By Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson
Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah and former Ambassador to China, announced his candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination on June 21, 2011 with the Statue of Liberty in the background. Later that evening during an interview with Sean Hannity, Governor Huntsman commented on the location as follows:
HANNITY: You know, it’s pretty historic place. There was a predecessor ran for the presidency, Ronald Reagan, same backdrop. Why did you choose here?
HUNTSMAN: This is a pretty historic place. Remember, in 1980, at the beginning of the fall general election campaign, the president came here, it was a time of difficulty and trouble in our nation. And he basically promised people that we could restore greatness again and he did. So, today, I totally stand in his shadow.
Republicans consistently point to the presidency of Ronald Reagan as a ‘great’ period in our history, but how can that be? President Reagan was in office from January 20, 1981 through January 20, 1989 and during that same 8-year period of time the United States had a budget deficit each and every year. At the end of his 8-year term President Reagan had increased the federal debt by almost $1.7 trillion dollars – 3.5 times the amount revenues increased. The national debt ballooned from 26.1 percent of GDP when Reagan took office, to a whopping 40.6 of GDP when he left.
As a former staff assistant to Reagan, it’s not surprising that Huntsman would try to follow in his footsteps, but sooner or later common sense has to prevail and Republican candidates have to understand that deficit spending is not the way to run a country effectively.
On October 26, 2006 Cato Institute published its eighth biennial fiscal report card on US Governors and in 2006 Governor Huntsman was given a “spending score of 31”, with a spending grade of “F” for failure. Although the Governor received an excellent score on tax policy (he had a plan for lots of tax cuts) he was a dismal failure when it came to spending. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa581.pdf
We just didn’t realize how good we had it during the Clinton years. People just thought the government, the economy and the weather were all on automatic.
It’s been a bad bunch of years for a long time and this country deserves better. All we’ve heard about for the past two years is how poorly President Obama is handling the “Great Recession” he inherited from President Bush. If George W. Bush hadn’t cut taxes on the richest of the rich, given tax breaks to the wealthiest of businesses, created tax loopholes you could drive Humvees through, and spent $19.6 trillion dollars during the 8-years he was in office there wouldn’t have been a great recession.
What does the country have to show for the $19.6 trillion spent by President Bush other than an increase in the number of millionaires/billionaires and increased profits for businesses?
What the Republicans have done over the years is misrepresent what Reagan did with his tax-cuts for the rich. What they’ve done is a crime. “The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay … The Shadow  knows!”
 The Shadow is from radio. He was able to “cloud men’s minds” so they could not see him. He used this ability to fight crime.
© 2011 Richard E Walrath and Patricia L Johnson