Cal Thomas: What Ronald Reagan Could Teach Today’s Republicans
Ronald Reagan was the epitome of the consummate Republican and today’s Republican leadership has wandered far away from the basic concepts that Reagan espoused.
If the majority of the elected Republican officials would go back to following the pattern that this great president used, we would not be fighting the insanity that liberals have placed before us.
Reagan knew how to communicate our basic principles to the American people. He stood firm on those principles. Our country thrived during and after his administration. We thrived economically as well as socially.
Cal Thomas wrote an excellent piece using a clip from an interview the late Johnny Carson did with the Great Communicator after he served as Governor of California. I give you a portion of that piece and encourage you to read the rest at FoxNews.com.
“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”(French proverb)
While scanning YouTube videos, I came across an appearance by Ronald Reagan on “The Tonight Show,” hosted by Johnny Carson. The year was 1975 and Reagan was “between jobs,” having left office as governor of California, where he served for eight years, but not yet president. He would challenge Gerald Ford for the Republican nomination in 1976, barely losing at the nominating convention, but setting himself up for what would be a successful run in 1980.
What fascinates about Reagan’s appearance with Carson is how little has changed in the intervening 42 years, except some things are worse.
The questions Carson asked Reagan and his responses sound like recent campaigns.
Here’s one of Reagan’s comments on taxes: “I still say the answers to our problems in this country … is to have a law that says there is a percentage limit of the people’s earnings that government cannot go beyond without the consent of the people.”
Later he noted that when he and Carson were boys, “governments, whether federal, state, or local, were only taking about 15 cents out of every dollar earned. Today they’re taking almost half…”
It’s gotten worse. Depending on where you live, the combined total of government taxes can exceed 50 percent, including income, sales and hidden taxes. According to the Tax Foundation, the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit, Americans this year will pay $3.5 trillion in federal taxes and $1.6 trillion in state and local taxes, for a total of $5.1 trillion, or 31 percent of the nation’s income. Still, governments never have enough of our money. The feds borrow from other governments and the national debt approaches $20 trillion.
In one of his many clever turns of phrases, Reagan told Carson: “We live in a country where it takes more brains to figure out your income tax than it does to earn the income.”
Then came a line he would use to great benefit when he ran for president in 1980: “…people keep looking to government for the answer and government is the problem. … There’s very little government can do as efficiently and economically as the people can do themselves…”
Reagan added, “The biggest problem is that we have built a permanent structure of government — federal, state and local — they’re permanent employees. And they’ve come to the place where they actually determine policy in this country more than does the Congress…”