Reagan was for taxing millionaires, says new Dem ad
December 8th, 2011
09:48 AM ET
2 years ago

Reagan was for taxing millionaires, says new Dem ad

(CNN) - An independent group backing President Barack Obama's reelection campaign will hit airwaves Thursday with an ad reminding voters of former Pres. Ronald Reagan's stance on taxes.

The 30-second spot, from the Democratic group Priorities USA, uses a mock newscast to showcase the former Republican president advocating for higher taxes on millionaires.

Reagan is shown saying, "We're going to close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. They sometimes made it possible for millionaires to pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10% of his salary – and that's crazy. Do you think the millionaire ought to pay more in taxes than the bus driver?"

An announcer follows up, asking, "Ronald Reagan supported millionaires paying their fair share. Don't you?"

Priorities USA says the ad will run on broadcast TV in Iowa, which kicks off the presidential caucus and primary calendar, and on national cable.

The ad, which the group says is aimed at congressional Republicans, comes as Congress debates the extension of the payroll tax cut, a measure that both sides agree must be enacted, but differ on whether and how to fund it.

In a statement, Priorities USA Senior Strategist Bill Burton, a former Obama White House deputy press secretary, said the Republican stance on taxes was unfair.

"Today's Congressional Republicans insist on bringing our nation to the brink by forcing a tax policy that puts an unfair burden on middle class families when they can least afford it," Burton said.

"Republicans should listen to President Reagan and, as he said, 'close the unproductive tax loopholes that have allowed some of the truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.'"

The Reagan spot isn't the first time a former president has been used in political advertising this year. In November, the conservative group Crossroads GPS spent over $2 million to run an ad in swing states contrasting Obama's jobs plan to statements from former President Bill Clinton.

That ad played clips of Clinton saying now is not the time to raise taxes and of Obama promoting increased tax rates on higher income earners as part of his jobs plan.

Thursday's ad is the second paid spot from Priorities USA. The group ran an ad last month in Michigan advocating the president's student loan plan.

–CNN's Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report

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Filed under: Ads • Priorities USA • Ronald Reagan • Taxes
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. B.Bear1

    It's about time someone brought this to light. Democrats need to have less "group hugs" and more action. Of course, "group hugs" are easy. Getting elected and governing is hard work.

    December 8, 2011 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  2. gt

    if you cut some of those bogus loop holes there would be tax dollars to pay down the debt....there is plenty of loop holes for some of those millionare tv preachers....

    December 8, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  3. Leo

    Reagan, the GOP's deified icon, could not win a primary in today's Republican Party. It is a sad commentary on the state of the GOP.

    December 8, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  4. Emperor Norton

    That's the smartest thing the Democrats have done in years.

    Remember, while they may canonize him, Ronald Reagan could not run on his record in today's Republican party and hope to be elected.

    December 8, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  5. Keith in Austin

    Most every GOP Candidate and those serving in Congress advocate a complete overhaul of the IRS tax code to remove the loopholes Reagan was speaking about! Additionally, they propose changes where everybody pays taxes (including the 49 percent that currently pay NOTHING) The single-most important thing to remember is that incompetent reckless SPENDING is what is leading to our financial demise! Obama has increased government spending more than ALL previous Presidents from Washington to Clinton COMBINED! $15 Trillion and counting and Liberals blame it on the Wealthy not paying their fair share! Give me a break! Liberals will NEVER be satisfied until WE ALL pay 100 percent of earnings to the Government so that we are 100 percent dependent on them for our survival! That is their ultimate plan for perpetual control and power!

    December 8, 2011 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  6. Anthony... proud tax payer

    Reagan wouldnt recognize today's Republican party...
    And they would boot him out so quickly, it's not even funny.

    December 8, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  7. Bill

    Great ad. Can not wait to see how those GOP clowns respond.

    December 8, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    The super-hero RR wouldn't have a chance in today's Republican Party. He, Tricky Dick, and even Senator Joe would be embarrassed.

    December 8, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  9. ISLAMBAMA

    How abvout a President for taxing all of us. rich to the poor with no tax returns and no food stamps, healthcare, welfare and unemployment checks for the useless who will not work. No healthcare for Illegals. ALL THE OBAMA CROWD CAN DO IS TAX THE RICH. WHY? BECAUSE IT IS THESE PEOPLE WHO KEEP AMERICA AFLOAT. OBAMA WANTS TO DESTROY THIS SO HE CAN SET UP[ HIS DICTATORSHIP. WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE YOU ARE TAKEN BY IDIOTS.

