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Republicans love Ronald Reagan. The 40th president of the United States is credited with:
- Helping to end the Cold War. Reagan is known for famously calling the Soviet Union an evil empire and telling former Soviet Union Community Party leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" in Berlin.
- Creating 16 million jobs.
- Bringing back unity to the Republican Party after Watergate.
- Wanting to significantly simplify tax codes, to the point where tax returns can fit on a postcard.
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And because of the feelings he invokes, Ronald Reagan – and famous Ronald Reagan quotes – have been invoked in every Republican primary debate since 1999, according to CNBC…
Each of the Republican nominees in the 2016 presidential race has tried to appeal to voters by highlighting their own similarities to, and reverence of, our 40th president:
- Donald Trump on being accused of often changing his mind on policy issues: "But Ronald Reagan was the exact same thing, he was actually much more liberal than I was. He was fairly liberal as a Democrat, a lot of people don't know that. And he became a fairly conservative person, but he did become a great president."
- Marco Rubio on Reagan: "I wish Ronald Reagan was still around. This country needs someone just like that. And if our next president is even half the president Ronald Reagan was, America is going to be greater than it's ever been."
- Ted Cruz on his own likeness to Reagan: "I stood with Jeff Sessions and Steve King and the American people and led the fight to defeat that amnesty plan. That moment is what Reagan would call a time for choosing."
Even in 2016, these five Ronald Reagan quotes ring with relevance…
These 5 Ronald Reagan Quotes Are Still Relevant Today
Relevant Ronald Reagan Quote No. 5: "The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that government spends too much."
Reagan was a firm believer in smaller government and lower taxes. After taking office in 1981, he quickly signed into law one of the largest tax cuts in the post-war period, according to CNN. Over three years, individual income tax rates were cut 23% across the board. Of course he also raised taxes three times during his presidency, but he's still remembered for his first massive tax cut.
Taxes are still a massive issue in today's election. The government is expected to spend $6.7 trillion on pensions, healthcare, education, defense, and welfare this year. The federal deficit was $438 billion in 2015, and feds estimate that the deficit in 2016 will reach $616 billion.
That's a 40% increase in just one year.
Relevant Ronald Reagan Quote No. 4: "While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future."
Trump supporters want things to go back to the way they were. Clinton supporters want her to help the masses navigate the new world we live in.
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Both approaches have merit — and Reagan got that right. History is our best teacher, but it's important both candidates account for and adapt to current pressures when creating an economic plan.
Relevant Ronald Reagan Quote No. 3: "Politics is just like show business. You have a hell of an opening, coast for a while, and then have a hell of a close."
The "opening" for a presidential run rides on making big promises and claims to get elected. But once in office, the POTUS can have a difficult time making any real changes. From 2007 to 2014, President Barack Obama stated the GOP filibustered 500 pieces of legislation. But now that he is leaving office, he's having a "hell of a close." Obama is making headlines for visiting Cuba, trying to pass an executive order to stop the so-called "gun show loophole," and he will sign the first major U.S. bill against opiate addiction before he leaves office.
Relevant Ronald Reagan Quote No. 2: "When you can't make them see the light, make them feel the heat."
This sounds like it could be a direct quote from Trump. Many Americans want tougher immigration policies, and Trump is promising to build walls and stop Muslims from immigrating to the United States.
He plans to stop Mexican immigrants from sending money back home in order to force the country into paying for the wall. (Mexican immigrants send roughly $24 billion back to friends and family members each year.) But there is a problematic loophole in his plan that you need to know about…
Relevant Ronald Reagan Quote No. 1: "Facts are stubborn things."
Clinton and Trump have both been accused of bending the truth or outright lying. Clinton's email scandal seems impossible for her to escape, while Trump's bombastic claims and history of lawsuits against his businesses are still fodder.
- The New York Times: What Trump and the G.O.P. Can Agree On: Tax Cuts for the Rich
- CNN: Donald Trump Could Help – but Not Save – Coal Country
- CBS News: Donald Trump Defends Calling Mexican Immigrants "Rapists"
- MSNBC: Donald Trump on Hillary Clinton: 'I Haven't Even Started on Her Yet'