Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I-Ronnie of I-Ronnies

"Where collective bargaining is forbidden, freedom is lost."

-Ronald Reagan

I'm almost at a loss for words. Who knows whether or not Reagan really meant what he was saying when he made the statement. My guess is that he did not. That utterance was made during the campaign of 1980. Candidates say a lot of things they don't really mean. Less than a year later when as president he fired the air traffic controllers, he pretty much hammered yet another nail into the coffin of collective bargaining in this country. Still, it speaks untold volumes that thirty-two years ago a Republican candidate could say such a thing and not lose an ounce of support from "the base". It also perfectly illustrates the devolution of "the party of Abraham Lincoln".

Thirty-one years ago this coming Friday, the American people sent to the White House a corrupt, feeble-minded, failed "B" movie actor. Do you wanna hear the punchline? The Republican party has sunk so deep into the ideological cesspool since January 20, 1981, Ronald Reagan is starting to look like Theodore Roosevelt! As Jack Parr was fond of saying in his day, "I kid you not."
Isn't life strange?

During Ronald Reagan's reign of error I was living in New York City. I was really into writing song parodies then. I would occasionally perform them on the guitar at a place I loved which was right around the corner from where I lived - Ye Olde Tripple Inn on W
est 54th Street - directly across from the fabled Studio 54, a place I never frequented. One of the songs I lampooned was called "And Nixon, I Miss You". It was sung to the tune of Bobby Goldboro's 1968 hit, the delightfully maudlin "Honey"

One time I thought that Richard Nixon's Presidency
was the worst thing possible
But that was many years ago
and nowadays that sentiment seems laughable
In nineteen-eighty somehow
the electorate coughed up a brain-dead movie star

I never had faith in the voters
but I never realized how dumb they are

And Nixon I miss you
and I'm feeling blue
I've lost all of my senses
I'm nostalgic for you

That was then. This is now.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in any way reformulating my opinion of Reagan or his presidency. As I've said too many times to count, the damage that the hideous old freak did to this once great nation is so immense it will never be accurately assessed. It is incalculable. After all, it was the insane policies of deregulation championed by Ronald Wilson Reagan that set us upon the road toward the economic mess we find ourselves in today. He told us he could increase spending, cut taxes and balance the budget - and that he would do it by 1982! Anyone with a remedial grasp of arithmetic knew what utter bullshit that was. The reason his successor George H.W. Bush was defeated in his reelection bid by an unknown named Bill Clinton was because he was forced to raise taxes ("revenue enhancers" he called them) in an attempt to clean up the mess he inherited from Reagan.

And I'm also not implying that I "miss" Ronald Reagan anymore than I was missing Richard Nixon when I w
rote that parody in 1988. It's just that (Jeez Louise) the two of them are starting to look pretty good - at least when placed in comparison to the insanity junkies who now populate that disgusting party. Imagine that you're a kid who's just arrived home from kindergarten. You switch on the TV to find that Bozo the Clown has been replaced by the John Wayne Gacy Show. It's kinda the same thing.

And see the debt how big it's grown
But friends it hasn't been to long it wasn't big
In early nineteen-eighty one
The debt that's now a redwood tree was just a twig

What a difference three decades makes.

This is she
er speculation on my part but I imagine that even a dirty old dingbat like Ronnie would be horrified to see where the so-called "Reagan Revolution" has taken us. Then again maybe not. It was always hard to figure out where der Gipper was coming from. Even his own children couldn't figure the old bugger out. He was always an aloof and distant figure to them, even when he was present. I just learned something this morning that floored me. On the day his half-witted kid Michael was married, his dad and Nancy opted out of the festivities and went instead to Tricia Nixon's wedding at the White House! It makes one seriously wonder about the man's inner character.

When even
some "liberals" are expressing a sense of teary-eyed nostalgia for the likes of Ronald Reagan, that's all the proof you need to understand that the political wheels have come off the planet. And the fact that a Casper Milquetoast moderate like Barack Obama is viewed by many as a left wing radical is further proof that the American people have lost their bearings - to put it as mildly as possible.