    December 8, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. GROVER NORQUIST IS A HERO TO ALL TAXPAYERS WHO ARE SICK OF PAYING MORE THAN THEIR SHARE TO FUND A CORRUPT SOCIALIST AGENDA

    The endless unproductive class warfare game of the Democrats continues.... All they know how to do is take, take, take and take some more. Just like the unions! Until the country, or company in the union's case, is dead broke.

    December 8, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. WhatWouldRonnieDo?

    Ray-gun. Ray-gun. Ray-gun.

    December 8, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. LOL

    GOP: "Do as we say, not as Reagan said. By the way, he's still our hero."

    December 8, 2011 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. real american

    Its obvious from those outside looking in that the Republicans are doing whatever it takes to make sure that Obama does not succeed in turning the country around. American politics is now the laughing stock of the world because we dont care about the PEOPLE. The only industrialized country without some form of universal health care, our economy in shambles yet we give breaks to the banks and to business which ship jobs elsewhere. President Reagan would be shocked at what has happened to our Country. We are no longer the great country we once were, we are a divided, war hungry, hateful nation. I blame the close minded radical right.

    December 8, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  14. SuperD

    4 and the door and Keith in Austin have this correct.

    People, it's the SPENDING!!

    Right now Obama and Biden are "asking for a little more from the weathy" Well my Liberal trolls, what are they going to say next year? "I need a little more" and then the following year, "I need a little more" WHEN DOES IT STOP? WHEN IS ENOUGH ENOUGH?

    The Democrats are digging their heels in, if the size of govt. get's reduced, so does their influence. They know that and that's why the Supercommittee failed. I mean the only ideas Democrats have are to create more govt. to solve problems.

    Reform the tax code, reduce spending, reduce waste, eliminate parts of govt we don't need on a Federal level. Why is that so hard to understand?

    My last point.......IT'S NOT YOUR MONEY STUPID!! GET YOUR HANDS OUT OF MY WALLET!!

    December 8, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. ja

    this current gop will rather see america sink than president obama have measures of sucess, but it will backfire

    December 8, 2011 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  16. Donkey Party

    You right-wingers are truly a sick bunch. Don't bother sending us any postcards from Hell.

    December 8, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Yep, Reagan said this – and he wouldn't be allowed in the GOP today because of his illegal alien amnesty, tax increases and a myriad other policies that the teabaggers and other GOP "puritans" can't stand.

    December 8, 2011 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  18. Dennis

    Was this not before the 1986 tax code rewrite? So Reagan asked for loopholes to be closed before a major IRC change. Do the fools responsible for this ad and the ones responding "Yea Reagan was for higher taxes", not think those loopholes were closed with said revision. Let's go back to a JFK speech were he advocated LOWERING TAXES.

    December 8, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  19. ISLAMBAMA

    Why are you Obama supporters so darn ignorant?

    December 8, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. Emperor Norton

    If the rich are the people who "keep America afloat," they aren't doing a very good job of it, are they? Maybe they should kick in some extra bucks to help fix their mess.

    By the way, you can white-knight for the upper class on the Internet all day, every day, if you like, but they won't do more than give you crumbs from the table.

    December 8, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Debeucci

    If Reagan was running today, he'd be laughed out of the GOP for being a left wing hollywood socialist liberal.

    And yes, he is who they look back to fondly these days. Go figure.

    December 8, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. Jackson

    Leaderless O is desperate. Yes...George Bush was no saint. Yes...he did some stupid things. But I do not believe that Bush constantly attacked the Dems that created the division that now exists. I believe the great divide started with Health Care. O was going to pass that thing come he** or high water. We now have Reps that don't trust him and block everything and we have Dems that are so into ideology that the country is drowning in debt. It's time for change...if for no other reason other than unifying the country.

    December 8, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. Roger Ogilivy Thornhill

    They should splice in Boehner's reaction after Reagan speaks - they should show Boehner crying.

    December 8, 2011 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. iTexan

    Supporting unproductive people is a side-effect of a civilized society. A few food stamps, welfare, and unemployment checks is literally a small price to pay for safety, education, and infrastructure. If you want small government, low taxes, no government services, unlimited armaments, and every man for himself, your ideal country is Somalia, not the United States. Let us know how you 'conservatives' like it over there.

    December 8, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Reagan: the trickle down economics king.

    Folks: it does not work.

    December 8, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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