What Reagan Really Said About Taxes - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
What Reagan Really Said About Taxes

In promoting the so-called Buffett Rule, President Obama invoked President Reagan using a quote from a speech the Gipper gave in June 1985 at Northside High School in Atlanta, Georgia in which he said it was “crazy” for a bus driver to be paying more than taxes than a millionaire. Obama described Reagan as “a wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior.”

But Mark Levin points out that this is nothing more than yet another straw man argument. Who in the Republican Party is advocating that millionaires pay less than non-millionaires?

Needless to say, Obama characterizing Reagan as “a wild-eyed, socialist, tax-hiking class warrior” is utterly disingenuous if one actually reads the speech in its entirety:

And, as you know, that last week I unveiled our proposal to make the Federal tax system fairer, clearer, and less burdensome for all Americans. Now, someone might say it’s odd to talk about tax policy with young people in their teens. But I don’t think so. You not only understand what taxes are, what effect they have in the average person’s life, but if you don’t understand, you will pretty soon when you get your first job. I know some of you already have part-time jobs, and I know you keep your eye on the part of the check that shows what Uncle Sam is taking out.

What we’re trying to do is change some of those numbers. We want the part of your check that shows Federal withholding to have fewer digits on it. And we want the part that shows your salary to have more digits on it. We’re trying to take less money from you and less from your parents.

And whatever you and they do with this additional money will not only help you, it will help the whole country by making our entire economy stronger. Maybe you’ll take some of the money and put it in the bank. Fine. You’ll earn interest on your savings, and you’ll also make more money available for others to borrow, to expand their business, or improve their home. Maybe you’ll spend it. And that’s fine, too, although I hope you don’t spend it all. But what you spend will increase demand for various products. And that will help create jobs. But whatever you do with it, you’ll be the one who’s doing the doing. You’ll make the decisions. You’ll have the autonomy. And that’s what freedom is.

When taxes are lowered, economic growth follows. And economic growth is good for just about everyone, especially the poor. It gives them a ladder they can use to climb out of poverty. And for those who aren’t poor, but who are by no means rich — and that’s most of the people in America — economic growth gives them options they never had before. When you and your parents and friends are allowed to keep more of the fruits of your labors, a whole new world of options will open up for you.

You’ll be better situated to pay for college. You’ll be able to save and pool your money with friends and maybe even start a small local business. I knew a fellow who once bought into a little hamburger stand out west. He was just a regular guy, but he worked hard and advertised, and the little stand prospered. You may have heard of it. It’s called McDonald’s. I was thinking about Ray Kroc recently and how the jingle that he uses applies to our tax program: ‘You deserve a break today.’ And tomorrow, too, and for the rest of your life.

Well, I doubt President Obama would ever invoke McDonald’s in a positive light as it’s being turned into public enemy number one much less the phrase “when taxes are lowered, economic growth follows” traverse his lips. If Obamacare is implemented the federal government will be taking a lot a more money and autonomy. We won’t be the ones who are “doing the doing.”

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