Ronald Reagan

Jimmy Carter Becomes Longest Lived President! Hooray! And His Legacy Will Be Remembered In History!

President Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, became this morning the longest lived President of the United States, surpassing George H. W. Bush, who passed away last November 30 at the age of 94. After 111 more days, Carter is now longer surviving than Bush, who broke the record of Gerald Ford, who broke the record of Ronald Reagan, with all four having reached 93, and Bush and Carter becoming 94 last year.

On October 1, Carter will reach the age of 95, and on October 17, Carter and his beloved wife Rosalynn, will have had a longer marriage than George H. W. and Barbara Bush, with 73 years and about three months duration.

Carter, much vilified, and not appreciated in his time in office, has become much more respected and honored with his longest retired Presidency of 38 years, two months and two days as of today. And his Vice President, Walter Mondale, still survives as well, and they are the longest surviving team in American history, with Mondale past the age of 91, and no other Presidential and Vice Presidential team reaching that age except for Reagan and H. W. Bush.

Carter may have the possibility to reach 100, as he has combated brain cancer for three and a half years, and continued to do good deeds. He is the model of what a President should be like in his conduct in retirement, as well as his basic behavior in office.

He is diametrically opposite of Donald Trump, who is the most horrendous President in his behavior, or at most, ties with Andrew Johnson.

Carter is a truly religious man in his words and actions, while Trump only worships himself, although he has the gall to sign Bibles and appeal to people by literally wrapping himself in the flag at a recent event, taking advantage of the hypocrisy of right wing evangelical Christians who have no issue with his conduct or behavior, while they condemned the moral behavior of Bill Clinton.

Donald Trump A Growing Threat As He Denies White Nationalism Terrorism, And Promotes False Belief On Muslim Threat

President Donald Trump has become a “clear and present danger”, with his refusal to acknowledge white nationalist terrorism in America and around the globe, and exaggerates the role of Muslim terrorism in America. He refuses to see the New Zealand and other foreign white nationalist terrorism as a rising threat worldwide, and sets up a horrifying alternative promoting more of this.

The facts are that the vast majority of terrorist attacks are inspired by white nationalists who are motivated by the words of Donald Trump, who has spent his whole life promoting racism, nativism, Islamophobia, and consorts with antisemites despite his having some Jewish advisers and aides who work with him.

He wants a border wall when there is little to no danger from the primarily women and children escaping Central America, looking for a better life than that of poverty, crime, abuse, civil war in their homelands, encouraged by US policy going back to the Ronald Reagan era of the 1980s in that area, creating disarray and turmoil as America pursued advocacy of conflict in our nearest neighbors south of Mexico.

In the midst of everyone who has a brain seeing all of the white nationalist and National Rifle Association inspired terrorism, in the name of profit and fear of a changing and darkening America, our President lives in his own dream world of reality, and he inspires these criminals who commit mass terrorism and claim to be Trump supporters.

David Duke, Richard Spencer and their ilk are applauding Donald Trump for his lack of a moral base on the issue of gun violence and mass terrorism, and in so doing, is encouraging a civil war, when he tells us that the police, the military, and his supporters will defend him at all costs.

That assertion alone should lead to his removal from office as a threat to the nation and civil order!

The Conservative Political Action Conference: The Cult Of Personality Supporting Donald Trump Without Question Or Qualms

The Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend was a telling example of where conservatism has gone—to a cult of personality supporting Donald Trump without question or qualms.

It is very clear that intelligent conservatives, many who write commentary, and those conservatives, many who worked for Ronald Reagan, the Bushes, and for GOP nominees Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, are horrified by the utterances, actions, and personality of Donald Trump.

But the “mob” of ignorant “groupies” who worship Donald Trump are clearly mean spirited, and as racist, nativist, misogynist, and white supremacist as their leader, and their and his behavior at the CPAC conference was shocking, terrifying, and disgraceful.

Trump put on a show of more than two hours, ranting and raving like a maniac, in his longest speech in office. He hugged the American flag twice in a lunatic manner, and attacked every imaginable critic and “enemy”, and cheers were heard for his continued attacks on John McCain months after his passing, totally reprehensible. And through it all, there were cheers from people who sound like the next generation of Nazis and Fascists.

