Clearly, David Hoover's letter ("The Reagan Way," April 4) should have run on April Fool's Day.
Mr. Hoover claims that Ronald Reagan would not have proposed "to add more to the national debt than [all the presidents before him] combined, doubling it in the next six years, and tripling it within the decade." Yet, that is almost precisely what Reagan did. His source for such ironic, inaccurate "certainty" is Mark Steyn of the National Review.
Mr. Hoover cites Reagan's philosophy that ... "prosperity [is] ... created from the bottom up, not from the government down." That's sweet, since Reagan was the ultimate believer in trickle-down economics, the GOP's pet project and the bane of the American economy.
Reagan, with his GOP-controlled Congress in place for six of his eight years, never came close to submitting a balanced budget.
The lessons go beyond budgets. First, columnists who lean "right" twist facts and figures to create and bolster mythical heroes. Second, some folks take skewed data to heart, never question it, adopt it as fact and spread it in the manner of springtime vegetable gardeners. Third, Reagan's words and actions never influenced each other. Fourth, Reagan did not inherit the enormous mess of the only administration in U.S. history more irresponsible than his own.