A Saturday History Lesson: The Cuts Never Came

Take a step back from all the reports and rhetoric surrounding the debt ceiling.  In USA Today, President Ronald Reagan’s former Attorney General Ed Meese and Heritage Action’s CEO Michael Needham ask whether President Obama will ever learn economics from Reagan.

Despite their stark differences on policy, Obama praised Reagan for how he led the nation “through an extremely difficult period, with economic hardship at home and very real threats beyond our borders.” And, lo and behold, many pundits are now comparing what they call Reagan’s willingness to compromise on taxes to what they say is the intransigence of today’s GOP. 

 

You don’t have to be a Washington veteran to predict what happened next. The tax increases were promptly enacted — Congress had no problem accepting that part of the deal — but the promised budget cuts never materialized. After the tax bill passed, some legislators of both parties even claimed that there had been no real commitment to the 3-to-1 ratio. 

The lesson?  If lawmakers are serious about saving the American Dream for our children and grandchildren, they cannot repeat the mistakes of the past.

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