant to political appointee, which has meant that presidents, with their war chests fattened by the drug and device industries, have repeatedly appointed industry-friendly commissioners, with rare exception.
  • Nuclear weapon proliferation and escalation with the Soviet Union wouldn't have continued as long had it not been for Reagan's insistence on the missile shield ie Star Wars program.
  • Contributed to a vast expansion of corporate theft and illegal behavior by disabling governmental functions and regulatory agencies that would have prevented these things.
  • Contributed to a general distrust and dislike of government by devaluing civic participation thus discouraging good people from participating in public service.
  • Allowed the EPA to unravel laws that protect the environment. If you are breathing bad air and/or drinking contaminated water, it's Reagan's fault. So is the increase in global warming.
  • Global climate change denial was promoted by Reagan and his administration by persecuting researchers, cutting research budgets and implementing pro-fossil fuel anti-renewables policies. This has lead to great increases in the CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans causing acidification. If he had maintained the policies initiated by Carter the US would be using a small fraction of the current fossil fuels being consumed. Thus Reagan is responsible for the run-way degradation and destruction of the world climate and oceans.- from viewer Ed Robison, Gig Harbor, WA
  • Started the trend where reporters are afraid to question or contradict the president for fear of losing access.
  • One reason Osama bin Laden felt emboldened enough to attack us on 9/11 was because Reagan didn't do anything when the Marine barracks in Lebanon were bombed in 1983 by suicide bombers killing 241 US servicemen. There was no serious retaliation for the Beirut bombing from the Americans. Instead, the Marines were moved offshore where they could not be targeted. On February 7, 1984, President Reagan ordered the Marines to begin withdrawal from Lebanon.
  • Because he asked for and got fast track authority for trade bills while removing Congress from negotiating these, we are now shipping out hundreds of billions of dollars per year to buy consumer goods from China and other countries and we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars buying our energy from elsewhere so these countries can use our own money to buy our country and our debt. And because of this our trade deficits have skyrocketed and American jobs are being moved overseas.
  • The U. S. hostages taken by Iran were deliberately and illegally allowed to remain hostages for much longer than necessary in order to help Reagan beat Carter in the election.
  • We are more dependent upon foreign oil than ever before because Reagan reversed Carter's demands for energy independence. He even removed the solar panels from the White House showing his contempt for saving energy.
  • We are now the largest net debtor nation and the largest importer of goods because of his trade policies and Reagonomics.
  • Because of Reagan our country now meets the definition of a Third World nation.
  • Wasted billions of taxpayer dollars that are still being wasted on failed Star Wars systems.
  • His policies helped bring about the ruination of thousands of good companies with resulting loss of jobs that were destroyed by leveraged buyouts financed by junk bonds.
  • His lack of oversight and regulation created billions of dollars in taxpayer losses from failed Savings and Loans and their resulting bailouts.
  • His lack of oversight, outright fraud, and mismanagement created billions of dollars in taxpayer losses from HUD scandals.
  • The rush by Reagan to be associated with a successful space shuttle mission, led to the hasty and failed inspections of the O-rings that caused the Challenger blow-up.
  • Reagan's 11th commandment of never speaking ill of fellow Republicans has contributed to the extreme partisanship we now see operating in government.
  • Helped fuel a culture of greed and extreme avarice.
  • His support and coverup of Iran contra affair led to a massive increase in cocaine and cocaine use in this country while illegally arming the Mullahs in Iran.
  • Helped reverse decades of social reform policies in Latin America by nurturing savage and brutal free market dictators like Pinochet in Chile.
  • Drove down employee wages by increasing the labor pool in an attempt to destroy unions and the Democratic party while turning a blind eye to employers who hired illegal aliens.
  • Reagan provided many of the weapons and military hardware Saddam used against the Kurds and other groups and he helped Saddam get international loans, restored formal relations in 1984 and secretly provided Iraq with intelligence and military support, so Reagan helped to prop up this tyrant.