The fact of the matter is that the dead conservatives of another era - Barry Goldwater, Nixon and Reagan - could not get nominated to run as sewer inspectors in the current environment of the grand old party. At the end of his life Goldwater had turned his back on the right wing movement - a movement he helped bring into being when he was nominated by the Republicans at the convention of 1964. And remember, this was a man who in his day was known as "Mr. Conservative"! That speaks volumes, doesn't it? It's a good thing for Barry that he didn't live to see the Tea party - although I do wish Reagan had lived to see a black man in the White House. The very sight of Obama in the Oval Office would have given the old racist a fatal case of spastic apoplexy. That would have been oodles of fun to watch. Can you imagine?

Unless they succeed in stealing a whole lot of elections this November (Don't put it past them; they're working on it as I write these words) 2012 is not going to be a particularly good year for the Republican party. It's a fairly safe bet that the Democrats will be able to take back the House in spite of themselves. Not that I'm jumping with joy over that little prediction. The best that can be said of these present-day Dems is that they're not quite as incompetent as the GOP. Certainly they're not one/tenth as corrupt as them. We can only hope that the new batch of freshmen won't be in the pockets of corporate America. We can also pray they remember that they are in fact the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Yeah, right.

Did you ever think you'd live to see the day when this once-great nation would be reduced to such a sorry and pathetic state? Hold onto your hats, kiddies! The worst is yet to come! Somewhere, Ronald Reagan must be laughing.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


This is a paragraph I wrote on this site about three years ago:

"What must be remembered is that Ronald Reagan was essentially a mask, with a twinkle in it's eye and a fine, Irish smile. Remove that mask and what is revealed is the twisted, hideous smirk of George W. Bush. That's the real face of the 'Reagan Revolution'".

For more of my thoughts on Ronald Reagan, here is a link to a little ditty I wrote almost a year ago on the occasion of the centennial of his birth:



"Peace on Earth"


In 1939, a group of writers and animators at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer came together to produce this little gem. How it got past the eye of uber right winger Louis B. Mayer (head of the studio) is anybody's guess.

Pray for peace.


At 1:20 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

While the Reagan Myth holds the radical Right enthralled in their little worshipful rapture, the Reagan Reality continues to draw the nation into the abyss.

The radical Right does not care that Reagan turned America from a creditor nation into a debtor nation. And Dick Cheney, the man who's every word they believed, said "Reagan proved deficits don't matter".

The great disconnect thives.

Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. War is Peace.

“I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.” - George W. Bush

At 6:19 PM, Anonymous John said...

Kind of makes you reminisce about the America of our youth where the worst thing they threatened us with was global annihilation.


At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Tyrone Witherspoons said...

What I want to know is how much has been spent on the "War on Poverty" and where are the results of this spending?

I just want to say that I agree with the following:
Libertarian economist Thomas Sowell argues that the Great Society programs only contributed to the destruction of African American families, saying "the black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life."

At 9:00 PM, Anonymous John said...

Tyrone, I think the poverty issue is much like the 'war on drugs'. More availability, more drug use than ever, billions and billions of dollars spent - but some people have profited handsomely. To paraphrase one of the leaders of the free-world, ‘Mission Accomplished’.

I would add that the slavery is not over nor is it restricted to blacks - we live in a state that embraces equality. I believe that one of the most important transformations of our age is taking place right now. This is the establishment of a new age of feudalism or debt bondage.

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Isn't it hilarious when Just a Troll mispells his fake name? Or maybe he's a cousin of "Tyrone Witherspoon". LOL!

At 2:00 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

Tom you really nailed it in this rant.

I have said a number of times on this blog that I am a CPA, and I look at history from that perspective. Ronald Reagan's biggest tax cut primarily benefited rock stars, actors, and entertainers who had "earned" income. The top tax rate was reduced from 50% to 28% (a 44% reduction) while the average Joe lost tons of deductions such as credit card interest. Anyone wonder why RR wanted to benefit rock stars, actors, and entertainers?

GWB on the other hand came from "old" money that generates dividends and capital gains. His tax cuts benefited "old" money by reducing the top tax rate on those incomes from 39.6% to 15% (a whopping 62% reduction). And the average Joe has how much dividends and capital gains in his weekly paycheck?

