Reagan Advisor Bruce Bartlett on Where The Right Went Wrong

February 25th, 2012 by Andy in Conservative / Liberal - What Do They Mean

This is a tremendously insightful interview with conservative economist Bruce Bartlett, former policy adviser for Reagan. Something which everyone should take in, particularly those who claim to ascribe to the more conservative side of things. Perfect for passing along to friends, colleagues, relatives, who claim to be adherents of a virulent anti-tax ideology, a la Grover Norquist-like, and ascribe it to being “conservative.”

Bartlett brings real clarity to how far off the rails we are, particularly when it comes to operating in a fact-based environment, especially in regards to understanding tax policies and the role of government.

This is good stuff in light of confronting the thick sludge of ideology which has overwhelmed our capacity for reasoning and real critical thought in our society today. It’s especially telling in that he is talking about facts, and how he doesn’t quite understand how no one talks about facts, and how today’s Republican base doesn’t want factual information. And even if you provide them, they reject them because they don’t correspond to their already pre-determined beliefs.

Read The Transcript

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  1. on April 18th, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    ($40 billion then would be $100 billion in today’s dollars)

    A few things people on the right should know before they attack my source:
    1. Bruce Bartlett was a domestic policy adviser to President Ronald Reagan and Treasury official under President George H.W. Bush.
    2. National Review (NR) was founded by the late author William F. Buckley, Jr. people who know what a true Conservative is know who he was.

    “Reagan may have resisted calls for tax increases, but he ultimately supported them. In 1982 alone, he signed into law not one but two major tax increases. The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) raised taxes by $37.5 billion per year and the Highway Revenue Act raised the gasoline tax by another $3.3 billion.

    According to a recent Treasury Department study, TEFRA alone raised taxes by almost 1 percent of the gross domestic product, making it the largest peacetime tax increase in American history. An increase of similar magnitude today would raise more than $100 billion per year.” The National Review

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