  • Promoted the theory of 'trickle down' economics and 'rising tide raises all boats' thus neglecting any efforts to reduce poverty or close increasing income gaps. --from viewer in Columbia, SC
  • Ignored the AIDS crisis til Rock Hudson was dying; prevented testing of blood supply and impeded the conduct of effective nationwide educational programs. --from GrantGrandma, Columbia, SC
  • Nurtured Pinochet the murdering thug dictator of Chile to institute a savage free-market system that reversed decades of social welfare reforms.
  • Responsible for today's out of control homeless population. He closed all the federal mental institutions and the states were unable to absorb them, so the mentally ill population ended up on the streets. --from viewer Sage, Atlanta, GA
  • Facilitated the barbarity that raged through Central America in the 1980s, claiming the lives of tens of thousands of peasants, clergy and students, men, women and children...the Central American violence was always more about entrenched ruling elites determined to retain their privileges against impoverished peasants, including descendants of the region's Maya Indians, seeking social, political and economic reforms. --taken from Robert Parry at consortiumnews.com, "Reagan & the Salvadoran Baby Skulls", January 30, 2007.
  • Wasted millions of taxpayer money only to find out that pornography isn't harmful to most people.
  • Put the country into more debt than all of the previous presidents before him combined.
  • Thanks to Reagan's policies the U.S. has become the leading exporter of raw materials and the leading importer of finished goods.
  • Set the U.S. on a course to make 9/11 happen by undoing Carter's sound and successful energy conservation policies allowing our dependence on exported oil to grow much faster ever since.
  • Popularized the infamous (and now commonly used Republican) defense: "I do not recall". --from viewer Lisa, SD
  • Presided over a corrupt administration: 32 members were convicted of crimes, of which two were overturned on appeal. Fourteen of these were related to Iran/Contra, sixteen to the HUD housing scandal, and two to the illegal lobbying of the Administration by ex-officials. Compare this to the Clinton administration: Zero officials indicted.
  • He appointed James Watt as Secretary of the Interior. Instead of protecting federal land he opened it up to mining, drilling, and foresting. In 2008 Watt made Time Magazine's ten worst cabinet members in modern history list. Watt resigned after 2 years, not because Reagan disapproved of the job he was doing, but because Ronnie and Nancy were mad at him for insulting the Beach Boys.- from viewer John Regan, Lamont, IL
  • The Iran/Contra scandal was a deliberate act in violation of and disrespect for the law by Reagan and others in his administration and was an impeachable offense.
  • The collapse of the Soviet Union had little to nothing to do with Reagan's policies nor him making the Soviets spend more on defense as portrayed by those who have contributed to these myths. Instead the collapse of the Soviet Union had already started in the early 1970's and was rooted in the failings of the system created by Lenin and Stalin.
  • In his first term he acted just like Bush with the same disasterous results: He championed U.S. military prowess, doubled the military budget, scorned arms control, the UN and international law. Goaded by neocons he launched a war to overthrow Nicaragua's Sandinista government. These policies divided us from our alllies.
  • Recklessly put Marines into harm's way in a civil war in Lebanon where they were blown up in a terrorist bombing and then invaded hapless Grenada to distract the country from his mistakes.
  • By the end of his presidency, 138 administration officials had been convicted, indicted, or subjected to official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violation--more than in any other prior administration.
  • His deregulation of the savings and loan industry produced the costliest financial scandal in U.S. history up to that time with a bailout costing taxpayers more than $130 billion.
  • He ended Republican support for choice, campaigned against equal rights for women, and perfected race-baiting politics, packed the court with ideologues, all of which contributed to driving the country apart.
  • His voodoo economic policies of top-end tax cuts, increased military spending and balanced budgets produced the worst recession since the Great Depression, growing inequality and record deficits.
  • His trade policies laid waste American manufacturing.
  • His assault on labor and opposition to the minimum wage contributed to a decade in which wages stagnated while CEO salaries soared.
  • Caused 10 million Americans to lose their jobs because of plant closings and layoffs from 1983-1988, with half of those who found work forced into lower wage jobs.
  • His economic recovery was made possible because it was purchased on credit as the U.S was transformed into the greatest debtor nation.
