Author Rick Perlstein chimes in today with his second column for the site, “Reagan’s Failed Sell of Government as Too Big.” It’s all about Prop 1, a California ballot initiative supported in 1973 by the then-Governor and its link to a subsequent, modern-age false political premise:
The conservatives quite effectively claimed Proposition 13 as a nationwide mandate for radical reduction of taxation and government. They did that, of course, in 1980 too—and had lots of success passing budgets and laws that harmonized with the claim.
But here is a very crucial point about our political moment: Ronald Reagan did not get elected because he promised to dismantle big government in America.
CrooksandLiars currenty gets about 150,000 page views a day. Perlstein, whose initial contribution focused on Gaddafi, is the author of Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus and Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America. The former title won a 2001 Los Angeles Times Book Award for history. He is currently at work on the third book of this so-called “Backlash Trilogy.”