He promised change, but continued the same old policies.
He railed against deficits, but they grew under his tenure.
He bailed out the failed U.S. banking industry with taxpayer money.
He passed a much-touted tax-cut at the beginning of his administration, only to reverse it with major spending and tax increases during the rest of his administration.
He spent his years tightening government regulations and controls.
He poured American tax money into foreign regimes (often corrupt ones).
His amateur foreign policies often endangered American troops.
He offered soaring rhetoric, but no substantive reforms.
The public often opposed his policies, but just loved the man so much.
Who was he?
All of these things are true about President Barack Obama, but sadly they are also true about another President in US history- Ronald Reagan.
I hated having to write this, but it's true. Reagan was a childhood icon of mine, but a closer examination of his administration according to the principles of libertarianism as I now understand them shows exactly what Reagan was- a talented charmer who lulled Americans into a sense of security while growing government to unprecedented levels over his administration. The Tea Partiers would do well not to clamor for "the next Reagan."
I highly recommend you read this review of the Reagan Administration's policies by Murray N. Rothbard: "Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy." It's a long read, but absolutely necessary for recovering neo-conservatives and for Tea Partiers who want to restrain the growth of government. Make yourself a cup of tea, sit down, and give it a good read. The Tea Party movement can't let itself get "Reaganed" like the resurgent liberty movement of the late 1970s did when they thought they were getting a small government candidate in 1980.