At 6:15 AM, Blogger Lydia said...

Thank you for this, Tom. I feel exactly as you do, and, therefore, I feel that my ticket has been validated instead of simply being mauled by some machine. :)

At 7:48 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

You forgot to BLACKOUT your blog.

Dems pushing SOPA.

Dems are hypocrites.

At 8:03 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

The only way I can "blackout" my blog is by deleting it. I'm not about to do that thank you very much. And by the way, the blackout is set for Friday - not today.

At 11:54 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

Look at today's websites. I thought you would have photoshopped a black box and placed that over Ronnie, or something to that effect.




Democrats against democracy. GO GOVERNMENT!!!

At 12:36 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Tom, I have a strong feeling that many of those who are so sentimental about Reagan are too young to have lived and experienced his demented administration.

At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Which administration would you rather go back to, Reagan's or Carter's?

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Wisewebwoman said...

Points are all moot, Tom.
All hail the oligarchy.
Tired old cynic here.

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous NewMexicoFats said...

Seems we tend to forget what was scary about Reagan and glorify his ignorance. Old Wobblehead could sell the G.W Bridge to three buyers at the same time but forget to ask for the money with his smirky smile. South Dakota better watch out of a team of stonemasons ready to ready to chip out a bigger and better memoril to the B movie king.

At 10:21 PM, Anonymous James said...

Hey Boltok, I am sure you would like to see a Republican president of your choice take office and the House and Senate become overwhelmingly Conservative, but the last time that happened things did not work out so well.

And Obama, Bush's brother from another mother, has continued and expanded all the Conservative policies that were already in place.

So what makes you think another Conservative president will do any better in the future?

At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Lomez said...

"It's not that liberals are ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so"

At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Mo Rage said...

What's clear---what we need to do is to get the "campaign contributions" out of our electoral system and so, our government.

We need to get the big, ugly, corrupting money out of our election campaigns.

With that money, the wealthy and corporations buy our legislators and representatives and so, their legislation. With that, they end up buying our laws and, finally, our government. Molly Ivins said it for years, until her death.

If we don't do that, if we don't get these huge amounts of money out of our government, our representatives will continue to legislate for the wealthy and for corporations. If we don't do this, we'll never get our government back. They will continue to legislate and make laws for the wealthy and corporations only and not for the entire country--for the good of the country and for the good of the middle-class and lower-class and for the good of the entire country.

We need good, strong, accountable, stringent, prosecutable, tough campaign finance reform.

If we don't do that, nothing will ever change. They'll continue to win.

At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"Taxes are back in the news. This time with howls that rich people like Governor Romney, Speaker Gingrich, and many others pay too little in taxes. Let’s make some key points.

First, the Founders expected taxes to be light in the free society they set up. Free Americans would start businesses and plant crops, and that would employ most people. For a safety net, they set up charities and voluntary organizations to meet critical needs. For the tax system, Alexander Hamilton recommended small taxes on imports and on luxury items such as whiskey. Americans would, in effect, choose their own tax rate by the purchases they chose to make. You could cut your tax payments by cutting your alcohol consumption, for example.

Second, the Founders did not approve of the income tax because it shifted power away from consumers and toward politicians–who would make the decisions on what groups should pay what tax rates. In the last 100 years, politicians have embraced the progressive income tax because it allows them to levy a high tax a small number of rich people and redistribute that money to a much larger group of voters. That strategy violates the Founders’ ideal of equal protection of the law to all citizens.

Third, the practical results of using a highly progressive tax have been much worse for the American economy than using smaller rates. When the top income tax rate first went over 50% in the 1917-1921 period, unemployment jumped to 12% by 1921. Then when the rates were cut, unemployment dropped to 2.4% by 1923. Under FDR rates went up again. By the end of World War II, FDR had enacted income and corporate taxes that reached 90%. Only when those taxes were slashed after the war was over did recovery begin. Likewise, the U.S. was in sharp recession during the Carter presidency, but when income taxes were cut under President Reagan, businesses expanded–computers, fax machines, new phones, walkman radios, and many other inventions flourished and improved lives all over the world.

