Tag Archives: GOP

Today’s Quote-to-Quote: The Real Ronald Reagan

Ever wonder where current Republican twits like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann get some of their goofiest, dumbest twists on history, society and government? Seems they are simply borrowing from the ‘Master,’ the same mental colossus many members of the GOP want engraved on the dime and enshrined on Mount Rushmore:

“Why should we subsidize intellectual curiosity?”
— Ronald Reagan, campaign speech, 1980.

“Fascism was really the basis for the New Deal.”
— Ronald Reagan, quoted in Time, May 17, 1976

“I favor the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and it must be enforced at the point of a bayonet, if necessary.”
— Ronald Reagan, Los Angeles Times, October 20, 1965

“I would have voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
— Ronald Reagan, Los Angeles Times, June 17, 1966

“Today a newcomer to the state is automatically eligible for our many aid programs the moment he crosses the border.”
— Ronald Reagan, in a speech announcing his candidacy for Governor, January 3, 1966. (In fact, immigrants to California had to wait five years before becoming eligible for benefits. Reagan acknowledged his error, but nine months later said exactly the same thing.)

“…a faceless mass, waiting for handouts.”
— Ronald Reagan, 1965. (Description of Medicaid recipients.)

“Unemployment insurance is a pre-paid vacation for freeloaders.”
— California Governor Ronald Reagan, in the Sacramento Bee, April 28, 1966

“We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry every night. Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.”
— Ronald Reagan, TV speech, October 27, 1964

“History shows that when the taxes of a nation approach about 20 percent of the people’s income, there begins to be a lack of respect for government…. When it reaches 25 percent, there comes an increase in lawlessness.”
— Ronald Reagan, in Time, April 14, 1980. (History shows no such thing. Income tax rates in Europe have traditionally been far higher than U.S. rates, while European crime rates have been much lower.)

“Because Vietnam was not a declared war, the veterans are not even eligible for the G. I. Bill of Rights with respect to education or anything.”
— Ronald Reagan, in Newsweek, April 21, 1980. (Wrong again.)

“What we have found in this country, and maybe we’re more aware of it now, is one problem that we’ve had, even in the best of times, and that is the people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless, you might say, by choice.”
— Ronald Reagan, defending himself against charges of callousness on Good Morning America, January 31, 1984

“All the waste in a year from a nuclear power plant can be stored under a desk.”
— Ronald Reagan (Republican candidate for president), quoted in the Burlington (Vermont) Free Press, February 15, 1980. (In reality, the average nuclear reactor generates 30 tons of radioactive waste per year.)

“Trains are not any more energy efficient than the average automobile, with both getting about 48 passenger miles to the gallon.”
— Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Chicago Tribune, May 10, 1980. (The U.S. Department of Transportation calculates that a 14-car train traveling at 80 miles per hour gets 400 passenger miles to the gallon. A 1980 auto carrying an average of 2.2 people gets 42.6 passenger miles to the gallon.)

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The U.S. Geological Survey has told me that the proven potential for oil in Alaska alone is greater than the proven reserves in Saudi Arabia.”
— Ronald Reagan, quoted in the Detroit Free Press, March 23, 1980. (According to the USGS, the Saudi reserves of 165.5 billion barrels are 17 times the proven reserves–9.2 billion barrels–in Alaska.)

“I have flown twice over Mount St. Helens. I’m not a scientist and I don’t know the figures, but I have a suspicion that one little mountain out there, in these last several months, has probably released more sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere than has been released in the last ten years of automobile driving or things of that kind.”
— Ronald Reagan, quoted in Time magazine, October 20, 1980. (According to scientists, Mount St. Helens emitted about 2,000 tons of sulfur dioxide per day at its peak activity, compared with 81,000 tons per day produced by cars.)

“…until now has there ever been a time in which so many of the prophecies are coming together. There have been times in the past when people thought the end of the world was coming, and so forth, but never anything like this.”
— President Reagan revealing a disturbing view about the “coming of Armageddon,” December 6, 1983

“Ronald Reagan is the first modern President whose contempt for the facts is treated as a charming idiosyncrasy.”
— James David Barber, presidential scholar in “On Bended Knee: The Press and the Reagan Presidency,” by Mark Hertsgaard

“He demonstrated for all to see how far you can go in this life with a smile, a shoeshine and the nerve to put your own spin on the facts.”
— David Nyhan, Boston Globe columnist

“He has the ability to make statements that are so far outside the parameters of logic that they leave you speechless”
— Patti Davis (formerly Patricia Ann Reagan) talking about her father in “The Way I See It.”

“Poor dear, there’s nothing between his ears.”
— British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

Quotes selected from a post at DemocraticUnderground.com.

Ayn Rand: Another Conservative Hypocrite

[Editor’s Note: Actually, when I read “The Fountainhead” as a teenager, I took it as a tale of an artist, in this case an architect, displaying his integrity by creating only what he wanted, and flouting the establishment rather than selling himself out to the highest bidder and producing mediocre work. The unregulated capitalist ‘Libertarian’ side of the novel’s protagonist, Howard Roark, was not immediately apparent to my young eyes – if anything, it showed those wealthy men who ran big businesses and other power-brokers in a poor light, with a few exceptions. That said, Rand’s anti-government ‘Objectivist’ philosophy became the basis for Libertarianism, and much of the justification for selfishness and cruelty to others we now hear expounded daily by the GOP, so the author’s use of government social programs like Medicare in her waning years is a particularly acute form of hypocrisy.]

Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them

by Joshua Holland, AlterNet, January 29, 2011

Ayn Rand was not only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well.

Her books provided wide-ranging parables of “parasites,” “looters” and “moochers” using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes’ labor. In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O’Connor (her husband was Frank O’Connor). […]

Her ideas about government intervention in some idealized pristine marketplace serve as the basis for so much of the conservative rhetoric we see today. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” said Paul Ryan, the GOP’s young budget star at a D.C. event honoring the author. On another occasion, he proclaimed, “Rand makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.” […]

Rand is one of three women the Cato Institute calls founders of American libertarianism. The other two, Rose Wilder Lane and Isabel “Pat” Paterson, both rejected Social Security benefits on principle. Lane, with whom Rand corresponded for several years, once quit an editorial job in order to avoid paying Social Security taxes. The Cato Institute says Lane considered Social Security a “Ponzi fraud” and “told friends that it would be immoral of her to take part in a system that would predictably collapse so catastrophically.” Lane died in 1968.

Read the rest here.

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