Rush Limbaugh met the brick wall of reality when a liberal caller to his radio show asked him why Ronald Reagan, who negotiated with terrorists, raised taxes, granted amnesty to illegal aliens, and cut and ran from Lebanon, is a hero to conservatives. Limbaugh could not answer the question, but he did claim that Reagan never raised taxes and that the former president was misunderstood.
Here is the audio from Media Matters:
When confronted with the reality of Ronald Reagan’s legacy, Rush Limbaugh went into duck and dodge mode, with a dash of lying. The truth is that Ronald Reagan did raise taxes, especially the payroll tax in 1983.
Reagan first raised taxes by $17 billion in 1982. His 1983 increase of the payroll tax virtually wiped out his 1981 tax cut, and for good measure Reagan raised taxes in 1984 in an attempt to combat the exploding budget deficit courtesy of Reaganomics, and concerns about inflation. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 cut tax breaks and shelters, which would qualify it in today’s Republican terms as a tax increase.
According to CNN, tax receipts as a percentage of GDP were 18.2% under Reagan, which was right in line with the numbers under Jimmy Carter and the 40 year average of 18.1%. Limbaugh evaded all the other correct points that the caller made about Reagan’s legacy, and in typical conservative fashion, he ignored the historical record, and tried to blame the liberal media for facts.
Since conservatives can’t handle the truth about Ronald Reagan, they have created their own mythology. Ronald Reagan is their laissez faire Jesus. The facts are ignored as a personification of an ideology is worshiped. […]