Regent University Honors Ronald Reagan

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Some conservatives who say the stimulus bill is too excessive gathered today at Regent University's Ronald Reagan Symposium.

The event honors the former Republican president on what would have been his 98th birthday.

One of the speakers told CBN News how Reagan would have handled today's economic troubles.

"I think Reagan and Barack Obama have very different approaches to the role of government in the economy," Gene Healy said.

"In Reagan's first inaugural address, he said, 'Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.' I don't think that's what you're hearing from the current administration," Healy said.

Eight national scholars shared insights on the office of the President of the United States, the world's most powerful office. Some argued that Americans rely too much on the President to solve the country's problems. Most agreed that the prescription of the day is to consult the framers for direction and the original intent of the country's constitution.

More than 400 people from across the country attended the event. They listened intently as the speakers tackled tough questions regarding the office of the President, including, "Has the presidency become too powerful? Would the founders approve of today's presidency? Does the presidency threaten our system of checks and balances? How has the presidency contributed to public distrust of government? Do we rely too much on presidential leadership to solve our problems?"

It was a full day with a wide range of differing opinions concerning the future of the presidency. But most agreed that President Reagan's influence on American politics will be felt for more years to come.

 A poll of presidential greatness was taken at the symposium. Two-hundred thirteen respondents answered the questionaire. The results are as follows.

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln tied for first place in the Presidential Greatness Survey. 

Washington and Lincoln each received 33 percent of the votes. Ronald Reagan received 17 percent.  Thomas Jefferson received only two percent of the votes.

The same survey asked, "Where will President Obama ultimately rank on the scale of presidential greatness?" The results are as follows:

*7 percent   --   Great
*22 percent  --  Near Great
*25 percent  --  Average
*19 percent  --  Fair
*28 percent  --  Poor

*Originally aired February 6, 2009

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