Monday, June 07, 2010

Today's GOP could snub even Reagan

The party has become so conservative that Whitman and Poizner would call the iconic Republican 'just another liberal politician.'

By George Skelton - Capitol Journal

You'd think there would be at least one Republican pragmatist running for governor — a pragmatic conservative.

Some wannabe governor willing to spend big for a worthy cause, raise taxes if needed, protect the environment from exploiters chanting "economic growth," be tolerant on social issues, even support amnesty for hard-working illegal immigrants.

Too bad such a gubernatorial candidate probably couldn't be nominated by GOP voters in California.

But wait! One such candidate was: Ronald Reagan. Nominated and elected governor and president. The classic conservative icon.

True, Reagan ran for office as a conservative. "Government is not the solution. Government is the problem," he insisted.

But once in office, he usually governed as a moderate, a pragmatist. And he was easily reelected.

Today, Reagan would be branded "just another liberal politician" by the likes of Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner.


As governor, Reagan was the biggest California spender of the last half century. Under him, state spending leaped 177%. And as president, he spent like the proverbial drunken sailor to expand the Navy and the nuclear missile arsenal while winning the Cold War. He left Washington with a then-record national debt.

His first year as governor, Reagan raised taxes equal to 30% of the state general fund, still a modern record. And as president, he increased taxes several times, although conservatives pretend to remember only the one big tax cut.............................

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