Ronald Reagan, icon of the conservative movement whose mere mention of his name causes social and fiscal conservatives to bow their heads in deep reverence, was a Socialist.
That's right -- Ronald Reagan was a Socialist.
During his term as President, Ronald Reagan practiced "Socialism" in America in exactly the same manner that Barack Obama is accused of promoting tax-based "Socialism."
It was Ronald Reagan's aim to "spread the wealth" from those Americans more fortunate to those Americans less fortunate, giving money to Americans who paid no federal income tax whatsoever.
Under Reagan, the United States Treasury handed out free money to people who didn't earn it, taking money from the middle class and the rich and giving it to the poor of the nation - even if they paid zero taxes, and this practice has continued through the Bush term.
It was during Ronald Reagan's term that the United State government expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit, a money giveaway program big enough to make today's Republican yell "Socialist!" at the tops of their lungs.
Enacted in 1975, the initially modest EIC has been expanded by tax legislation on a number of occasions, including the more widely-publicized Reagan EIC expansion of 1986.[...]
Today, the EITC is one of the largest anti-poverty tools in the United States (despite the fact that most income measures, including the poverty rate, do not account for the credit), and enjoys broad bipartisan support.
Here's how it works today. The dollar amounts have changed from those set by Reagan, naturally, but the basic principles and "entitlements" of the EITC program today remains the same as it was under Reagan's expansion of the program.
The United States federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC or EIC) is a refundable tax credit. For tax year 2007, a claimant with one qualifying child can receive a maximum credit of $2,853. For two or more qualifying children, the maximum credit is $4,716. [...] There is a much more modest EIC for persons and couples without children that reaches a maximum of $428.
The credit is phased in based on income, and there are a number of qualifying factors, but Sarah Palin and John McCain are relying on emotion and -- well, lies -- in claiming to Americans that Obama's tax plan is "Socialism" without recognizing that Ronald Reagan practiced the same kind of "Socialism" during his term in the 1980s...
...and without further recognizing that George W. Bush practices "Socialism" today. The program is still in effect, and we've therefore had a "Socialist" in the White House for the last 8 years.
And John McCain wants you to believe that he's not the same liar that George W, Bush is!
A lot of Americans are in the middle politically, and it's important to recognize that Republicans cries of "Socialism" are just another way the GOP has invented to lie to the American people and cheat them out of their votes.
- John Farrell: Barack Obama Is No Socialist
- CQ Politics: Sorting Out the Truth on McCain's "Socialism" Allegations
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