Heritage Foundation president and Townhall columnist Ed Feulner hates government deficits and debt. We know this because he devoted a column last August to "a Tide of Red Ink." And because he declared last November that "the people … cried out against … soaring debt." And because in December, he complained that the "extension of unemployment insurance" would "add to our already disastrous long-term fiscal problem." And that "The debt problem … is real. And it's getting worse. The national debt is set to double over the next decade, due to out-of-control spending in Washington. The inevitable result, The Heritage Foundation's Brian Riedl assures us, is higher interest rates, slower economic growth, and rising tax rates."
So given Ed Feulner's principled and consistent opposition to government deficits and debts, I was excited when I saw the headline on his latest column: "Reagan's True Legacy." Finally, I hoped, a conservative columnist would take a break from the hagiography and acknowledge that Reagan was responsible for massive increases in both annual deficits and national debt, as these charts from Feulner's own Heritage Foundation show.
Alas, the word "deficit" does not appear in Feulner's examination of "Reagan's True Legacy." Nor does the word "debt." Perhaps it isn't deficits Feulner hates -- it's Barack Obama?
It's bad enough that he ignores inconvenient facts in a column purportedly about "Reagan's True Legacy" -- but Feulner actively misleads as well. "Reagan created a genuine economic miracle," Feulner tells us. "Americans of every class -- rich, middle-class and poor -- saw their wealth increase." In fact, the Reagan years were awfully good for the rich (as are most years) but did little for the rest of the country. Annual wages for the top one percent of earners soared, while wages for 90 percent of Americans stayed essentially flat through the 1980s. Don't hold your breath waiting for a conservative columnist to mention that.
Several media figures have claimed that President-elect Barack Obama won the election because he ran as a conservative and that notwithstanding Obama's victory, the United States is a conservative country. However, a poll conducted November 4-5 showed strong support for the progressive positions that Obama has articulated on the issues, rebutting the claim that the United States is a conservative country.