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Author: Subject: Despite rhetoric, GOP tax plans overwhelmingly favor the rich

Peach Master





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  posted on 9/13/2015 at 08:18 PM
I'm shocked, SHOCKED to discover the GOP candidates hoping to ream the middle and lower classes further while fattening the rich!

DENVER (AP) -- Jeb Bush went to Detroit and talked about leveling the playing field. Marco Rubio wrote a book about helping the working class. Rand Paul is promising to expand the Republican Party beyond its traditional base.

Yet all three Republican presidential candidates have offered tax proposals that would, for reasons such as nomination politics and tax rate realities, benefit overwhelmingly the wealthiest.

In doing so, they have drawn criticism from Democrats who call it proof that the GOP's eventual nominee will mainly try to help the rich.

Even some conservatives expressed concerns after Bush released his proposed tax cut this past week. Then there was the analysis Thursday from the Washington-based Tax Foundation that concluded his plan would initially help the top 1 percent of earners 10 times as much as it would those in the bottom 10 percent.

"Republicans should be countering the caricature of themselves as slavishly devoted to the interests of rich people and corporations, not playing into it," according to an editorial in the conservative National Review. The magazine nonetheless praised Bush's effort to reduce income and business tax rates.

The trio's tax plans do contain elements aimed directly at middle- and working-class voters. Rubio proposes to expand the child tax credit and Bush wants to double the Earned Income Tax Credit, which is designed to help the working poor.

But experts note that any broad income tax cut inevitably will benefit the rich more than anyone else, because they pay much more in federal income taxes than the middle class or poor.

About 40 percent of the country does not pay federal income tax. The top 1 percent of earners pays about 35 percent of the income tax.

"It is a mechanical problem," said Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the centrist Brookings Institute and left-leaning Urban Institute.

"If you start from the place where any tax plan has got to cut tax rates, you start with a plan that is already regressive and it becomes challenging and complicated to ameliorate that."

Michael Strain of the conservative American Enterprise Institute said Republicans have good reason to push for across-the-board cuts, despite the inevitable benefit to the wealthy.

"There's a genuine concern on the part of conservatives about economic growth and having tax code that fosters economic growth because of a belief that you need a growing economy to help everyone in the country," Strain said.

John Cogan, a Stanford economist who served in the Reagan administration and consulted on the Bush plan, argued that the tax reductions can help cure the inequality that critics contend they exacerbate. "Economic growth is absolutely essential to reducing the degree of inequality," Cogan said.

That's how Bush, a former, Florida governor, has tried to sell his plan. On Thursday, he brushed aside Democratic criticisms that the proposal was a giveaway to his wealthy donors and could increase the deficit, under his own supporters' estimates, by more than $3 trillion.

The U.S. must get back to "high, sustained economic growth," Bush said during a CNN interview. "We need to boost people's spirits by giving them more money to be able to make decisions for themselves."

Bush's plan condenses seven different brackets to three — 28 percent for top earners (who are now taxed at as high as a 39.6 percent rate), 25 percent and 10 percent for families making up to $87,000.

He would drop the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. To help middle- and working-class families, he would double the standard deduction and raise the Earned Income tax Credit.

Bush surprised observers by pledging to eliminate a tax break that benefits investment managers — a small but symbolically potent change to a Wall Street benefit that comes weeks after rival Donald Trump called for such a move.

Florida Sen. Rubio wrote a book in December outlining proposals to help low-income and middle-class families.

In February he signed on to a sweeping tax proposal that does not cut top rates as much as Bush's plan but does eliminate taxes on investment income. That would slash federal tax bills for many of the wealthiest in the country.

Paul, a Kentucky senator, followed with a proposal to drop the tax rate to 14.5 percent across the board, which analysts argue may be an even bigger windfall for the rich.

Conservative commentator Ramesh Ponnuru wrote in a column Thursday that the GOP should look to cutting other levies, like the payroll tax, which fall the heaviest on lower- and middle-income laborers. He said the GOP tax cut plans might end up being compared to Mitt Romney's in 2012, which a majority of voters thought helped the rich, according to exit polls.


 

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Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/13/2015 at 10:19 PM
Trickle down economics has worked well over the last 35 years...why change now?!

 

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  posted on 9/14/2015 at 06:58 AM
quote:
Trickle down economics has worked well over the last 35 years...why change now?!


Yup.

The top 1% are pissing all over the rest of us.

