Contrary to Labrador's claim in Idaho 1st District debate, Reagan raised taxes by billions

In Thursday night's debate on Idaho Public TV, GOP congressional candidate Raul Labrador disputed that President Ronald Reagan raised taxes as part of a deal with Democrats to help balance the budget.

I posed the question, and interrupted Labrador when he asserted my premise was false. Here, I'd like to set the record straight. My source is Bruce Bartlett, historian and expert on supply-side economics, who was an adviser to Reagan and the first President Bush. Bartlett calls the first Reagan tax hike "the largest peacetime tax increase in American history."

In a 2003 essay in the conservative National Review, Bartlett wrote that the total of Reagan tax hikes -- including increases in income, Social Security, unemployment, cigarette and fuel taxes -- were costing taxpayers $300 billion in real dollars.

Labrador's spokesman, Phil Hardy, declined comment on Friday.

Here's an excerpt from Bartlett's piece:

"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.

In 1983, Reagan signed legislation raising the Social Security tax rate. This is a tax increase that lives with us still, since it initiated automatic increases in the taxable wage base. As a consequence, those with moderately high earnings see their payroll taxes rise every single year.

In 1984, Reagan signed another big tax increase in the Deficit Reduction Act. This raised taxes by $18 billion per year or 0.4 percent of GDP. A similar-sized tax increase today would be about $44 billion.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 raised taxes yet again. Even the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which was designed to be revenue-neutral, contained a net tax increase in its first 2 years. And the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 raised taxes still more.

The year 1988 appears to be the only year of the Reagan presidency, other than the first, in which taxes were not raised legislatively. Of course, previous tax increases remained in effect. According to a table in the 1990 budget, the net effect of all these tax increases was to raise taxes by $164 billion in 1992, or 2.6 percent of GDP. This is equivalent to almost $300 billion in today's economy."

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The Debate Wasn't About You Dan!

Ask your question and let the candidates answer. If they put their foot in their mouth, let them. If you want to show everyone how much you know, run for office or write a book but being one that was supposed to ask questions is just that.

Everyone makes mistakes, you went too far on this one so just get over it.

Yeah...let the candidates lie and revise history as much as

they want. We don't need no stinkin' facts, we got ideology to govern by.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

A little defensive?

A little defensive are you? It is a little amusing that you're attacking Dan on this one, instead of being frustrated that a candidate who wants your vote, is so lacking in knowledge. You chock it up to "Everyone makes mistakes". Way to be an enabler.

Excellent point...

Bias above all...

Maxell high bias.


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10


The neo-cons refuse to accept the truth about the puppet Reagan again, Dan. Thanks for rattling their cages. They still got the hate on for telling us about Larry Craig. Now if you would just dig into the tax commission mess for us....


Excellent synopsis!


for asking the question and enabling those interested to reaffirm some candidates don't know what they are talking about.

Reagan's real record

I'm always amazed at how Reagan has become the father of conservative politics that almost every conservative candidate refers to again and again. Yet, it appears most don't really know his record.

When will Republicans stop

When will Republicans stop lying? Reagan raised taxes and "trickle down" only works to make the wealthy wealthier at the expense of everyone else.

The facts?

Reagan cut a deal with the democrats to raise taxes and cut spending. What happened was that for every new tax dollar that came in, the democrats spent two new ones.

What baffles me is why all the democrats are running on how republican they are. do democrats ever run as how good a democrat the are?

I would bet money that if all the spending and societal control that the dems have implemented were coupled with a low unemployment rate, the sheeple would line up to vote them back in. Philosophy is largely lost on most as witnessed by low voter turnout.

The bottom line is the democrats push for failed plans, they package it well, they get in. The plan fails, all the dems deny supporting it, and some fool enough to remain in, the republicans get in and don't push the agenda hard enough to make the system what it needs to be.

Vote all republican now. Hold them accountable, replace the non-conservatives in the next primary. Follow this and things will get better, but there is going to be some pain as we correct the direction.

It is incredible to me that the dems still chant the mantra that bush spent us into oblivion but they are OK with this administration tripling what bush did.

Raul Labrador understands the equation. Don't risk our future with minnick who is promising to vote like Raul would, vote for Raul who has a proven successful record fighting the good fight.

Yea, Vote for Raul...

...who has fought the good fight - for illegal immigrants. Who has a proven record of not knowing what he's talking about. He made that crystal clear for all to see last night. OK, to give Labrador a little wiggle room, Raul either didn't know about Reagan's enormous tax increases (ignorant) or was embarrassed to admit that St. Ronnie was a closet Big Spender.

Vote for the Blue Dog. A proven fiscal conservative.

Are you this out of touch? or baiting?

Congress spends the money. Reagan agreed to tax increases in exchange for spending cuts. The tax increases happened, then congress spent $2 for every new $1 that came in.

Why do you have to continue the LIE that Raul Labrador worked for illegal immigrants? His work has been about legal immigration.

minnick hasn't proven anything other than he is allowed to pander his vote when pelosi doesn't need it. "I will vote more like a democrat..." and that you can count on.

What has minnick accomplished? seriously? anything?

Anyone care to cover for minnicks refusing more debates?

First of all, please cite where Minnick stated:

"I will vote more like a democrat..."

Second, why do people need an immigration attorney?

You show your ignorance of immigration processes. It is not necessary to hire an immigration attorney to obtain legal status in America - unless, perhaps, there is some reason you do not qualify for legal status through normal channels. Or, you are specifically prohibited from entering this country. I have known quite a few immigrants who have obtained legals worker status and full citizenship without ever consulting an immigration attorney.

Spokesman Review....looking for the date!

