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Ronald Reagan Was a 'Socialist!'...At Least According to This Magazine Cover

"Ronald Reagan remains the modern Republican Party’s most durable hero... His record tells a different story."

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Most likely going for shock appeal, Bloomberg Insider plastered the word "Socialist!" in bold red letters on an image of former President Ronald Reagan for the cover of Tuesday's edition of its daily magazine. And get this, the magazine is going to be distributed throughout the Republican National Convention, almost certain to cause a stir.

For some conservatives, just seeing the word "socialist" and Ronald Reagan on the same page is cringe-inducing.

Bloomberg's Michael Tackett argues, somewhat sarcastically, that under the Republican Party of today, even conservative hero Ronald Reagan would be considered too moderate for the party, which he claims has moved to the far right over the years.

Though the cover itself is obviously intended to be an attention-grabber, the text of the article itself doesn't try to make the case that Reagan was in fact a socialist. As Business Insider points out, the term is used in hyperbolic fashion, poking fun at conservatives who have charged President Barack Obama of being a socialist himself.

From the Bloomberg cover story:

Ronald Reagan remains the modern Republican Party’s most durable hero. His memory will be hailed as The Great Uncompromiser by those who insist the GOP must never flag in its support for smaller government, lower taxes and conservative social values.

His record tells a different story.

During Reagan’s eight years in the White House, the federal payroll grew by more than 300,000 workers. Although he was a net tax cutter who slashed individual income-tax rates, Reagan raised taxes about a dozen times.

His rhetoric matched that of many of today’s most ardent Christian conservatives, yet he proved to be a reluctant warrior on abortion and other social issues. Perhaps most tellingly, he was willing to cut deals, working closely with Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts to overhaul Social Security and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois to revamp the tax code.

The Bloomberg piece also accuses Republicans of driving out politicians that are considered to be too moderate, some of which were former Reagan allies, like former Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar. Lugar was defeated by Tea Party-backed state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in May.

“The idea is not simply to boost the Republican Party but it is to purify the party, and if this requires two or four or six years, so be it,” Lugar said recently. “The need to move the middle-of-the-roaders, moderates, out of the picture is an insistent one.” Lugar says Reagan would find today's Republicans "a much more difficult group of people with whom to work."

Read the entire Bloomberg Insider story here.

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