You can't listen to a Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity show without them name-dropping Ronald Reagan or saying that they are a Reagan conservative. My question is, why is Reagan held is such high regard among mainstream conservatives? Seems to me that he is portrayed as the ideal President that champions conservative values. Here are some common myths about the 40th POTUS: Ronald Reagan was a tax cutter - In 1982 "The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act" was passed, which "at that time was the largest percentage in peacetime increase ever"; the "1982 gas tax increase;" the 1983 payroll tax increase; the "1984 deficit reduction tax;" the "Railroad Retirement Revenue Act, Consolidated Omnibus Budget of '85;" and on and on. In fact, Reagan raised taxes "even of his eight years in office." So sure, he cut taxes his first year in office, but other than that, he raised them - a lot! How much? "Blue-collar Americans paid a higher percentage of their income in taxes when Reagan left office than when he came in." Ronald Reagan shrunk the government - In fact, "Federal spending grew by an average of 2.5 percent a year, adjusted for inflation, while Reagan was president." In addition, "The number of federal employees grew from 2.8 million to 3 million under Reagan, in large part because of his buildup at the Pentagon." Also, Reagan "vastly expanded one of the largest federal domestic programs, Social Security." And, just to top it off, "Reagan also abandoned a campaign pledge to get rid of two Cabinet agencies - Energy and Education - and added a new one, Veterans Affairs." Reagan was consistently "Pro-Gun" - Depends what you mean by "Pro-Gun," of course. Does that include Reagan writing "Why I'm for the Brady Bill"? Also, does it include signing the Mulford Act (when he was governor of California), "prohibiting the carrying of firearms on one's person or in a vehicle, in any public place or on any public street?" The point here isn't that Reagan was anti-guns, it's that he favored sensible measures like waiting periods, background checks, and other measures to curb gun violence. Reagan never negotiated with terrorists - Clearly false, as the Reagan Administration traded arms for hostages repeatedly, not just with anyone but with the Iranian mullahs and ayatollahs. Reagan certainly never "cut and run" - In Lebanon in early 1984, Reagan sent in the U.S. Marines, declaring (on February 3), "As long as there is a chance for peace, the mission remains the same. If we get out, that means the end of Lebanon." Reagan also taunted Democratic House Speaker "Tip" O'Neill, saying, "He may be ready to surrender, but I'm not." The next day, Reagan vowed not to "cut and run" from Lebanon, adding that "If we do, we'll be sending one signal to terrorists everywhere: They can gain by waging war against innocent people." Four days later, Reagan announced that he was pulling U.S. Marines out of Lebanon." So much for not "cutting and running." Reagan was a particularly popular president - According to Gallup numbers, "Reagan's average approval rating during the eight years that he was in office was nothing spectacular - 52.8 percent...the 40th president not just behind Kennedy, Clinton and Dwight Eisenhower, but also Lyndon Johnson and George H.W. Bush." Reagan's popularity then recovered strongly, along with the U.S. economy, as is usually the case with presidents. Reagan cut the deficit - Jimmy Carter had deficits of $75 billion a year while Reagan had deficits of over $200 billion a year. He increased the national debt by 189%. http://www.bluevirginia.us/diary/3025/top-10-ronald-reagan-myths Am I missing something here? Please enlighten me defenders of Reagan.