Fourth, those people who attack the current capital gains tax of 15% need to be reminded that when it was much higher in the 1970s under President Carter that fewer Americans made the investments that have enriched our lives so greatly today. As Steve Moore and Art Laffer remind us in The End of Prosperity, “The poorest 20 percent of Americans experienced a 6 percent gain in real income in the 1980s after suffering a 5 percent decline in the 1970s.” The poor, as well as the rich, gain when taxes are low and freedom is high."

Dr Burt Folsom

At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

J.T.F, to your third point, we have had tax cuts under the Bush administration. Where are the jobs these cuts were supposed to produce?

And in your fourth point you say "fewer Americans made the investments that have enriched our lives so greatly today." Just what are some of these investments that enriched our lives?

Finally, why should a Romney pay only a 15% tax rate and a janitor making less than $30,000 or $40,000 pay a 23% tax rate?

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

Have you ever completed your taxes and decided that the rate was not high enough and sent in more money because of your dissatisfaction with the statutory tax level?

Does William Jefferson Clinton who bags millions per year?

Has Obama?

Has Pelosi?

Has Senator Kerry?

Has Gore?

etc. etc.

Romney pays the rate the law states must be paid. Investment tax rates are usually a second level of taxation as the initial income to invest is usually taxed at regular rates.

BTW, It's nice to Dumbo flapping his ears in his natural habitat Disney World. He certainly need a vacation after Hawaii. Why doesn't that piss you off, Anon. The Teleprompter, or Mooshell piss away more on vacations than Romney saves on his taxes.

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Ask Dr. Folsom, I gave his website just for that reason.

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous anonymous said...

Boltok, I have not sent in more taxes because I am closer to the 23% level than the 15% level. And by the way, have you sent in more taxes?

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous anonymous said...

And J.T.F, I checked Dr Burton's website - not much to see, and that still does not answer the question what YOU think about the questions I asked.

At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Dear Anomalous,

What does it matter what I think, Im just a stupid conservative? What did you think of Dr. Folsom's answers?

I guess the only way someone as stupid and as far right a bigot, racist, homophobic as I am can answer someone as smart a liberal as you are is with two questions.

Are you better off now that you were 3 years ago?

Which administration would you rather go back to, Reagan's or Carter's?

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...


Oh I forgot a 3rd question,

Did I miss the victory parade held for the War on Poverty?

At 6:00 PM, Anonymous boltok said...

I take basic deductions and declare every penny I earn, and pay what the tax tables say I should pay and not one penny more. If I have extra, charity begins at home. After that, I have charities of interest. Beyond that, I would give my money to random strangers before I sent extra to the government bueracracy. I would light my money on fire before then for that matter.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger ArchieBunkerNYC said...

At the beginning of those 12 Amazing Days three years ago, thick clouds of Hopium wafted over us. So there is a slight chance I inhaled, repeatedly, and became confused about those early, heady days. Yet through the fog of time and Hopium, I remember it as a time of high adventure; of gentle forest creatures and centaurs banding together to fight cynicism and sprinkle hope upon the people. It was a time of tea and cakes.

On the First Day, tens of thousands waited hours and packed the National Mall to hear his inaugural speech. They were so cold, tired and hungry. Obama brought forth two McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and five burger buns, broke them and distributed these among the people. All were nourished, with plenty of scraps left over for the starving Republicans.

The next day, Obama journeyed to the tomb of the GOP, which had shot itself repeatedly in the foot until it died. Barack bent over the corpses of commentators Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and breathed new life into them.

"Rise, my good friends!" cried Barack. "I give you purpose! Rise and flap your gums, call me socialist and enrich yourselves. Blame me, though W started the fed bailouts. Rise and prosper!"

On the Third Day, he bid adieu to Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, who'd spent the night at the White House to make sure things would run smoothly. This was proper, since years ago, the Daley women found the infant Barack floating in a reed basket along the banks of the Chicago River. They nurtured the crying babe, until he was ready to transcend the politics of the past.

For 9 more days it continued, one miracle after another. The president picked the Steelers in the Super Bowl. They won. He submitted an $885 billion stimulus plan to Congress. The money was printed. He nominated a tax cheat for secretary of the Treasury. The tax cheat was confirmed.

