The Progress Report Banner

The Reagan Speech Today’s GOP Doesn’t Want You To See

The Reagan Speech Today’s GOP Doesn’t Want You To See

The Buffett Reagan Rule

How extreme and out of touch are today’s Republicans? So extreme it turns out that they won’t even heed the advice of Ronald Reagan when it comes to taxing the wealthy.

What Would Reagan Do?

ThinkProgress Economy’s Pat Garofalo has the details:

However, if calling for an end to millionaires having lower tax rates than their secretaries is class warfare, Obama is only the latest class warrior to occupy the Oval Office. In a June 6, 1985 speech at Northside High School in Atlanta, Georgia, then President Ronald Reagan explained that tax loopholes allowing a millionaire to pay lower taxes that a bus driver were “crazy,” because they allowed the “truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share”:

We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy. […] Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver or less?

Watch Obama and Reagan’s remarks, side by side:

‘Crazy’ Loopholes for Millionaires

President Obama picked up on Reagan’s remarks today during a speech in Dallas promoting the American Jobs Act.

Take a look:

Now, when I point this out, some of the Republicans in Congress say, ‘oh you’re engaging in class warfare.’ Let me tell you something. Years ago, one great American had a different view. I’m going to get the quote, just so you know I’m not making this up. A great American said that he thought it was ‘crazy’ that certain tax loopholes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary.

Alright. You know who this guy was? It wasn’t a Democrat. It wasn’t some crazy socialist. It was Ronald Reagan. It was Ronald Reagan. Last time I checked, Republicans all thought Reagan made some sense. So next time you hear one of those Republicans in Congress accusing you of class warfare, you just tell them I’m with Ronald Reagan. I agree with Ronald Reagan that it’s crazy that a bus driver pays a higher tax rate than some millionaire because of a loophole in the tax code. And by the way, I don’t mind being called a warrior for the working class. You guys need someone working for you.

IN ONE SENTENCE: As Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution put it: “Once more, history offers compelling evidence of just how fanatical and extreme the conservative movement has become in this country.”

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed

The faces of Occupy Wall Street.

What’s behind income inequality: An overwhelming number of executives think they deserve above median pay, regardless of their performance.

What’s wrong with a techno-utopianism: Technology may have revolutionized communication, but it hasn’t touched education or health care.

How the Occupy Wall Street movement emulates the original Boston Tea Party.

Interesting take on the Republican audience booing a gay solider from a prominent Perry endorser: “I thought it was great.”

A front-loaded primary schedule may prevent Super PAC funding disclosure until after the election is decided.

Had Chris Christie decided to run for president, his weight shouldn’t have been an issue.

Voter identification laws have a demonstrably negative effect on voter turnout.

The Transport Workers Union is going to court to avoid having to transport arrested Occupy Wall Street protesters, whom the unions support.