One would think this was a rally of Nazis at Nuremberg, and was similar to the rally at Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to violence and the murder of one young woman, an event in which Donald Trump claimed that “both sides” had good people at that rally.

There were no good people at CPAC, none, and it is a sign of how Donald Trump has promoted hatred, fear, violence, and is intent on destroying everything good and decent ever promoted into law by responsible Republicans, as well as Democrats.

The threat of Donald Trump to American democracy is real, and the movement to take action against the 45th President is in full gear, with the hope that future damage can be prevented, but we are at a turning point that is crucial for the future of the American republic and for democracy.

The Beginning Of A Challenge To Donald Trump For Renomination: William Weld And Larry Hogan

It seems as if the beginning of a challenge to Donald Trump for renomination by the Republican Party has arrived.

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld (1991-1997) , also the Libertarian nominee for Vice President in 2016 with Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, has indicated he is planning to challenge Trump. He would be 75 at the time of the inauguration in 2021.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, who just won reelection last year by a 12 point margin, has also indicated he plans to compete for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2020. He would be 64 at the time of the next election.

Both are moderate Republicans, seen as centrist and pragmatic, and both won office in heavily Democratic states.

Weld has a distinguished aristocratic background starting with ancestors coming over on the Mayflower with the Pilgrims in 1620. He was a counsel with the House Judiciary Committee during the Watergate Impeachment inquiry, and with one of his colleagues being Hillary Rodham, before she married Bill Clinton.

Hogan has the heritage of being the son of a Congressman, with the same name, who, as a member of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, voted to bring impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon.

Can either of them seriously overcome the advantages of being an incumbent President?

History tells us when incumbent Presidents are challenged for renomination, invariably, the President defeats his opponent, but then loses the election.

So even if Weld or Hogan cannot defeat Trump, hopefully, they can weaken him enough that he will follow in the tradition of William Howard Taft, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H. W. Bush, who overcame, respectively, Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Ted Kennedy, and Pat Buchanan, and yet lost the second term as President.

Latest Presidential Ranking Survey For Presidents Day Changes Ratings Of Several Presidents Upward And Downward

The game of Presidential rankings is one always changing, and the newest survey of scholars, including this author as a participant, does not disappoint in that regard.

The Siena College survey, now done six times since 1982, once for each new President being considered in the rankings, has some surprises.

157 experts, questioned by the Siena College Research Institute, raised two of the Founding Father generation to the top ten, with James Madison number 7 and James Monroe, his successor at number 8. In so doing, two modern Presidents were dropped out of the top ten, with Ronald Reagan at number 13 and Lyndon B. Johnson at number 16.

A rare occurrence was that Abraham Lincoln was number 3, when usually he is on top, although in earlier Siena College surveys, Franklin D. Roosevelt had been number one, now number two, with George Washington moving up to number one.

Barack Obama, number 8 in the American Political Science Association survey in 2018, and number 12 in the C Span 2017 survey, ended up number 17 in the Siena College survey, so below such Presidents as Woodrow Wilson, James K. Polk, John Adams, and Bill Clinton.

And Donald Trump, who was dead last in the APSA poll, was number 42, above James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson, with Johnson ending up below Buchanan, the opposite of both the C Span and APSA surveys.

Of course, the game of Presidential ranking is a never ending and highly debatable one, and the way that Presidents are ranked is purely in the eyes and expertise of the beholder.

Should a great man, such as Madison or Monroe, but not as accomplished as more modern Presidents, such as Reagan or LBJ, be higher in the ratings?

That is left up to how people perceive Presidents, and whether they include the whole life, or just the actual years of the Presidency, in their judgments.

95th Anniversary Of Woodrow Wilson’s Death: The Decline In Historical Reputation, Although Still In Top Quarter Of All Presidents

On February 3, 1924, Woodrow Wilson, who had been in retirement only for nearly three years, died in his home, the Woodrow Wilson House, in Washington DC, at the age of 67.

Wilson had never fully recovered from the massive stroke he suffered on October 2, 1919, and he was unable to gain support of the US Senate for the Versailles Treaty and American membership in the League of Nation that he had fought for when he attended the Peace Treaty negotiations in France, the first President to travel overseas as America’s diplomat.

Wilson had accomplished much domestic legislation that was memorable, including the Federal Reserve Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the first federal labor laws.

