1. Ronald Reagan was a serial tax raiser. As governor of California, Reagan "signed into law the largest tax increase in the history of any state up till then." Meanwhile, state spending doubled. As president, Reagan "raised taxes in seven of his eight years in office," including four times in just two years. As former GOP Senator Alan Simpson, who called Reagan "a dear friend," told NPR, "Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times in his administration - I was there." "Reagan was never afraid to raise taxes," said historian Douglas Brinkley, who edited Reagan's memoir. Reagan the anti-tax zealot is "false mythology," Brinkley said.