While the Reagan era may have been great for investors on Wall Street and defense contractors, some of us remember some of the other accomplishments of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States.
On the domestic policy front:
? Second largest budget deficit in U.S. government history (eliminated after the Clinton budget in 1993) after the current George W. Bush Administration.
? Highest growth rate in poverty, income and asset inequality in U.S. history (see Kevin Phillips, Wealth and Democracy: A Political History of the American Rich (2002) and Edward N. Wolff, Top Heavy: Increasing Inequality of Wealth and What Can Be Done About It (1995).
? Massive defunding of mental institutions creating a crisis in homelessness as the mentally ill were literally put out on the streets.
? Lack of funding for the AIDS epidemic.
? CIA brought crack cocaine to U.S. inner cities to fund the Nicaraguan Contras (see 1989 U.S. Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy: http://www.webcom.com/pinknoiz/covert/contracoke.html).
? Eliminated Social Security survivor benefits for children of widows going to college from 18-22 years old.
? Eliminated the Civil Employees Retirement System (CERS) pension for Federal employees, which guaranteed up to 80% of a civil servant?s annual salary for retirement.
On the foreign policy front:
? Given credit for Mikhail Gorbachev?s commitment to democracy and Harry Truman and George Kennan?s Cold War strategy of Containment implemented by every President from Truman through George H.W. Bush, Sr.
? CIA trained Osama bin Laden in guerrilla warfare and terrorism tactics in Afghanistan.
? Provided military aid, chemical and biological-weapons technology to Saddam Hussein.
? Sold arms to Iran, a state-sponsor of terrorism, for hostages to fund acts of terrorism against civilians by the Nicaraguan Contras despite a Congressional law banning aid to the Contras.
? Funded and trained military dictatorships in El Salvador and Guatemala that used death squads to murder civilian opposition including Archbishop Oscar Romero and the rape and murder of four American nuns.
? Funded and trained fascist military dictatorships with horrible human-rights records throughout the Third World.
And this is who the Republicans call the greatest President of the 20th Century?
Ricardo Miranda is a city planner who works in the public sector. He holds graduate degrees in international relations and city planning.