  • Reagan tried as President to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Reagan was a racist. His campaign for President deliberately chose kickoff at the Neshoba County Fair in Meshoba County, Mississipi, a white-supremacist stronghold, to gather votes from white bigots. Meshoba County was a place where several activists had been murdered not that long ago, shot to death by whites enraged at the very idea of people trying to secure the rights of African-Americans.
  • He opposed a national holiday for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • He tried to get rid of the federal ban on tax exemptions for private schools that practiced racial discrimination.
  • In 1988, he vetoed a bill to expand the reach of federal civil rights legislation - a veto that Congress overrode.
  • Reagan also vetoed the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa. Congress overrode that veto, too.
  • While the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before -- and the poverty rate had actually risen. --see Paul Krugman reference #6 below
  • Like productivity, American business prestige [during Reagan's presidency] didn’t stage a comeback until the mid-1990s, when the U.S. began to reassert its technological and economic leadership. --see Paul Krugman reference #6 below
  • Reagan -- the fiscal conservative -- never balanced a budget. Reagan -- the fiscal conservative -- never came close to balancing a budget. Reagan -- the fiscal conservative -- never even came remotely close to even thinking about balancing a budget. So, how did Reagan pay for this? He mired the country in a mammoth explosion of Federal debt. He nearly tripled the national debt. --from Hale Stewart see reference #7 below
  • Yes, it's the deregulatory 1980s, not the Swinging Sixties, that paved the way for serial killing on CBS [ie Dexter]. Before then, networks might have been worried about things like what message they were projecting, community service, the Fairness Doctrine, and other old-fashioned stuff that the Federal Communications Commission cared about. By the time the Reagan White House was done dismantling the FCC's oversight powers, all that the commissioners cared about were naughty words and wardrobe malfunctions. --see reference #8 below.
  • Murdered 1/2 a million Americans by allowing an Ebola Type Virus (HIV) to run rampant in the gay community. The AIDS crisis was 5 years old before Ronnie publicly said the word AIDS. --from a viewer
  • Contributed to the decay of the infrastructure due to lack of maintenance. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." --from viewer Jack, in San Francisco, CA
  • Turned the United States from a democracy into a capitalist state, by equating capitalism with democracy. --from viewer Jack, in San Francisco, CA
  • Reagan administration trained and armed Bin Laden & al qaeda in the 80's thus arguably causing 9/11. --from viewer Quincy, see reference #9 below. In addition, from the White House Garden Room, on live television in 1985, President Ronald Reagan introduced the American public to future members of the Taliban, then known as the Mujahideen, who were trained & co-funded by the CIA and Osama Bin Laden as a resistence force against the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Some of us kids were grateful at the time for not having to face a second Vietnam in the making. In hindsight, I guess we just handed that down to another generation as well. --addition by viewer Domcare
  • Financial scandals like the $50bn. Madoff ponzi scheme would more likely have been caught had Reagan not been able to sell the role of government as a negative force in people's lives and a bad place for anyone to work. This attitude promoted Wall Street greed by taking talented people out of good jobs at the SEC and other regulatory agencies where they felt devalued and underpaid. It also caused a drain of talent within government itself leading to more waste, inefficiency, and lack of oversight.
  • Signed into law in 1982 the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act that turned the modest-sized troubles of savings-and-loan institutions into an utter catastrophe that 25 years later became the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The change in America’s financial rules was Reagan’s biggest legacy. And it’s the gift that keeps on taking. --from Paul Krugman column #10 below.
  • Ronald Reagan campaigned on "less government in our lives" by decreasing government spending. By the end of his term he increased government spending by 68%. --from a viewer
  • Supplied weapons to leaders of militant groups in Afghanistan, including Osama bin Laden, in the name of fighting communism. --from a viewer
  • People don't die of TB if they get some antibiotics. But Ronald Reagan, big-hearted guy that he was, had put a lock-down embargo on medicine to Nicaragua because he didn't like the government that the people there had elected. -from Greg Palast article #11 below.
