Reagan on taxing millionaires more

Updated
Manchester, N.H., Sept. 28
Manchester, N.H., Sept. 28
AP Photo/Cheryl Senter

In another blow to the image of Pres. Ronald Reagan that lives in the minds of some of today’s Republicans, Pres. Reagan gave a speech in 1985 calling for the end to tax loopholes for millionaires. Yes, really.

This video was released today by ThinkProgress and in it Reagan says in part:

“We’re going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that allow some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. In theory, some of those loopholes were understandable, but in practice they sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying ten percent of his salary, and that’s crazy.”

The video draws the obvious comparison between Reagan’s remarks and those made by Pres. Barack Obama when he unveiled the details of the “Buffett rule.”

Reagan’s remarks also juxtapose well with this New York Times article from Sunday’s front page about Massachusetts Governor Willard M. Romney and how he differs from presidential candidate Willard M. Romney on corporate tax loopholes. The salient passage reads as follows:

Mitt Romney, a Republican with high-caliber corporate credentials, had run for governor pledging to sweep aside barriers to business and act as the state’s “top salesman.”

But just a few months after Mr. Romney took office in 2003, what he delivered seemed anything but friendly to the C.E.O. crowd: a bill to financial firms for what they saw as $110 million in new corporate taxes — and a promise of more to come.

… For the next three years, the Romney administration relentlessly scoured the tax code for more loopholes, extracting hundreds of millions of corporate dollars to help close budget gaps in a state with a struggling economy. It was only after Mr. Romney was gearing up in 2005 for a possible White House bid that he backed away from some of his most assertive tax enforcement proposals amid intensifying complaints from local companies and conservative antitax groups in Washington.

So Romney does have something in common with Pres. Reagan. Too bad for him it’s the real Reagan and not the selective-memory version of Reagan that so many Republican presidential candidates love to talk about.

Ronald Reagan, Mitt Romney and Barack Obama

Reagan on taxing millionaires more

Updated