 

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  posted on 9/14/2015 at 05:20 PM
I’m not quite done talking about/bemoaning candidate Jeb Bush’s tax proposal, especially since there’ve been a number a smart analyses of it that you might not have seen.

One reason for doing so is that I thought the media, often pilloried for just reporting what the candidates tell them when it comes to this sort of thing, performed notably well in this case, digging deeply into the numbers, referencing historical failures of these sorts of policies, and generally getting it factually correct. That’s worth applauding in our age of “truthiness” where “he-said, she-said” too often poses as balanced analysis.

Granted, it wasn’t hard to see through this particular proposal — Jeb’s economics’ team claims that supply-side magic dynamics offsets 65 percent of the tax cuts, an unbelievably large proportion, as Bruce Bartlett stresses below. But I still think we should give credit where it’s due.

For background, see this piece I wrote last week, wherein I labeled this new Bush tax plan is “a revenue-eating wolf in sheep’s clothing.” It’s got a few decent ideas (expanding the Earned Income Credit, limiting certain deductions), but all told, it would engender massive, regressive changes to the federal tax code. This is RRH tax policy (reverse Robin Hood) of the type we’ve come to expect from Republican candidates who can’t resist the siren song of supply-side economics.

Why do they go there? Surely, they’re pulled in part by the preferences of their donors. If I were a better physicist, I’d give you the formula showing the gravitational mass created by large piles of campaign contributions. For now, here’s a collection of pieces by journalists/commentators who went far beyond the white papers provided by the campaign:

Josh Barro of the New York Times focuses on the regressivity of the plan, i.e., the disproportionate cuts for those at the top of the income scale. Remember, in our age of inequality, these are the folks who are already doing better than the rest, so tax plans like this one take a pretax inequality problem and make it a bigger post-tax inequality problem. Barro estimates that the Bush plan would boost the after-tax incomes of people making over $10 million by an average of 6.8 percent; for the average taxpayer in that group, that would have meant savings of about $1.5 million in 2013.
Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post takes a similar tack, backing out how the plan would affect a rich guy like Jeb Bush himself. Her “quick-and-dirty, back-of-the-envelope calculations based on Bush’s 2013 tax return [suggest that] his liability for that year would have fallen by about $800,000, or about a quarter of what he paid Uncle Sam.” This result doesn’t mean that Jeb!’s motivation was a reduction in his own tax bill, she stresses. But it certainly underscores how much of a boon the plan is to well-off Americans.
John Cassidy of the New Yorker points out that neither of the Bush boys listened closely enough to their dad: “[Won’t Jeb’s] plan inflate the deficit…? Not in the make-believe world of “voodoo economics” — the term that Jeb’s father, George H. W. Bush, used in criticizing Ronald Reagan’s tax-cutting plans during their G.O.P. primary tussle, in 1980.” By sprinkling supply-side fairy dust, along with, to be fair, some of the minor offsets I noted in my earlier piece, “these policies will unleash increased investment, higher wages and sustained four per cent economic growth, while reducing the deficit,” according to the candidate. But as Cassidy reminds us: “Anyone whose memory extends back to the seventies and eighties will find this language depressingly familiar. The original iteration of voodoo economics didn’t merely involve cutting taxes and directing the bulk of the gains to the ultra-wealthy…The ‘voodoo’ accusation arose from the claim that, because the policies would encourage people to work harder and businesses to invest more, a lot more taxable income would be produced, and the reductions in tax rates wouldn’t lead to a commensurate reduction in the amount of tax revenues that the government collected.”
For the record…didn’t happen.
Few know this line of argument and history better than Bruce Bartlett, who worked in both the Reagan and Bush I administrations. He debunks the tax-cuts-will-spur-growth-that-reaches-everyone idea over at MSNBC. As Bartlett notes, “The people advising [Bush] have an unblemished record of being wrong and always claiming that tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy will cure all the economy’s ills. The only effect of this discredited ideology has been to make the rich richer while doing nothing for the average American.”
The first partial analysis of the plan by experts (other than the economists associated with the campaign) was just released by the Citizens for Tax Justice. They report that 53 percent of the income tax cuts from the plan would go to the top 1 percent, average income: $1.7 million. The middle class would get about a $1,000 tax cut, about 12 percent of the total, while the poorest fifth gets about $200, or 3 percent of the total. Note that CTJ does not include the large corporate tax cut, which would further increase the regressivity of the plan.
I don’t want to make too much of this spate of revealing analysis, but dare I dream? Could we actually be heading back to Factville!? Stay tuned, wonks everywhere…this could get interesting.

