Reaganomics Compared To Today

Thursday, July 9, 2009

In 1981 Ronald Reagan received a letter from a disgruntled citizen named Mrs. (first name withheld) Porter. In her letter she complained about many aspects of his economic program. "I wish to receive a response to this letter immediately, from President Reagan personally....I demand to be heard." "You can't expect the Army to fight on the front lines if the captain is always in his tent." She complained about tax cuts, social security, welfare, his management of the White House etc. I've added some bold text to emphasize certain parts of the following letter.

Here is his reply:

November 4, 1981

Dear Mrs. Porter:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address myself to your concerns. Your letter of October 1st has just reached my desk. You specified that you wanted to hear from me personally so here I am.

You asked me how we could balance the budget by robbing the poor and giving to the rich. Well that isn't what we're doing. We are trying to reduce the cost of government and have already obtained consent of Congress to reduce the budget by more than 35 billion dollars.

We are reducing tax rates across the board. This will give 74 percent of the relief to those who are presently paying 72 percent of the total tax, the average middle class American.

We are trying to do what you suggested--make able-bodied welfare recipients work at useful community jobs in return for their welfare grants. As governor of California I did this and it worked very well. So far Congress doesn't like the idea. We have not suggested reducing Social Security. We are trying to do what you suggested--removing those who are not disabled or deserving of grants they are presently getting.

We are not cutting back on school lunches for the needy. We are trying to quit providing them for those who aren't needy.

Now as to the White House we aren't spending a penny of tax money. The government provides $50,000 for an incoming president to do what he will with the White House. We gave that money back to the government. We found, however, that the White House was badly in need of painting inside, the plumbing was so old there was danger of it giving away. Drapes and much upholstery was in need of recovering and replacing, etc. Friends started a campaign to get donations to have this work done. It has all been completed without spending a single tax dollar.

The dishes were a donation by a trust and the company making them did so at cost. This is the way the White House has always been furnished. Beautiful antiques etc. have been gifts to the government. The last new china was in Harry Truman's time. There is a certain amount of breakage over the years. We're talking about china for state dinners when heads of government visit the United States and more than 100 people must be served. That is not the china we use for family meals.

Now for your other concerns; we are not going to increase the risk to miners, and yes I've been down in a mine. As for black lung we are only trying to eliminate those cases where people are getting benefits who don't have black lung.

Selling planes to Saudi Arabia will run no risk of giving secrets away and it will provide thousands of jobs for American workers.

We don't take Air Force One to Camp David. The camp is only 20 minutes from the White House by helicopter. The helicopters have to fly a required number of hours every week to keep crew and machine in shape. I hope this answers your concerns and I assure you this captain isn't in his tent when the fight is on.


Ronald Reagan

This is a true conservative leader. The above letter is from the book Reagan: A Life In Letters. All letters in this book are written by Ronald Reagan himself. There is commentary throughout this book by Kiron K. Skinner, Annelise Anderson, and Martin Anderson. Here is some of that commentary as it relates to Reagan economic policy: " Reaganomics," as Reagan's economic program was at first pejoratively called, included spending control, tax cuts, deregulation, and a stable monetary policy. All were designed to increase long-term economic growth and jobs. "

Pause for a moment and read those 4 things again. Spending control, tax cuts, deregulation, and a stable monetary policy. Those are the 4 major things today's government will not do. Spending is out of control, Obama believes tax cuts only help the rich, government is trying to regulate EVERYTHING, and we're printing money at an amazingly disturbing rate.

1981-82 did see a recession mostly caused by Carter's leftovers. However once the Reagan boom got started it took off with a vengeance. Lasting even after Reagan left office. From 1981 - 1989 the U.S. produced 17 million new jobs, then in the 90's another 26 million jobs were created, thanks to Newt Gingrich and more actual conservatives in control of congress for much of it. Remember these important facts. In the 1980's we had a Republican president and a Democratic congress. For much of the 90's we had a Democrat president and a Republican congress. We then had a Republican congress and a republican president and that's where we lost the conservative principles that had brought the Republicans so much success. Republicans got into the "entitled" mentality. Americans will never throw us out of power again......really?!!

We paid the price in 2006 for leaving the Conservative principles behind. We watched in horror as Bush became more "moderate" eventually leading to such horrible ideas as stimulus 1 and TARP, both of which have failed miserably. "Pork" spending had taken over and it seemed to have become the favorite meal for both parties. The problem is that even though different branches of our government were held by 2 different parties, congress and presidency respectfully, there was a twist to the story. In the 80's the Democrat congress may not have always agreed with Ronald Reagan but the congress and president were willing to work together to solve problems. The same can be said for the 90's with Bill Clinton, although I'm no fan of Clinton. Since 2006 our government had been put on pause.

The 2 party system had become as dangerous to this country and democracy as George Washington predicted in his farewell address when he warned against the party system: "It serves to distract the Public Councils, and enfeeble the Public Administration....agitates the Community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one....against another....it opens the door to foreign influence and corruption...thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another."

There are those of us who are tired of nothing getting done in this country. One side points the finger at the other, vote raises for themselves, then go on vacation for a month. When will our government return to working as hard for the good of the country as we do for our families? When will they cut back their spending before they ask us to cut ours? When will the hypocrisy cease? The elitist politicians we're currently dealing with follow only 1 golden rule: Do as I say, not as I do.

I for one don't buy that and I'm sure you don't either. A hypocrite is a hypocrite whether you have to look to the "left" or the "right" to find them. We stand for the good of our families and our country. They stand for the next election victory. We won't sell out our principles for a party or to be "politically correct". It's much more important to stand by what you believe. Instead of being politically correct, I'd rather just settle for being actually correct.


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