Sunday, January 25, 2015

Richard Nixon truly was 'Tricky Dickey'

Republicans probably voted for Richard Milhaus. Nixon on the premise he would revere the progressive programs of the Lyndon Johnson era.  What they got instead was a progressive republican who put many of Johnson's programs on steroids.

When he ran for president in 1960, 1968, and 1972, he made gallant efforts to cater to the conservative base.  Yet once the election was over, he became nothing more than another progressive president, only this time with the little "R" for republican next to his name.

Earning the name "Tricky Dicky," he would live up to this name.  For, while he catered to the conservative base to gain votes, history would prove that he was no conservative.  In fact, here are 21 reasons proving Nixon was just another progressive/liberal president.

1. While he championed against it during his campaign, he did not end the Great Societ, instead he put it on steroids.

2.  He created more government agencies with the power of making regulations without the approval of Congress, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on Environmental Quality, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

3.  Medicaid spending increased by 120 percent.

4.  In 1971 he wrecked what was rest of the gold standard and devalued the dollar.

5.  When inflation ran rot in 1971, he naively instituted wage-and-price controls in order to try to control it.  His attempt failed to accomplish his goal, and proved what many already believed, that wage-and-price controls do not work. These distorted the economy and served as precedent for harmful interventions by future presidents.

6.  Also in 1971, he imposed a 10 percent import surcharge.

7.  He called for national or universal health insurance in 1974. He would have required employers to buy health insurance for their employees and subsidize the employers who couldn't afford it.  This was far worse than both Hillarycare and Obamacare.

8.  He proposed the dreaded Alternative Minimum tax, which was a minimum tax that wealthy people would be forced to pay.  What the minimum would be, and what defined wealthy would be determined by experts in Washington.

9. He unsuccessfully backed a guaranteed income for all Americans.

10. He signed a Vietnam War ceasefire that caused South Vietnam to be taken over by Communists within two years.

11.  He embraced Communist Beijing and dumped American recognition of Taiwan.

12.  He created racial quotas on federal policy.

13.  He signed the command-and-control Clean Air Act into law on December 31, 1970 requiring new power plants to use the best technology to reduce pollutants that the people who created the law think are destroying the planet. Essentially, many plants did not open because prospective businessmen could not afford the to to comply with regulations. Later on old plants making upgrades had to comply with the regulation, making it so many were forced to close rather than making upgrades they could not afford. The Clean Air Act is unconstitutional because it creates floors and ceilings on agency actions, something the federal government cannot do.  I'm not saying I'm opposed to clean air, because clean air is good.

14.  He created employment quotas, and made it so affirmative action was synonymous with civil rights.

15.  He tried to implement the Family Assistance Program that would have set a minimum annual welfare payment for all Americans below a certain level of income. It was blocked by a coalition of conservative republicans and moderate democrats in the Senate

16.  Spending on food stamps increased from $610 million in 1970 to $2.5 billion in 1973. Today 1 out of every 6 Americans depend on the program (47 million Americans).

17.  He created the Supplemental Security Income portion of Social Security, which constitutes a guaranteed annual income for the aged, blind, and disabled and has been a key component in threatening Social Security’s economic sustainability.

18.  He embraced Keynesian Economics at a time economists were learning that it worked to the detriment of the economy.  He was the first president to submit a budget based on the premise that the government should always spend as if it were at full employment in an effort to bring about full employment, thereby encouraging deficit spending as normal.

19.  He never submitted a balanced budget during any year of his presidency, something even Johnson did at least once.

20.  In 1972 he supported automatic cost of living increases for all Social Security recipients. This would make it nearly impossible to restrain the budget when inflation accelerated later in the 1970s. Nixon later regretted this decision.

21.  Funding on social welfare programs grew from $55 billion in 1970 to almost $132 billion in 1975. This caused many to refer to him, until along came Barack Obama, as the last progressive/liberal president, or the last president to create laws to perfect society.

Conservatives and libertarians voted for him, and the thanks they got was proverbial a slap in the fact. Liberals didn't vote for him, but loved him because they got many of their programs their candidates championed for.

Richard Nixon truly was "Tricky Dicky."  He ran as a conservative, even hired conservatives to his cabinet.  However, like FDR before him, despite painting himself as a conservative during the campaign of 1968, he was for certain nothing better than another progressive republican.

References:

  1. Fund, John, "Nixon at 100: 'Americas Last Liberal?', National Review, http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/337447/nixon-100-was-he-america-s-last-liberal-john-fund, accessed 1/25/14