 

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  posted on 9/14/2015 at 09:00 PM
quote:
quote:
Trickle down economics has worked well over the last 35 years...why change now?!
Yup.

The top 1% are pissing all over the rest of us.
Just curious, when did any rich person take something from you? What did they take?

 

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  posted on 9/14/2015 at 09:15 PM
quote:
Could we actually be heading back to Factville!?
That's never the case when the media talks about taxes and tax plans, so why start now?

Bush II's tax plan has forever been called "Bush's Tax Cut For The Rich" because the NYT's and other mainstream sources labeled it as such. Percentage-wise, it clearly cut more for the middle and lower classes, so the analysis focused on $'s. Of course some guy who makes $10 million/yr is going to get more real $'s from a 2% cut than some making $50,000/yr will get from a 6% cut. That's how math works. When equity doesn't work one way, demonstrate it in a way to favor your politics.

Any discussion of tax changes is doomed to criticism and debacle. Some faction always feels its unfair, and throws a hissy in describing how. The simplest of fair ideas - an equal percentage on everyone - never gets a chance because its deemed "regressive". The ultimate fair idea that supports freedom, personal responsibility, and individual choice is the Fair Tax. But it will never happen because politicians stand to loose too much power and the ability to keep the rigged system of income-based taxation that favors them.

We're changing nothing until the whole thing crashes in on itself. Its a waste of time discussing it.

 

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  posted on 9/15/2015 at 08:10 PM
quote:
Trickle down economics has worked well over the last 35 years...why change now?!


Actually it's worked well for about 200 years.

 

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  posted on 9/15/2015 at 09:04 PM
quote:
quote:
Trickle down economics has worked well over the last 35 years...why change now?!


Actually it's worked well for about 200 years.

Uh huh. Right.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/15/2015 at 09:25 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
Trickle down economics has worked well over the last 35 years...why change now?!


Actually it's worked well for about 200 years.

Uh huh. Right.


What do you think happened to build this nations economy? You think guys sweeping the streets one day started building the railroads, steel mills, auto manufacturers, and drilling for oil the next? Look into Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller if you doubt what I'm saying.

 

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  posted on 9/15/2015 at 11:12 PM
ANd they paid a much higher tax rate than the so-called 'job creators' today.............

 

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  posted on 9/15/2015 at 11:19 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Trickle down economics has worked well over the last 35 years...why change now?!


Actually it's worked well for about 200 years.

Uh huh. Right.


What do you think happened to build this nations economy? You think guys sweeping the streets one day started building the railroads, steel mills, auto manufacturers, and drilling for oil the next? Look into Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller if you doubt what I'm saying.

Are you kidding? I doubt every dubious thing you say. Like attributing all economic activity and growth (and obviously none of the failures) to trickle down economics.

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 07:37 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Trickle down economics has worked well over the last 35 years...why change now?!


Actually it's worked well for about 200 years.

Uh huh. Right.


What do you think happened to build this nations economy? You think guys sweeping the streets one day started building the railroads, steel mills, auto manufacturers, and drilling for oil the next? Look into Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller if you doubt what I'm saying.

Are you kidding? I doubt every dubious thing you say. Like attributing all economic activity and growth (and obviously none of the failures) to trickle down economics.


Saying that trickle down economics doesn't work is like saying that hammers don't work. I could start listing hundreds of examples and that wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface.

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 07:49 AM
quote:

Saying that trickle down economics doesn't work is like saying that hammers don't work. I could start listing hundreds of examples and that wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface.

This is what I don't understand about this position:
If it works so well, why is the middle class shrinking as poverty rates increase, worker's wages are stagnate, and wealth in the US is increasingly concentrated within the top 1%? Isn't a strong and growing middle class the backbone of our economy?

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 11:12 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:
Trickle down economics has worked well over the last 35 years...why change now?!


Actually it's worked well for about 200 years.

Uh huh. Right.


What do you think happened to build this nations economy? You think guys sweeping the streets one day started building the railroads, steel mills, auto manufacturers, and drilling for oil the next? Look into Carnegie, Ford, Rockefeller if you doubt what I'm saying.


