A liberal caller asked Limbaugh why Ronald Reagan is a hero to conservatives when he raised taxes, cut and ran from Lebanon, granted amnesty to illegal immigrants, and negotiated with terrorists. Limbaugh answered by claiming that the caller didn’t understand Reagan, “Why is a Reagan a hero to conservatives. Given what you said, and I am not trying to avoid the question, I don’t think you’d understand it.”
The caller repeated his question again, and told Limbaugh that he didn’t think he understood why conservatives love Reagan. Rush replied it, “No, I do, most assuredly I do. I don’t think you understand it. Where did you get this silly notion that Reagan raised taxes on Social Security? What websites do you read? Where did you pick that up?” The caller told Rush to look up the Greenspan Commission. It’s a matter of history and that it is general knowledge.
Limbaugh blamed Media Matters, and said that the caller’s understanding of Reagan is flawed, “Well, because you understand Reagan in a way that is flawed. Your call is actually kind of interesting because you represent the impossibility of bridging the gap. Somebody like you just has to be defeated.”
When confronted with the reality of Ronald Reagan’s legacy, Rush Limbaugh went into duck and dodge mode, with a dash of lying. The truth is that Ronald Reagan did raise taxes, especially the payroll tax in 1983. Reagan first raised taxes by $17 billion in 1982. His 1983 increase of the payroll tax virtually wiped out his 1981 tax cut, and for good measure Reagan raised taxes in 1984 in an attempt to combat the exploding budget deficit courtesy of Reaganomics, and concerns about inflation. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 cut tax breaks and shelters, which would qualify it in today’s Republican terms as a tax increase.You can catch the whole thing here, including the audio of Limbaugh sputtering as he is caught flat-footed.