But his record on racial segregation was horrendous, and he opposed the woman suffrage movement for a long time. He also presided over massive attacks on civil liberties during the First World War, totally intolerant of dissent.

And his mission to the Versailles Peace Conference ended in failure, as America did not join the League of Nations, and ratified its own peace treaty with Germany and the other nations on the losing side of the war.

Wilson’s reputation for his accomplishments kept him in the top ten of all Presidents for many decades, but lately he has come under fire, and his spot in the Presidential polls of scholars has declined. He is now out of the top ten at number 11 in the C Span Presidential Poll of historians conducted in 2017, after having earlier been number 6 in 2000, and number 9 in 2009. The American Political Science poll of Political Science professors had pegged Wilson at number 10 in 2014, and in 2018, he slipped to number 11, the same as the most recent C Span poll.

The troubling part is that Wilson fell behind Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson in the recent polling, and is only 15 points ahead in the C Span 2017 poll over number 12, Barack Obama, just as he left the Presidency.

So do not be surprised that Wilson will likely slip to number 12 in the next polling, with Obama surging ahead of him, as Obama looks ever better in comparison to Donald Trump, who ended up at the bottom of the APSA 2018 poll as number 44 out of 44.

Elizabeth Warren’s Proposed Tax On MultiMillionaires and Billionaires Not Going To Impoverish Anyone, As Two Percent And Three Percent Loss Of Wealth Is Laughable For Them To Be Disturbed About

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a declared candidate for President, has proposed a wealth tax on multimillionaires and billionaires, and has caused a ruckus, including that of two potential Presidential candidates, who are billionaires.

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has indicated he plans an independent candidacy, is outraged, as is Michael Bloomberg, former NYC Mayor, who plans to announce as a Democrat for President.

Both want to only give support through generous donations, but are opposed to being forced to pay a high level of taxes.

But their protest is preposterous, as they could never spend or utilize all of their fortune, and they seem unwilling to take the view that their success requires them to pay a small percentage in taxes.

What does Warren propose, after massive tax cuts for the wealthy under Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump?

Those who have assets of $50 million or more would pay 2 percent annually, which is only $1 million, and easily made up in interest.

Those who have assets of $1 billion or more would pay 3 percent, or a minimum of $30 million, which is a “drop in the bucket” if you have a billion dollar fortune, and also easily made up in interest over the next year.

A wealthy person never really loses his assets as the interest is always more than two or three percent.

Only a small less than one percent of taxpayers would face this tax, but it would raise a lot of money to deal with social and economic matters that affect a population becoming poorer and the middle class dwindling.

For these and other wealthy people to complain about this small percentage of their wealth being taxed, is totally preposterous and outrageous.

Urgency To Raise Marginal Tax Rate On Wealthiest To 70 Percent, As Existed In Years 1936-1951, And 1963-1980, With 90 Percent Between 1951-1963, All Of Which Created The Middle Class

With the middle class rapidly diminishing, and poverty spreading to more and more of Americans, a trend since 1980, it is urgent that America go back to the tax policy that prevailed from 1936-1980.

From the time of the New Deal at its peak in the mid 1930s through the year of the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, the US government, by its tax policy, created a growing and prosperous middle class, and while the wealthy complained about the tax rates, it did not harm them, but made a vast difference to the nation.

The marginal tax rate, meaning the tax rate above a fixed income, reached 70 percent from 1936 to 1951, and was raised further to 90 percent from 1951-1963, followed by a return to 70 percent from 1963-1980. It allowed a growing middle class to improve their life style and buy goods and services that could not have occurred without this small sacrifice by the wealthy.

Now, it has been proposed that the marginal tax rate go back up to 70 percent on incomes over $10 million, so notice this is not raising taxes on the first $10 million of income, and is not going to strip the top one percent of their wealth by any means.

The middle class dwindled once the tax rate was allowed to plummet under Ronald Reagan onward, and has led to an economy where former middle class people, who still think they are middle class, have to work second and third jobs, and both wife and husband must work full time, in order to struggle to remain in the lower middle class at best.

This is not good for the struggling middle class, and in the long run, is a detriment to the wealthy. The anger and bitterness over the unfairness of our tax policy endangers everyone.