It's amazing. The way these people think you'd think that everyone was living ina dipalitated shack while enslaved to the Lord of the Manor instead of having multiple cars, multiple tv's, smart phones and laptops galore.

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 11:15 AM
quote:
quote:

Saying that trickle down economics doesn't work is like saying that hammers don't work. I could start listing hundreds of examples and that wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface.

This is what I don't understand about this position:
If it works so well, why is the middle class shrinking as poverty rates increase, worker's wages are stagnate, and wealth in the US is increasingly concentrated within the top 1%? Isn't a strong and growing middle class the backbone of our economy?


Because the stifling anti-growth policies of the current administration have stifled what would normally be a strong economic recovery. Poor economic growth inevitably hurts the middle class. Socialists look at income inequality. Those who favor free enterprise understand that there will always be inequality and that if the wealth is confiscated by the government,t he capital that grows the economy and increases wealth for everyone is not available. Socialists believe its unfair that some have more than others. Liberals bewlieve in freedom.

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 11:38 AM
quote:
quote:
quote:

Saying that trickle down economics doesn't work is like saying that hammers don't work. I could start listing hundreds of examples and that wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface.

This is what I don't understand about this position:
If it works so well, why is the middle class shrinking as poverty rates increase, worker's wages are stagnate, and wealth in the US is increasingly concentrated within the top 1%? Isn't a strong and growing middle class the backbone of our economy?


Because the stifling anti-growth policies of the current administration have stifled what would normally be a strong economic recovery. Poor economic growth inevitably hurts the middle class. Socialists look at income inequality. Those who favor free enterprise understand that there will always be inequality and that if the wealth is confiscated by the government,t he capital that grows the economy and increases wealth for everyone is not available. Socialists believe its unfair that some have more than others. Liberals bewlieve in freedom.

But the middle class has been shrinking since 2000, long before this administration came to power, while the top 1% has continued to capture more and more of the wealth in America. How can the top 1% be accumulating more wealth if the economy is stagnant?

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 11:40 AM
Because they are keeping the money instead of trickling it down.............

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 03:41 PM
quote:
quote:
quote:
quote:

Saying that trickle down economics doesn't work is like saying that hammers don't work. I could start listing hundreds of examples and that wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface.

This is what I don't understand about this position:
If it works so well, why is the middle class shrinking as poverty rates increase, worker's wages are stagnate, and wealth in the US is increasingly concentrated within the top 1%? Isn't a strong and growing middle class the backbone of our economy?


Because the stifling anti-growth policies of the current administration have stifled what would normally be a strong economic recovery. Poor economic growth inevitably hurts the middle class. Socialists look at income inequality. Those who favor free enterprise understand that there will always be inequality and that if the wealth is confiscated by the government,t he capital that grows the economy and increases wealth for everyone is not available. Socialists believe its unfair that some have more than others. Liberals bewlieve in freedom.

But the middle class has been shrinking since 2000, long before this administration came to power, while the top 1% has continued to capture more and more of the wealth in America. How can the top 1% be accumulating more wealth if the economy is stagnant?


With all the the rhetoric from the right wing you would think that the current tax rates are at historic highs and that is what is hurting the economy, but that is far from the truth. Tax rates in the US are at near historic lows. If low tax rates feed economic growth, how long do we have to wait for that to happen. When is the trickle down going to start? 25 years? 100 years?

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 04:05 PM
quote:
Because they are keeping the money instead of trickling it down.............



BINGO!!!!!!!!!!Winner, winner, chicken dinner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyone who think trickle down economics work are delusional and just haven't paid attention. Trickle down just doesn't work when those that are supposed to trickle $$ down trickle it down into their own pockets. If wealthy and profitable business owners are the ones left in charge of the trickling the trickling will never happen as it hasn't happened the last three decades which has led to the huge disparity between the 1% and everyone else. Trickle down economics the way they are and have been just doesn't work in reality and the numbers over a long period of time bear that out plain and simple.

[Edited on 9/16/2015 by sixty8]

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 04:08 PM
quote:

Saying that trickle down economics doesn't work is like saying that hammers don't work. I could start listing hundreds of examples and that wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface.

This is what I don't understand about this position:
If it works so well, why is the middle class shrinking as poverty rates increase, worker's wages are stagnate, and wealth in the US is increasingly concentrated within the top 1%? Isn't a strong and growing middle class the backbone of our economy?


