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Posted at 1:35 PM ET, 02/ 3/2011

Reagan Building hums along with little mention of president's 100th birthday

By Ed O'Keefe

The Ronald Reagan Building houses 7,000 federal employees and dozens of private tenants. (James M Thresher/Post)

There are no events planned until May in the downtown Washington federal building bearing Ronald Reagan's name to mark his 100th birthday, so there will be no parties for him this week in the ballrooms, no new exhibits in the hallways or commemorative lectures in the auditoriums.

And good luck finding any sign of him in the building's three gift shops.

Nonetheless, the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center lives on as a paradoxical monument to a president, born Feb. 6, 1911, who called government "the problem," slashed the budgets of agencies within it and abhorred the kind of overdue, over-budgeted construction project it became.

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RELATED PHOTOS: Ronald Reagan, doodler-in-chief

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 3, 2011; 1:35 PM ET
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People say Reagan caused the collapse of the Evil Empire. It was collapsing of it's own weight and he stood there and took credit. He did begin the collapse of the American Empire by embracing an anti-government, anti-tax and anti-union ideology. He was a tool of the Corporate Right, was managed by the senior management of the Bechtel Corporation and began to dismantle all the laws that protected the American people from Corporate avarice and greed.

First was Union busting, he discounted public safety and busted the air traffic controllers union. Second, he tore up the Fairness Doctrine which opened the door to the hateful propaganda of Talk Radio. Use of the public airways to spread lies and distortion allowed the rightwing to distract the public from any serious discussion of public policy. Third was his embrace of the extremists of the Religious Right. Their unconstitutional mixing of religion and politics allowed GW BUSH to get close enough to the WH that the SCOTUS could plausibly appoint him POTUS. We all know where that led.

Reagan was probably suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Maybe that's why he thought it was perfectly OK to have the CIA sell drugs to fund the CONTRA rebels after Congress expressly forbid it. "Mistakes were made", he claimed. His monstrous deficits and refusal to consider taxation as the means to fund government (as opposed to borrowing) began the pattern we are in now. Americans pay the lowest taxes ever in the last 100 years and all Republicans can say is No Taxes!!

Reagan may have been a "nice enough" guy, a grandfatherly figure, but History will judge him harshly.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 3, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

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