Historical Audio: Reagan supported increased wages & labor protection
Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, April 11, 2014
Seems as if everything old is news again.
Of course, the more things change, the more they remain the same.
GOP Panics As Audio Emerges Proving Their Hero Reagan Would Oppose Current GOP Policies
A 1948 audio recording of Ronald Reagan shows that he would have opposed the GOP’s policies today. In fact, if the GOP actually knew anything about Reagan’s history, they’d wonder how he even ended up in the party to begin with. The right-wing lunatic fringe runs today’s GOP. Back when this recording was made, Ronald Reagan sounded far more like one of today’s liberal Democrats than a Republican. The difference is astonishing.
Ronald Reagan on the 1946 GOP’s plan to increase people’s real incomes:
“The profits of corporations have doubled, while workers’ wages have increased by only one quarter. In other words, profits have gone up four times as much as wages. And the small increase workers did receive was eaten up by rising prices, which also bored into their savings.”
Gee, that sounds an awful lot like what’s happening now. Soaring corporate profits should mean that workers’ wages go up, also. Instead, more people than ever live paycheck to paycheck, and fewer have any savings to speak of, let alone enough to pay six months of living expenses in case of an emergency. But the stock market has reached record highs several times. So everything’s cool, at least as far as the GOP is concerned.
Ronald Reagan on the “free market” and rising prices:
“High prices have not been caused by higher wages, but by bigger and bigger profits. The Republican promises sounded pretty good in 1946. But what has happened since then? Since the 80th Congress took over? Prices have climbed to the highest level in history, although the death of the OPA was supposed to bring prices down through ‘the natural process of free competition.’”
So, even back then, the Republican ideal of the free market didn’t work the way they insisted, and Ronald Reagan could see that. These days, they still want the government to stay out. They want competition to work for lowering prices and creating jobs. However, the so-called “free market” that they want tends toward monopolies and/or price collusion, which both drive prices up. These two situations prevent new businesses from entering the market to compete, and hurt consumers and workers, while driving profits sky-high.
Ronald Reagan on working Americans:
“Labor has been handcuffed by the vicious Taft-Hartley law. Social Security benefits have been snatched away from almost a million workers by the Gerhardt bill.”
The Taft-Hartley Act reined in some of the labor unions’ power, and it’s still in effect today. In general, the GOP tends to support so-called “right to work” laws, which take away workers’ collective bargaining abilities. Or, put another way, they take away the unions’ abilities to fight for things like fair wages and safe working conditions. It’s ironic that Reagan would speak out against such a law, and then later, as president, break the backs of the unions nationwide.
“Fair employment practices, which had worked so well during wartime, have been abandoned.”
And the GOP still abandons them. Senate Republicans recently blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act. Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) both believe that employment laws are a problem. Paul thinks private employers should be able to discriminate as they wish. Broun thinks all federal discrimination laws are unconstitutional.
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said that women don’t want mandated equal pay, and didn’t support the Paycheck Fairness Act because of that.
And so forth. The GOP is astonishingly anti-worker, even though time has proven that being anti-worker and passing anti-worker laws fails workers miserably, because it allows companies to run roughshod over them in the name of higher profits.
Ronald Reagan on veterans:
“Veterans’ pleas for low-cost homes have been ignored.”
Funny, the GOP doesn’t like veterans now, either. In fact, they just recently cut food stamp benefits for 170,000 U.S. veterans. If anybody needs help in our country, it’s veterans. Especially combat veterans; they come back from war unable to find work, and oftentimes with problems such as PTSD, and Republican policies like cutting food stamps make their already-difficult lives already even more difficult. Those policies also tell veterans that we don’t care a whit about what they’ve done for us.
Ronald Reagan on tax cuts for the wealthy:
“Tax reduction bills have been passed to benefit the higher income brackets alone. The average worker saved only $1.73 a week. […] This was the payoff of the Republicans’ promises. And this is why we must have new faces in the Congress of the United States. Democratic faces.”
Where have we heard this one before? Oh, wait, from virtually every Republican out there these days. Many of our budget crises over the last four years happened because Republicans wouldn’t raise taxes, even (and especially) if those taxes were just on corporations and the wealthy.
Recently, they proposed (gasp) another tax cut for the wealthy. In 2013, U.S. tax revenue was roughly 16 percent of the economy, while spending was roughly 23 percent. And they want another tax cut for the wealthy? They want to eliminate tax loopholes, but they won’t say which ones. They want to put a surtax on incomes of over $400,000, but they mean wages, not investments (though most of the wealthy make more money from investments than they do wages). But overall, their tax plan is a major cut for the wealthy.
This was the Ronald Reagan of 1948, who could see the injustice the GOP liked to drop on America’s backbone back then and wanted to do something about it. He’d probably be appalled by what they’re doing today. Sadly, by the time he was president, a lot of that had gone by the wayside, and a lot of what’s happening today is a result of a lot of things Reagan did when he was president. But even then, he wasn’t this ridiculous. Even today, Ronald Reagan, as president, isn’t conservative enough for this GOP.
Listen to Ronald Reagan here: