In response to the letter from Jim Barber dated, March 22, in which he claims that Ronald Reagan was not a true conservative, and that every President since Reagan who has claimed to be conservative were liars.
I am not surprised that Mr. Barber wants to disassociate himself from the GOP Presidencies of Reagan/Bush. Let us remember what Ronald Reagan did immediately after he took office.
He went after people receiving disability compensation from Social Security. He eliminated their benefits and made these people reprove their disability claims while not having any income because Reagan refused to continue paying their benefits during the appeals process. He went after the weakest in the society. He also went after workers who earned their incomes from tips. Most of these workers were being paid on average $1.25 per hour by their employers and relied heavily on their tips to support themselves and their families.
Ronald Reagan, called them "cheats." He claimed these undeclared tips represented a multibillion-dollar industry in which all these low income "tax-cheaters" were preying upon the American taxpayer. These people were also amongst the weakest and most vulnerable in our society.
Further, the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs with its destructive effect on labor unions, accelerated under Ronald Reagan. He wanted to break the very unions that Mr. Barber relied upon for his high wages and good health and welfare benefits as a Teamster.
If Mr. Barber had bothered to read my letter thoroughly, he would have realized that when I said, "corporate pirates that plunder our public treasury with the help of our elected officials." I did not differentiate between Republican and Democratic elected officials.
Apparently, Mr. Barber is one of those fortunate union retirees who never had to utilize the unemployment compensation system during lean times, nor did he ever have to apply for welfare when he lost his job.
If I am not mistaken, the Teamsters have an excellent pension and medical welfare plan for its workers and retirees. Apparently, Mr. Barber does not want this for other American workers. I wonder if Mr. Barber avails himself of Social Security and/or Medicare benefits?
It is the same old conservative canard, the corrupt unions are the ruination of America, but the corrupt corporations are just a manifestation of the "free market" economy and share no blame for the current financial disaster. The conservative canard against liberals has become tiresome, too.
The word "liberal" is used today the same way "communist" was used in the 1950s. According to conservatives, everyone who does not embrace Reaganomics, [the supply side theory of trickle down economics, which has been thoroughly disgraced] is a "liberal." This is code of course for un-American and unpatriotic. It is political gibberish.
Remember in the early 1980s First Lady Nancy Reagan made headlines with her, "just say no, to drugs" proposal. How unfortunate that the GOP has devolved from that party to a political party of "just say no to everything." The GOP is a bankrupt party that has bankrupted America.
Also, to Bill Bassett, I offer another historical oddity. Ronald Reagan was an FDR-Democrat. He supported all of FDR's programs and policies until he became a wealthy actor and Nancy encouraged him to alter his political views so he could run for the presidency. Mr. Reagan was an actor. He was given a script and he performed on cue for whomever controlled him. Ironically, every year that he was in office Reagan cut funding for Alzheimer's research, and after he left the presidency he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.
I had an uncle who used to bash FDR every chance he could. Then one day when he was in his 70s he came to my father and said, "Thank God for Social Security and Medicare, I don't how I would get by without them."
My father responded, "Yeah, the lousy FDR and his New Deal programs."
John A. Bond