Instead of keeping the tax rate at what it was, the wealthy have had three massive periods of tax cuts, under Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and now Donald Trump. It is time for that horrible tax policy to come to an end, as the wealthy do not need any more exploitation of the middle class and the poor to be on their necks.

January 22-23, 1973, An Historic 48 Hours: The Death Of Lyndon B. Johnson, End Of US Involvement In Vietnam War, Abortion Rights Approved By Supreme Court

Rarely in American history has there been a period of 24-48 hours with events occurring that have had such a massive impact on the nation, as January 22-23, 1973.

We saw the death of President Lyndon B. Johnson on January 22, 1973, at the age of 64, two days after he chose not to show up at the second inauguration of Richard Nixon, leaving no former President at those festivities. He died, depressed that the Vietnam War had not been ended, but 24 hours later, the Paris Accords were announced, ending US involvement in Vietnam, leading to withdrawal of all US military forces within two months, although later those Accords were violated by North Vietnam in April 1975, leading to the unification of North and South Vietnam.

Also, on the day that LBJ died, the Supreme Court came up with a decision that has more divided America to this moment, in a social sense, than any other, and that was Roe V Wade, allowing abortion rights to women in the first two trimesters, spurring a right wing “Pro Life” movement, and the promotion of Christian extremist movements in American politics, which helped to bring about the victory of Donald Trump and Mike Pence in 2016.

The Great Society programs of LBJ have been under attack since 1973, particularly under Ronald Reagan, and now Donald Trump, and the effects of the Vietnam War still permeate American society.

And if the right wing has its way, we will eventually see the reversal of the Roe V Wade decision, although the vast majority of Americans support abortion rights.

The Wealthiest And The Poorest Presidents

The American Presidents have varied greatly in wealth acquired or inherited in their lifetimes.

Some were born poor, such as Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton, due to family circumstances, with Clinton and Nixon acquiring wealth in their lifetimes, but Johnson would still be the seventh poorest President at death, according to statistics.

Materials gathered by scholars have led to conclusions on the net worth of our 44 Presidents, including their post Presidential years.

Easily, at least by the knowledge we have now, Donald Trump is likely the wealthiest President, although subject to change by further Congressional investigation of Trump’s finances, sure to come in the 116th Congress by congressional subpoenas. By estimate, Trump is wealthier than all the other 43 men who have been President of the United States.

After Trump, probably John F. Kennedy, had he not been assassinated, would have inherited close to $1 billion later in his life.

Other than Trump and Kennedy, George Washington would be considered the wealthiest President, in modern terms, around $580 million.

Behind him would be Thomas Jefferson ($234 million); Theodore Roosevelt ($138 million); Andrew Jackson ($131 million); James Madison ($112 million); and Lyndon B. Johnson ($108 million), with all those numbers being estimates.

Other Presidents who had substantial estimated wealth would include Herbert Hoover ($82 million; Bill Clinton ($75 million); Franklin D. Roosevelt ($66 million); and John Tyler ($57 million). Clinton acquired most of his wealth post Presidency by speeches and authored books, and will likely rise much higher if he lives a long life.

At the other end of the scale, we had 13 Presidents who had $1 million or less wealth by all estimates, in 2016 dollars, including in ranked order:

William McKinley

Warren G. Harding

James Buchanan

Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson

Ulysses S. Grant

James A. Garfield

Chester Alan Arthur

Woodrow Wilson

Calvin Coolidge

Harry Truman

Notice that the bulk of these Presidents served in the years from Buchanan to McKinley, the last half of the 19th century, a total of seven out of eleven Presidents.

The three Presidents from Wilson through Coolidge also are on this list, and Harry Truman ends up as the least prosperous President at his death, as compared to Andrew Johnson the poorest at birth.

Barack Obama is rated just below John Tyler at number 13 on the wealth list at an estimated $40 million, with potential over a long lifetime to become one of the top few wealthiest Presidents by speeches, books, and other activities due to the stature and prestige of being a former President in modern times.

Other Presidents are rated in the middle on wealth, such as George W. Bush at $39 million; George H. W. Bush at $26 million; John Quincy Adams at $23 million; John Adams at $21 million; Richard Nixon at $17 million; Ronald Reagan at $14 million; Dwight D. Eisenhower at $9 million; and Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter at $8 million each.