  • And when Hezbollah terrorists struck and murdered hundreds of American marines in their sleep in Lebanon, the TV warrior ran away like a whipped dog - then turned around and invaded Grenada. That little Club Med war was a murderous PR stunt so Ronnie could hold parades for gunning down Cubans building an airport. -from Greg Palast article #11 below.
  • In the 1970s and 1980s, as Latin American security forces were sharpening themselves into finely honed killing machines, Reagan was there as an ardent defender, making excuses for the atrocities, and sending money and equipment to make the forces even more lethal. For instance, in the late 1970s, when Argentina's dictators were inventing a new state-terror program called "disappearances" -- the unacknowledged murders of dissidents -- Reagan was making himself useful as a columnist deflecting the human rights complaints coming from the Carter administration. - from Robert Parry column #12 below.
  • More substantively, Reagan authorized CIA collaboration with the Argentine intelligence service for training and arming the Nicaraguan Contras, a rebel force created to overthrow Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government. The Contras were soon implicated in human rights atrocities of their own. - from Robert Parry column #12 below.
  • After taking office in 1981, Reagan pushed to overturn an arms embargo that Carter had imposed on Guatemala for its wretched human rights record. Yet even as Reagan moved to loosen up the military aid ban, U.S. intelligence agencies were confirming new Guatemalan government massacres. - from Robert Parry column #12 below.
  • Despite the widespread evidence of Guatemalan government atrocities cited in the internal U.S. government cables, political operatives for the Reagan administration sought to conceal the crimes. On Oct. 22, 1982, for instance, the U.S. Embassy claimed the Guatemalan government was the victim of a communist-inspired "disinformation campaign." - from Robert Parry column #12 below.
  • Reagan's falsification of the historical record became a hallmark of the conflicts in El Salvador and Nicaragua as well as Guatemala. In one case, Reagan personally lashed out at a human rights investigator named Reed Brody, a New York lawyer who had collected affidavits from more than 100 witnesses to atrocities carried out by the U.S.-supported Contras in Nicaragua..But amid all the extravagant hoopla and teary tributes to the late president, perhaps some Americans will stop and think of all the decent people in Latin America and elsewhere who died horrible and unnecessary deaths as Ronald Reagan cheerily defended their murderers.. - from Robert Parry column #12 below.
  • Despite a growing international movement to topple apartheid in the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan maintained a close alliance with a South African government that was showing no signs of serious reform. And the Reagan administration demonized opponents of apartheid, most notably the African National Congress, as dangerous and pro-communist. Reagan even vetoed a bill to impose sanctions on South Africa, only to be overruled by Congress. On a trip to the United States after winning the Nobel Prize in 1984, Bishop Desmond Tutu memorably declared that Reagan's policy was "immoral, evil and totally un-Christian." - from Justin Elliott column #13 below.
  • The Bush-Reagan administration was investigated by both federal and district authorities for running a homosexual prostitution ring. The ring included among its clients key officials of the Reagan and Bush administrations, military officers, congressional aides and US and foreign businessmen with close social ties to Washington's political elite. The investigation included credit card fraud, illegal interstate prostitution, abduction and use of minors for sexual perversion, extortion, larceny and related illicit drug trafficking and use by prosititutes and their clients. - from viewer Quincy see #14 below.