"This is not how I expected to wake up this morning," said Obama on Friday. "Malia walked in and said, 'Daddy, you won the Nobel Peace Prize, and it's Bo's birthday.'

It's good that the Nobel committee has things in perspective, too, recognizing his 12 Amazing Days of Peace, Harmony and Universal Love.

Oh, what a time it was. Now please pass the Hopium.

At 8:50 PM, Anonymous anonymous said...

J.T.F, as a matter of fact I am better off now than I was three years ago. And as for preferring Carter's administration over Reagan's, I would take Carters any day. He was a good and decent man whereas Reagan was simply a senile old fool from the very beginning.

As for the victory parade for the war on poverty, that all depends, were you out of diapers yet during Lyndon Johnson's administration? He was the one who instituted the war on poverty.

One thing we can agree on is that you are a stupid conservative.

At 9:20 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

"One thing we can agree on is that you are a stupid conservative" and you Dear Anomalous are a Libtard.

Now go back to your spot in the pig pen and get in line for your turn to suckle from the tit of the Federal Pig, from whom, in your limited mind, all good things come.

At 9:32 PM, Anonymous John said...

JTF, you are clearly a jackass. Who gives a shit what accounting statistics the ultra rich people throw around - the fact is they are fucking you, they are fucking me, they are fucking all of us... and you argue their points free of charge!

Redistribution of wealth - what a joke. That is never going to happen. I work my ass off - just as much or more than any banker. I'm fortunate enough to put food on my table - but just like the rest of us, who knows how long that will last. The only redistribution of wealth is your & my sweat & savings going to the 1% of the 1%...

If you read & understood the Constitution as I suggested, you would realize it was drafted by the wealthy - mostly to protect ‘their’ property, power & position. Any concession for the 99% came later so they might get some popular support and their governance would survive. It kind of like, ‘we can’t afford to give you a raise - but we’ll give you this cool bill of rights’. And you know what? That was not a bad deal as it is about as good as any population gets. However, in recent years our rights, such as they are (always incomplete), are being systematically stripped away. The yoke you wear belongs to the aristocracy and they are tightening the straps. The people who are doing it are your enemy. They tell you what to think and say. Isn’t it time to fight back?

At 10:11 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

Who gives a shit what accounting statistics the ultra rich people throw around? John you and your fellow Libtards do, cause you want more of their money that's who!

Poor baby, wants more of the American Dream given to him, cause he doesn't want to work for it as hare as those who got it did.

John, you are clearly waiting in line for the next tit to open up at the Great Federal Sow. Suck away.

At 5:07 AM, Anonymous Good Luck Charlie said...


At 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today, in 1981 (January 20), Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as President. Twenty minutes after, Iran released 52 American hostages.

At 5:57 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

As this thread seems to be going to sleep on it's own, I will ask a question that is not related to President Reagan.

What are the posters thoughts about President Obama's actions on Keystone Pipeline?

Wouldn't make a bad thread by it's self would it Tom?

At 10:35 PM, Blogger YhuntressE said...

Personally, I always wondered what the appeal of Reagan was. I can see where the fundamentalist Christians would love him because he catered to them. And there's also that squeaky-clean Hollywood image he had as well. (I read that his best trait as an actor was that he was always on time and sober.)

At 8:53 AM, Anonymous John said...

I've been curious how much private property would have to be seized by eminent domain in order to construct the Keystone Pipeline...

At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...


Guess we will never know how much property will be purchased if the Keystone pipeline were to be built.
What are your thoughts about the veto stopping it's being built?

At 9:59 AM, Anonymous boltok said...

This is why people love Ronnie:


At 10:22 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Just the Falsehoods! quizzically asked...

"What are the posters thoughts about President Obama's actions on Keystone Pipeline?"


"Wouldn't make a bad thread by it's self would it Tom?"

It would make a great topic of discussion! So my question for you is: Why don't you post it on your non-existent blog? ;-)

You're such a lowlife troll...

At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Just the Facts! said...

I just consider the source
when I read your post's


Post a Comment

<< Home