Because the stifling anti-growth policies of the current administration have stifled what would normally be a strong economic recovery. Poor economic growth inevitably hurts the middle class. Socialists look at income inequality. Those who favor free enterprise understand that there will always be inequality and that if the wealth is confiscated by the government,t he capital that grows the economy and increases wealth for everyone is not available. Socialists believe its unfair that some have more than others. Liberals bewlieve in freedom.

But the middle class has been shrinking since 2000, long before this administration came to power, while the top 1% has continued to capture more and more of the wealth in America. How can the top 1% be accumulating more wealth if the economy is stagnant?


With all the the rhetoric from the right wing you would think that the current tax rates are at historic highs and that is what is hurting the economy, but that is far from the truth. Tax rates in the US are at near historic lows. If low tax rates feed economic growth, how long do we have to wait for that to happen. When is the trickle down going to start? 25 years? 100 years?


It started working 200 years ago. It never stopped working. Apparently the sticking point is that it hasn't made everybody rich, but then nobody has ever said it would.

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 04:30 PM
quote:
With all the the rhetoric from the right wing you would think that the current tax rates are at historic highs and that is what is hurting the economy, but that is far from the truth. Tax rates in the US are at near historic lows.


Yet tax revenues are at record highs. Maybe there's a lesson there somewhere. The bad news is that the National Debt will soon be pushing $18 Trillion, double what it was only seven years ago.

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 04:55 PM
quote:
quote:

Saying that trickle down economics doesn't work is like saying that hammers don't work. I could start listing hundreds of examples and that wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface.

This is what I don't understand about this position:
If it works so well, why is the middle class shrinking as poverty rates increase, worker's wages are stagnate, and wealth in the US is increasingly concentrated within the top 1%? Isn't a strong and growing middle class the backbone of our economy?


Because the stifling anti-growth policies of the current administration have stifled what would normally be a strong economic recovery. Poor economic growth inevitably hurts the middle class. Socialists look at income inequality. Those who favor free enterprise understand that there will always be inequality and that if the wealth is confiscated by the government,t he capital that grows the economy and increases wealth for everyone is not available. Socialists believe its unfair that some have more than others. Liberals bewlieve in freedom.

But the middle class has been shrinking since 2000, long before this administration came to power, while the top 1% has continued to capture more and more of the wealth in America. How can the top 1% be accumulating more wealth if the economy is stagnant?


With all the the rhetoric from the right wing you would think that the current tax rates are at historic highs and that is what is hurting the economy, but that is far from the truth. Tax rates in the US are at near historic lows. If low tax rates feed economic growth, how long do we have to wait for that to happen. When is the trickle down going to start? 25 years? 100 years?


It started working 200 years ago. It never stopped working. Apparently the sticking point is that it hasn't made everybody rich, but then nobody has ever said it would.

Nobody in this thread has said anything about being made rich but you. The middle class is shrinking, poverty rates are climbing, and yet the top 1% continues to garner more and more of the wealth in the US. How is that evidence of trickle down economics working?

 

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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 05:18 PM
quote:
quote:
With all the the rhetoric from the right wing you would think that the current tax rates are at historic highs and that is what is hurting the economy, but that is far from the truth. Tax rates in the US are at near historic lows.


Yet tax revenues are at record highs. Maybe there's a lesson there somewhere. The bad news is that the National Debt will soon be pushing $18 Trillion, double what it was only seven years ago.


Tax revenues as a percent of GDP are NOT at a record high, as they have been down ever since the Bush tax cuts. But you are correct that the National Debt has been rising since that same time. And you're correct that there's a lesson in there somewhere:


 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 06:02 PM
Thought I would mention I just heard a talking head on the "news" say..."all of the candidates tonight are vying for the legacy occupied by Ronald Reagan."
I thought the GOP had been around longer than just the last 35 years?

 

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Well 30 years of heart and soul,lord we took it further than rock and roll.
We stood together thru thick and thin,yeah we made the best of it all back then.
Then I guess time took it's toll,cut me deep,cut me cold.
Brother against brother....

 

Maximum Peach



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  posted on 9/16/2015 at 07:04 PM
quote:
Thought I would mention I just heard a talking head on the "news" say..."all of the candidates tonight are vying for the legacy occupied by Ronald Reagan."
I thought the GOP had been around longer than just the last 35 years?
Its funny how none of them mentions the incredible success of the bush/cheney years.

 
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