I hate the elevation to sainthood of Ronald Reagan. As you can tell from how tongue in cheek I drew the panel. I don't think Ronald Reagan was a bad president, but he will be one lost to history like Warren G. Harding. (However, most people would think he's the guy who did "Regulate" with Nate Dogg.) Let's not forget, people have forgotten the Iran/Contra scandal much like they have largely forgotten the Teapot Dome Scandal. I can say nice things about Reagan, but he was a forgettable president that lived in a fantasy of the past.
Like most conservatives, the past was a better time and he tried to bring back this ideal Norman Rockwell painting. There is plenty to know about Reagan, but I want to focus on Norman Rockwell. Back in the 20's to the 60's, which was when Norman Rockwell was best known, he painted ideals. But his paintings were something we could relate to. I quite enjoy his paintings, and have been to his museum on many an occasion. (I also got to see his work from the collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. But I digress.) One must remember to contexualize his work in the right way. Much like "American Graffiti" or any Spielburg film, Rockwell's work was imaginative, expressive and idealized. Rockwell himself said, "I unconsciously decided that, even if it wasn't an ideal world, it should be. So I painted only the ideal aspects of it-pictures in which there are no drunken slatterns or self-centered mothers... only foxy grandpas who played baseball with the kids and boys who fished from logs and got up circuses in the backyard."
The problem of looking back with rose colored glasses is that you don't see the problems that go along with what is good. Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times! The thing is he wasn't a bad president, he just wasn't a great one.
To the last point, you can spend too much on education. When the state of Maryland won Race to the Top, we didn't spend it on Baltimore city schools. 50% of which do not have air conditioning. They spent it on studies. (My apologies for not finding that article.) That money should go for building renovations and classroom resouces. That is a wise investment.