Earlier today Cudahy blogger Randy Hollenbeck asked a question on his blog:
To answer the question, Hollenbeck cuts and pastes almost an entire post on HumanEvents.com from Gary Bauer, and among the statistics and economic indicators Bauer/Hollenbeck use to “prove” America isn’t better off since President Barack Obama took office is this nugget:
Percentage of Americans who think President Obama is a Christian:
March 2009: 48%
August 2010: 34%
I’m not entirely sure how the fact that 34% of Americans believe that President Obama is a Christian has any bearing on whether the nation is better off now than it was before Obama took office, but I’m sure in the bizzaro-world that Bauer and Hollenbeck occupy that number has some special significance.
In the very same cut and paste job, Hollenbeck takes a shot at yours truly for a recent entry I authored pointing out how Republican President Ronald Reagan ballooned our national debt, with Hollenbeck saying,
Learn who controls spending and then get back to us – Who had control of congress the whole time? What did Reagan spend the money on? Did he want smaller or bigger government? Did he lower taxes?
In the interest of educating Randy Hollenbeck, here’s a few irrefutable facts to answer his questions:
- Who had control of congress the whole time? Not Democrats. Republicans had control of the U.S. Senate during the 97th Congress, which ran from 1981 to 1983. What’s more, Democrats only controlled 244 seats in the House of Representatives during that time, which is hardly a veto-proof majority. Considering President Reagan had the Constitutional right to veto any legislation he didn’t agree with, he certainly could have vetoed large parts of any Democratic legislative agenda without fear of a veto override. During the 98th Congress, which ran from 1983 to 1985, Republicans retained control of the U.S. Senate. What’s more, Republicans continued to maintain a majority in the U.S. Senate during the 99th Congress, from 1985 to 1987. Given the fact that Republicans controlled the United States Senate during virtually all of President Reagan’s two terms in office, it seems pretty far-fetched to try to blame Democrats for all the profligate spending and the tripling of our national debt during Reagan’s time in office.
- What did Reagan spend the money on? President Reagan spent the money on a lot of things, and no doubt a good chunk of it was military spending. I’m sure Randy Hollenbeck places a higher value on spending for bombs and bullets than he does on spending for education and social programs, but to each their own.
- Did he want smaller or bigger government? Reagan may have said he wanted smaller government, but as I’ve pointed out before, during Reagan’s time in office, the number of federal employees actually rose from 2,143,000 employees to 2,238,000 employees, a gain of over 100,000 employees. I’m not sure how adding more employees to the federal payroll constitutes anything other than bigger government, but perhaps in Hollenbeck’s reality the addition of 100,000 federal employees actually means smaller government.
- Did he lower taxes? President Ronald Reagan actually signed 11 tax increases into law during his time in office, including a large tax increase on business in 1982, higher payroll taxes enacted in 1983 and higher energy taxes in 1984. Oh, and did I mention President Reagan signed an increase in the Social Security payroll tax into law? He did, and that’s irrefutable.
And that, my friends, is how you put the smack down on someone who doesn’t know what they’re talking about.