I know you are not walt, because you have been posting liberal stuff for a long time. walt chose to denegrate lawyers and small business too. Just like you.

Isn't Betsy married?


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10

Again, you illu*strate only your extreme impotence.

The challenge was:

1. Please cite where walt Minnick ever stated: "I will vote more like a democrat..."

2. Second, why do people need an immigration attorney?

2. So the lawyer can afford car payments.


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10

Are your friends illegal immigrants, GM?

It's nice to have someone knowledgable about immigration law and procedures advocating for you before CIS, Homeland Security, Department of Labor, U.S. State Department, and U.S. Consulates. With all those agencies involved, do you really think the immigration process is as simple as applying for a driver's license? Unless your friends crossed our border illegally, I can guarantee you somebody helped them navigate a very complex legal system (i.e. humanitarian agency with its own lawyers).

What? You don't know?

Bette does.


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10

You have obviously never been involved in the process.

I can guarantee that people who wish to enter this country legally can do so by simply completing ICE forms. I am related to people who have done this and have become citizens without ever once consulting a lawyer. And yes, unless there is some reason you do not meet the requirements of citizenship, you do not need a lawyer to become a citizen of this country. But yeah.

Requested citation for GM

I accidentally came across this quote in the Washington Post.

"I will be so happy when we're out of this economic stuff and get more into the broader issues, because I will vote more like a Democrat when we get out of this economic stuff," Minnick told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News editorial board in April 2009.Williams, Mark, "Minnick explains departure from ranks" Moscow-Pullman Daily News, April 7, 2009(3)

What does this have to needing an immigration lawyer?

You missed the boat again.

You mean Minnick?

Amero, do you mean the Blue Dog, who before he was a Blue Dog and was running against Sali in 2008 equated a border fence or wall to the Berlin Wall?

Walt is happy to be whoever you want him to be at any given moment.

Best of all,

he is never Raul.

And he won't eat green eggs and ham in the fall.

Are you the famous Dr. Chartreuse?


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10

Interesting title for someone who doesn't seem to use any facts

Reagan tripled the debt for America. Bush doubled it again. And any spending Obama did above that was necessitated by the failure of Republican policies deep sixing the economy.

Mebbe if you see the deficit in graph form it will help you wrap you head around who is responsible for where we are.

You completely validated Dan Popkey's article here, because you guys live in bizarro world where facts come as a surprise to you. Try expanding your horizon from your Fox echo chamber.

Your graph showed nothing...try this one:,r:0,s:11&biw=1142&bih=494

The deficits, after first growing, were rapidly shrinking under Bush until the Dems took over the congress in 07.

You could try losing the search box 4 a lot shorter URL

Go directly to the site?


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10


FO, you are not saying a prayer for Charlie Browne anymore?

I hope you didn't hurt yourself in the shock of discovery.


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10

Again, your partisan lu*st is exuding all reason.

Like Sisyphus stated: "You completely validated Dan Popkey's article here, because you guys live in bizarro world where facts come as a surprise to you. Try expanding your horizon from your Fox echo chamber."

I limit that to President Carter's interview and Pink Floyd.


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10

Dr. Seuss has a better reply:

“Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.”

They they shot Old Yeller.


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10

What have you been smoking??

What have you been smoking?? As soon as he got us into his dirty little wars, deficits began to climb and the economy tanked. The deficit was gone by the end of the Clinton years, largely thanks to Gramm-Rudman-Hollings!!

What WEREN'T we smoking in the eighties?


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10


Hopeless case.

Then we broke the Cold War, cut missile stocks, saved...

A bunch of Europeans and stuff.

Reagan was a decent leader, Bueller...



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Another example of how

Another example of how Labrador totally lacks credibility!!! Send this dog back to the pound on Nov. 2!!

Weed out the lies

Distinguishing fact from fiction is not just a reporter's right, it is a reporter's responsibility. Keep it up, Dan.

Sam Sandmire

I'll second that

Well written and to the point. Go get'em, Dan. Keep both sides on their toes.

How dare you Mr. Popkey...

... speak truthfully of St. Reagan. What's next? Factual accounts of Reagan selling arms to Iran? WMDs to Iraq?

He ended the Cold War

No more "hiding under our school desks."

Just for other, similarly frightening reasons now.


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10

The enemy changed. There is always an enemy. Read 1984.

Generally regarded as a work of fiction and social commentary; neo-cons have adopted it as a 'how-to' manual.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

1984 hijacking contest

And the neo-liberals latest enemies are the fascist Tea Party and foreign money threatening to steal American democracy.

And the winner in 2010 is????

Enemies? Nope, we just want to help them taste their footwear.


Celebrating my 3rd year posting 10/10/10

Not my enemies.

I pity the fools of the tea party who are being used by interests funded by American money. (Astro turfing as they call it.)
The only thing scary about them is their lack of originality, powers of logic and trance like state that gets them to do the bidding of those who have the most to gain from unregulated business practices and the increase of the military-industrial complex.

However, if you don't see the parallels between the novel and ongoing wars, establishment of a department of 'homeland' security, and the shennanigans of the Texas school board, then Orwell is completely lost on you.

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

At the end of the day

Dan is a reporter, not a gatekeeper or mediator. His job at the debate was to ask a question and allow the events to be played out by the candidates. He violated the rules of being a reporter by trying to influence an answer with his understanding of history (right or wrong).

If you get your heads out of being a Republican or a Democrat and look at how the process should have been run to hear what the candidates would have said, you would understand that. Step back and take a red or blue breath and consider what was supposed to be accomplished and how the process was to be administered. Dan failed the process by involving himself in the discussion.