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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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June 09, 2004

Reagan's record

Finally, an article that reports critically on former President Reagan's record--and his shortcomings. Of course, we should respect the man and empathize with his family in this time of mourning, but all the sugar-coated stories and commentaries are becoming tiresome. A few have sheepishly criticized Reaganomics and the resulting deficits, but that's been the extent of it.

As the New York Times article reports, what about his refusal to address the nation about AIDS until six years after it was first identified? His demonizing of mothers on welfare? His slashing of funds for family planning programs? His failure to extend federal civil rights laws?

Reagan basically made "social programs" a dirty term, vehemently opposing the federal government's role in supporting anything beyond bare-bones social security and disability. These were very real issues in America during his leadership, and his policies hurt the poor in particular.

We should be able to talk openly about the damage his policies did at the same time that we celebrate his successes. And most importantly, we should learn from Reagan's missteps. The Bush administration, however, is barreling down the same ruinous path when it comes to jacking up deficits and attacking family planning programs.

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Posted by Colleen Pohlig at June 9, 2004 02:00 PM



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