The Best of Notable Quotables; December 25, 1989

Vol. Two; No. 26

The Real Ronald Reagan Award

"In just seven weeks, the ‘80s will be behind us. It was a decade dominated, in politics and in style, by the Reagans....While the wealthy got most of the attention, those who needed it most were often ignored. More homeless, less spending on housing. The gap between the top and the bottom grew in the ‘80s....The AIDS crisis began in the ‘80s. Some say the decade’s compassion gap made it worse."

-- CBS This Morning co-host Kathleen Sullivan, November 13.


"Largely as a result of the policies and priorities of the Reagan Administration, more people are becoming poor and staying poor in this country than at any time since World War II."

-- Today co-host Bryant Gumbel, July 17.

“The Reagan Legacy: A Swelling Medical Underclass in a Land of Plenty”

"An unfortunate legacy of the Reagan revolution is a swelling medical underclass: alcoholics and drug addicts who deluge emergency rooms and fill prisons, AIDS babies and crack newborns in overwhelmed pediatric wards, homeless children with anemia, schizophrenics and other mental patients in shelters and jails and on the streets...While Ronald Reagan did not cause the medical underclass, his laissez-faire approach to social problems exacerbated the trend."

-- Abigail Trafford, Editor of The Washington Post "Health" section, in a January 24 article under headline above.

"But analysts will also recognize that Ronald Reagan presided over a meltdown of the federal government during the last eight years. Fundamental management was abandoned in favor of rhetoric and imagery. A cynical disregard for the art of government led to wide-scale abuse. Only now are we coming to realize the cost of Mr. Reagan’s laissez-faire: the crisis in the savings and loan industry, the scandal in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the deterioration of the nation’s nuclear weapons facilities, the dangerous state of the air traffic control system -- not to mention the staggering deficit."

-- CBS News reporter Terence Smith, in a November 5 New York Times op-ed.

"After eight years of what many saw as the Reagan Administration’s benign neglect of the poor and studied indifference to civil rights, a lot of those who lived through this week in Overtown [rioting in a section of Miami] seemed to think the best thing about George Bush is that he is not Ronald Reagan....There is an Overtown in every big city in America. Pockets of misery made even meaner and more desperate the past eight years."

-- Reporter Richard Threlkeld on ABC’s World News Tonight, January 20.