The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project, whose goal is to name at least one landmark in every one of the nation's 3,067 counties after the 40th president, recently denounced North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue for failing to proclaim Feb. 6, his birthday, "Ronald Reagan Day."
The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project is an outgrowth of the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform, led by Grover Norquist, a close friend of imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Its advisory board has included the late U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms, former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and ex-U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, who was indicted on charges of conspiracy to violate campaign finance laws.
If Perdue can't bring herself to honor the Gipper, then the Indy will: Here are our Reagan Day proclamation and our suggestions for landmarks that fit best with Reagan's legacy. Hat tip to William Kleinknecht's new book, The Man Who Sold the World: Ronald Reagan and the Betrayal of Main Street America, for many of the gory details.
Whereas Ronald Reagan, The 40th President Of The United States,
♥ in 1982, cut $41.4 billion from the federal budget for food stamps, welfare, housing aid and unemployment insurance;
♥ and meanwhile increased military spending by $7.2 billion;
♥ in 1980, spent $44.6 million renovating the White House;
♥ invaded the sovereign nation of Grenada to install a pro-American government;
♥ approved the Iran-Contra scandal, an arms-for-hostages deal in which the U.S. illegally sold weapons to Iran in return for freeing American hostages, and then used the proceeds to fund the right-wing Contras in Nicaragua;
♥ deregulated the transportation, banking and other major industries, encouraging corporate mergers that have led to today's financial meltdown;
♥ enacted deep tax cuts for the wealthy;
♥ coined such terms as "welfare queen";
♥ promoted investment in giant, for-profit HMOs, undercutting nonprofit health care;
♥ slashed the Housing and Urban Development budget by 57 percent in eight years;
♥ tried to reverse the denial of federal tax exemptions for private colleges that discriminated against African-Americans;
♥ stated that "trees cause more pollution than automobiles do";
♥ was an FBI informant while a member of the Screen Actors Guild, reporting on suspected Communists in the movie industry;
♥ cut funding for the National Endowment of the Arts by 50 percent when accounting for inflation;
♥ watched as 138 members of his administration were convicted, indicted or investigated for criminal activity;
Let it therefore be resolved that we proclaim (although a little late) Feb. 6, 2009, as Ronald Reagan Day. We ask that these North Carolina landmarks bear his name as follows:
♥ For implementing the federal death penalty for "drug kingpins," we now name the death chamber at Central State Prison in Raleigh Gipper's Gurney;
♥ For busting the air traffic controllers union and firing 11,000 strikers, the air traffic control tower at Raleigh-Durham International Airport shall forever be known as The Great Communicator Control Tower;
♥ For launching the war on drugs, the pot sold at all local high schools shall be known as Dutch's Ditchweed;
♥ For filling the Environmental Protection Agency with political cronies, who disregarded public health and ignored some of the nation's most polluted and toxic sites, we now name the Orange County Landfill Ron's Trash Heap on Reagan Road;
♥ For describing OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as "one of the most pernicious of the watchdog agencies," and calling for its abolition, we now call the House of Raeford Farms poultry plant, the House of Reagan chicken slaughtering and human crippling facility;
♥ For his embrace of trickle-down economics and relaxation of anti-trust and merger laws, we now name Wachovia/ Wells Fargo bank Bonzo-Reagan Bank;
♥ For cutting federal funding for the mentally ill, Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh will now be known simply as Nancy.