However fractured they are otherwise, the Republicans are united on this much: a Democrat must not be allowed to win in November.

We could have 8 more years like Clinton!

(What a disaster!  Barely 19 million new jobs, not a single real war, the deficit turned into a surplus — peace and prosperity run rampant.)

We could have 8 more years like Obama!

(What a disaster!  Depression averted, two wars ended, deficit slashed, ten times the new jobs created under Bush — just look at the record.)

And they are united on something else, too: worship of Ronald Reagan.

But as the bold-faced bits below suggest, they may be slightly misremembering his presidency.

Today’s Delanceyplace selection [thanks, Glenn] is from These United States: A Nation in the Making 1890 to Present by Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore and Thomas J. Sugrue. Though he famously stated the “government is the problem” in his first inaugural speech, President Ronald Reagan presided over one of the largest escalations of government spending in U.S. history and gave an enormous boost to technology research in the process. Government spending under Reagan gave an indispensable boost to the rise of high tech centers such as Route 128 corridor outside Boston, the Research Triangle in North Caro­lina, and the semiconductor center of Austin, Texas. In fact, by the end of the 1980s, 40 percent of all research and development in the computing industry was federally funded and university computer science programs received 83 percent of their funding from the U.S. government:

“. . . Suburban Boston, Silicon Valley, and Los Angeles were flush with federal dollars, pulling them out of the economic slump sooner than most of the rest of the country. Federal spending also launched a high-tech economy. Universities introduced student-accessible computer centers in the early 1980s, the personal computer went from a novelty item to a mass-produced necessity in less than ten years, and microchips transformed everyday elec­tronics. The number of jobs for electrical engineers and computer scien­tists skyrocketed. By the early 1990s, local area networks and the Internet began connecting computers into what would be later named the World Wide Web.

“The rise and success of American high-tech industries did not result from tax cuts and deregulation. In fact, no American industries relied more on government spending than did computing, electrical engineering, and communications equipment. . . . Between 1982 and 1988, federal research and develop­ment spending nearly doubled. By the decade’s end, 40 percent of all research and development in the computing industry was federally funded; nearly half of communications technology research — including the systems that were the basis of the Internet — came from the federal government. Government programs also bankrolled university laboratories, computer science, and electrical engineering. In 1985 alone, computer science pro­grams received 83 percent of their funds from the federal government.”

Three economy-boosting things the Republicans have for seven years steadfastly blocked:

(1) Put people to work revitalizing our crumbling infrastructure.  They refused to pass the American Jobs Act.

(2) Hike the minimum wage.  They cut it each year by not allowing it to rise with inflation.

(3) Enact comprehensive immigration reform.  Passed 68-32 in the Senate, they refused to bring it up for a vote in the House.

All three will strengthen our economy and our society.  All three have broad popular support. All three will get done if enough people vote “Democrat” this November.



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