  • Sucked up to right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch. paving the way for propaganda purveyors FOX NEWS(yeah.right)Channel! --from viewer Kim K., Pleasantville, NJ
  • Seduced baby-boomers..the same people who protested against war, bigotry, and poverty..to "back-pedal" and think that GREED IS GOOD. Now they're like their parents, which they said never would happen.--from viewer Kim K., Pleasantville, NY
  • Stuck it to millennials by changing the culture to cause the current college student loan debt crisis. "During Reagan’s two terms as president, dedicated funding for outright grants-in-aid decreased, federal guidelines pushed individual loans, and private bill collectors were brought in to ensure that the hardest kind of debt to escape was whatever you took on for your education. Even more important was the shift in tone and expectation. Public goods became private services, and by the end of the 1980s, the anti-tax, infra-structure-starving, neoliberal Weltanschauung meant that as states cut their budgets, support for higher education was thrown into a cage match with every other necessary public good." - see #15 below
  • Is partially responsible for the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts and wars. Here's why: Until President Reagan declared Israeli settlements "not illegal" the United States was part of the international consensus that establishing settlements and related activities were illegal. Since 2011 Obama administration officials have said the settlements are "illegitimate" - a step towards the international consensus. - from viewer Domcare, see #16 below
  • His policies of cutting taxes and not reining in companies that had became too dominant in their industry is the main reason competition has declined and investment by these companies has declined. Reduced competition and increased monopoly power are very bad for the economy. - from Paul Krugman column see #17 below
  • Reagan blew up the budget deficit with military spending and tax cuts. This drove up interest rates, which drew in foreign capital. The inflow of capital, in turn, led to a stronger dollar, which made U.S. manufacturing uncompetitive. The trade deficit soared — and the long-term decline in the share of manufacturing in overall employment accelerated sharply.-from Paul Krugman see #18 below
  • Reagan broke the Social Security System by dipping into it buy more weapons. He broke our mental health system that supported the mentality ill. By cutting this system to buy more weapons it helped to create the homeless problem we have today. Reagan broke the unions that made this country as big as it is today. Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers and replaced them just to save money and to by more weapons once again. Does anybody remember the Star Wars defense system that was never built?--from viewer Glenn
  • Weakened the FDA's regulatory powers paving the way for our current opiod crisis. White market opiods finally slipped free in the 1990s led by Purdue Pharma's OxyContin after seventy years of monitored stability.-from White Market Drugs, by David Herzberg, see #20 below

References used to compile this list:

1. "Way Out There in the Blue", by Frances Fitzgerald, Simon & Schuster, 2000
2. "Sleepwalking Through History: America in the Reagan Years", by Haynes Johnson, Doubleday, 1991
3. "What Liberal Media: The Truth About Bias and the News," by Eric Alterman, Basic Books, 2003

4. "Conservatism Itself", by Robert Borosage, The American Prospect, July/August 2007
5. "Righting Reagan's Wrongs?
" by Bob Herbert, The New York Times, November 13, 2007
6. "Debunking the Reagan Myth" by Paul Krugman, The New York Times, January 21, 2008.

7. "Ronald Reagan: Fiscal Disaster", by Hale 'Bonddad' Stewart, Huffingtonpost.com, January 21, 2008, complete with charts and graphs
8. "Blame Reagan for serial killing on TV", by Ed Siegel, Boston Globe, February 10, 2008.
9. "Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001", by Steve Coll, 2004, Penguin Press HC
10. "Reagan Did It", by Paul Krugman, The New York Times, May 31, 2009
11. "Reagan: Killer, Coward, Con-man", The Observer London, by Greg Palast, February 7, 2011
Ronald Reagan, Enabler of Atrocitiey, by Robert Parry
13. Reagan's embrace of apartheid South Africa, by Justin Elliott, February 5, 2011
14. "Homosexual prostitution inquiry ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush
‘Call boys’ took midnight tour of White House'" by Paul M. Rodriguez and George Archibald, The Washington Times. June 29, 1989, found on flyingsnail.com. Also this clearer image and this image of the actual news report of this story.
15. "Ronald Reagan stuck it to millennials: A college debt history lesson no one tells: Dramatic, awful changes occurred on my generation's watch -- and it amounts to a fiendishly successful conspiracy, By PETER LUNENFELD
, Salon, July 5, 2014
16. "Israel/Palestine 101", Jewish Voice for Peace.
17. Robber Baron Recessions, By Paul Krugman, The New York Times, April 18, 2016

18. Making the Rust Belt Rustier, By Paul Krugman, The New York Times, January 27, 2017
19. Can Your Hip Replacement Kill You?, By Jeanne Lenzer
Jan. 13, 2018, New York Times

20. White Market Drugs, by David Herzberg, (Chicago, 365 pages)

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