John Kasich, Meet Ronald Reagan

Republican Governor and GOP presidential candidate John Kasich:

I’ve about had it with these people. We got one candidate that says we ought to abolish Medicaid and Medicare. You ever heard of anything so crazy as that? Telling our people in this country who are seniors, who are about to be seniors that we’re going to abolish Medicaid and Medicare?

Former Republican Governor, GOP presidential candidate, and US President Ronald Reagan:

One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine….Write those letters [opposing Medicare] now; call your friends and tell them to write them….And if you don’t do this and if I don’t do it, one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.



  1. Joel in Oakland October 28, 2015 at 12:20 pm | #

    Technically, I guess those men would be white and would be free according to how much capital they controlled. (Women, however, are always welcome to take care of the kids and tidy up generally, of course).

  2. Roquentin October 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm | #

    In a way, I think this is a positive development. It means the GOP is finally backing away from neoliberalism and Chicago School Economics a bit. This is obviously predicated on the assumption that his speech isn’t empty posturing, which it very likely is. Still, if even a GOP candidate can’t stomach trying to tell potential voters that Medicare has to go, it means he knows the population won’t support it.

    I’m totally content to see the GOP shift to the left, since the entire political spectrum in the US, the Overton Window, has shifted drastically to the right since WWII. Hopefully the Republicans of 10 years from now will sound like today’s Democrats instead of the reverse.

    • Bill Wesley October 30, 2015 at 5:54 pm | #

      is “Chicago school” economics the “Al Capon Institute?”

  3. jonnybutter October 28, 2015 at 6:39 pm | #

    the GOP is finally backing away from neoliberalism and Chicago School Economics a bit.

    I wish I could agree with you, but I think it’s further proof – on top of the pile of other proof – that GOP campaign talk (i.e. their talk 12 months per year) is the rhetorical equivalent of funny money. They have found that it really doesn’t matter what you say, particularly. Tomorrow’s another day. Not only do they borrow ideas and techniques from the left, but they just pretty much say anything at any time. Makes no difference if today contradicts tomorrow.

    The goal is the same (dismantle welfare state, such as it is, among other things), but what they can get away with saying (in a being-vaguely-rational-sense) is all over the map. It doesn’t actually matter.

  4. Lichanos October 29, 2015 at 11:22 am | #

    If they keep on with such comments, through the election – and I doubt that they will say such things in the presidential race – they will loose big. In that case, and perhaps in any case, the Big Powers will eventually realize that they are being hoist on their own petard of their deal with the right wing libertarian crazies and evangelicals, and they will impose some “restraint” and “order.” Their long-term goals of dismantling the welfare state and shifting burdens to the middle-class, the working-class, and ignoring the poor will remain in place, but they will present candidates that appear more moderate.

    After all, everyone knows that you have to work within the system to change it! 🙂

  5. Glenn October 29, 2015 at 11:25 am | #

    That’s why Reagan and Ayn Rand refused medical treatment at the expense of taxpayers. Live free or die. (snark)

    Of course, neither Reagan nor Ayn Rand were really committed to that brand of freedom in practice.

  6. JonP October 30, 2015 at 9:33 am | #

    Sarah Palin quoted Ronald Reagan’s anti-Medicare quote almost verbatim in her TV debate against Joe Biden, although she never clarified that the quote was about Medicare.

  7. Carl Weinberg November 2, 2015 at 9:21 am | #

    Thanks for posting that. I’ve been thinking about this term “statism.” It seems to me that “statism” should be translated as “statism, by which I really mean socialism.” So it’s intriguing that Reagan essentially does that here, out in the open. Statism has a neutral flavor, as if it refers to abstract ideas about “government.” And not about which social class is running the government.

  8. Dusan Djordjevich November 3, 2015 at 2:13 am | #

    Did Reagan run for president many years after the programs were established vowing to abolish them? That would be the appropriate comparison.

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