Desperate to sell the American people on a yet-to-be-determined plan to raise the debt ceiling, increase taxes, and avoid necessary reforms to rein in government, liberals are turning to an unlikely ally to make their case—former President Ronald Reagan. Their utterly transparent tactic reveals a larger truth: Despite all the rhetoric, liberals have failed to convince America that their way is the best way to move Washington forward.
The offending invocation of Reagan’s legacy comes from the House Democrats in the form of a 54-second video featuring audio from a September 1987 radio address in which the former President called on Congress to raise the debt ceiling, warning that the United States “has a special responsibility to itself and the world to meet its obligations.” The House Democrats fashioned those words into a bludgeon aimed at Republicans, attempting to lay the blame for Washington’s failure to reach a debt limit deal squarely at their feet.
All of the clever rhetoric and recasting of history is designed to distract from the reality on the ground. The U.S. government has racked up $14 trillion in debt. For more than 800 days, the U.S. Senate has failed to pass a budget. President Obama continues his calls for “compromise” and “shared sacrifice,” all while insisting on tax increases to fund spending—a philosophy that was roundly rejected at the polls last November. That is not a manner of governance that President Reagan would have endorsed.