On Sean Hannity‘s radio show Wednesday he played a speech from Ronald Reagan after returning from a commercial break. I only caught a piece of it so I thought I’d go listen to the segment again but it turns out that to get copies of his radio show he charges you monthly to be a so-called “Hannity Insider“. Oooh. No thanks.
I believe the speech was from 1982 that he gave at CPAC called The Agenda Is Victory. In it Reagan speaks out against run-away deficit spending and the need to control it. Hannity followed up the snippet with his typical reverence no matter how misinformed that reverence might be. He tried to suggest that if only President Obama would follow the wise words of his predecessor that the country might return to the right path.
The only problem with this is that it’s like playing a speech from a bank robber espousing the virtues of security-free banks and not telling the audience about the bank robber part.
Nothing about Reagan’s strong words in the speech paralleled the reality that he governed by. Every single President from Franklin Roosevelt up to Gerald Ford had reduced the Gross Federal Debt. Ford managed to increase it a measly 0.1%. Then came Reagan who, after all the talk of curtailing the debt ran it up 20.5%. His successor, George H. W. Bush ran it up another 13.1%. His son is the only other President to run it up by adding another 18.6%.
What you see in all the data is that starting in 1981 through the 80’s the debt ballooned in ways never before seen. It then heads back downward during Bill Clinton‘s tenure and then back up again with George W. Bush. Hmm. Why is it that we’re supposed to believe the Republicans have any credibility regarding deficit spending when the last Republican to avoid running up the debt was Richard Nixon?
The speech in question spoke specifically about Federal spending and he made a point of mentioning that, “In 1980 alone it increased by 17 percent” (from $504 Billion to $591 Billion). Scary stuff right? Well, Jimmy Carter increased Federal spending (adjusted for inflation) by 17.2% and this is what Reagan was really talking about. However, during his own two terms he increased it 21.9%. No other President comes close to that number until you get to George W. Bush who raised it 18.9%.
Again, I have my issues with the Left and media bias that exists there. However, the Left doesn’t have people like Sean Hannity openly, and dishonestly lying and misleading their listeners with information like this. Simple research tears apart much of what Hannity says and this is yet another example in a long list of such transgressions.
The moment I heard the snippet I jotted down the details because I knew there was a very strong chance that Hannity was trying to sell the audience a bill of goods. You can bet that when Hannity invokes Reagan that the odds of getting reliably factual information out of him is virtually nil.
You can find all this information here.