Ronald Wilson Reagan (Part 97)

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The Reagans have tea with Prince Charles and Princess Diana in the White House residence. 11/9/85 .

I remember when I visited London in July of 1981 and the whole town was getting ready for the big royal wedding between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Above you will see them pictured with President Reagan.

From November of 1980, here is CBS’s coverage of Election Night. Taped from WJKW-TV8, Cleveland. This is part 2 of 3.

Lee Edwards of the Heritage Foundation wrote an excellent article on Ronald Reagan and the events that transpired during the Reagan administration,  and I wanted to share it with you. Here is the tenth portion:

Even the Heritage Foundation, as good a friend of the Reagan administration as there was in Washington, concluded after one year that although headed in the right direction, the administration “should and could have accomplished more.” The foundation estimated that of two thousand recommendations made in its monumental Mandate for Leadership: Policy Management in a Conservative Administration, published in late 1980 just before Reagan took office, about 1,270 suggestions — “only” 60 percent — had been implemented or initiated. The “only” seemed gratuitous: Even the fabled Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox would have been satisfied with a .600 batting average. But conservatives, out of power for decades, were impatient and demanding of results.

Certainly the Reagan administration achieved much in the domestic field in its first term — reducing inflation, lowering unemployment, cutting the prime interest rate in half and producing economic growth of six percent in 1983. But it did not solve all the old problems and indeed failed to even tackle some, such as the federal deficit and intrusive federal departments like Education. After chalking up a series of impressive budget victories in their first year and maintaining the policy initiative, Reagan officials, according to Heritage’s Stuart M. Butler, “appeared to lose their edge.”[xxxv]

There were several reasons for the slowdown. The federal bureaucracy, protective of its power, began to dig in and practice its well-honed delaying tactics. The Democratic opposition in Congress, led by the wily House Speaker Tip O’Neill, organized more effectively. Pragmatic Reagan aides like Jim Baker kept resisting bold initiatives. And the complicated budget process (authorization, appropriation, conference committees, etc.) allowed liberal legislators to block White House proposals and whittle away at the president’s early antispending victories. All the while, the mounting federal deficits made conservatives in Congress increasingly nervous.

Contrary to conservative hopes, Reagan was not able to cut overall government spending, which remained at roughly 22 percent of GNP during his eight years in office. But the change in priorities was significant, with defense spending increasing from 5 to 6.5 percent of GNP, thus enabling the president to deal with the Soviets from a position of strength. Even so, Heritage analysts Robert Rector and Michael Sanera pointed out, the Reagan buildup, measured in constant dollars, was “about half the size of Eisenhower’s peacetime military increases.”[xxxvi] Which suggests, ironically, that Ike himself might have been responsible, at least partially, for the creation of the “military-industrial complex” which he warned America about in his farewell address.

Still, if one examines the economic report cards of American presidents from Truman through Reagan, Reagan easily finishes first. Using the change each year in inflation, unemployment, interest rates and growth in Gross National Product, Harvard economist Robert Barro ranked Reagan number one. Among other things, Reagan engineered the largest reduction in the misery index (the total of inflation and unemployment) in history — 50 percent. In fact, sums up economist Richard B. McKenzie, the 1980s were, up to then, “the most prosperous decade in American history.”[xxxvii]

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