- Created by: lwilson23
- Created on: 30-03-19 20:27
The Basics of Reagan's Policy
- Reagan won 49/50 states in the 1980 election against Carter - showed desparation for change. Campaign pledges included fixing the economy, lowering taxes and reducing 'Big Government' (focus on social welfare brought in by FDR's new deal).
- upon his inauguration - the Iranian hostages which had plagued Carter's tenure were released - instantly made 'Teflon Ron' a hero - even though he did nothing to warrant this.
- his conviction in his policy was shown through his firing of 13,000 air traffic controllers who went on strike due to low pay - wouldn't take anything from anyone.
- he focussed on the theory of 'supply-side'/business economics - help the rich business owners.
- his Program for Economic Recovery was passed approx one month into his first term - passed quickly due to Republican Congress.
- believed that deregulation of business would fix the issues of stagflation and inflation.
Criticisms of Reaganomics
- initial sharp rise in interest rates - made the recession worse.
- tax cuts often criticised for making the rich richer, and the poor poorer.
- deregulation encouraged companises to take risks and exploit workers.
- stock market crash occured in 1987 due to deregulation.
- reduction of national deficit a failure - $59 bil in 1980, $208 bil in 1983 - due to massive tax cuts and a large amount of defence spending. US now dependent on foreign money.
- Added more to the national debt than all of his predecessors combined - by 1989 it had trebled from $1 to $3 trillion.
- despite this, his policies did technically 'work' - albeit much more in the short than long-term. Some of his policies still endure today to an extent.
Social Impacts of Reagan's Presidency
- Reagan revitalised presidency - increased public faith in presidency again.
- poor suffered under Reagan - very hard on 'welfare scroungers' - took $140 bil from welfare during his tenure, and gave $181 to defence. Homelessness became an issue. Workfare.
- by 1985 - 3.7 mil families who qualified for low-income housing were denied as Reagan had slashed the federal budget by about two thirds.
- rise of homelessness tackled by 1987 McKinney Act (Federal Emergency Management Agency) - provided welfare for the homeless and increased federal funding for them from $300 mil in 1984 to $1.6 bil in 1988.
- closed mental health hospitals - putting ill and potentially dangerous people on the streets.
- his Christian values meant he didn't tackle the AIDS epidemic until 1985 and didn't support the Equal Rights Act (equal pay for women) despite appointing the first woman - Sandra Day - to Congress.
Miscellaneous Aspects of Reagan's Tenure
- survival in March 1981 assassination attempt showed strength - as well as getting Democrat support from within Congress - popularity shown.
- economy thriving by 1984 - inflation falls as low as 2% due to decline in world oil prices.
- Reaganomics successfully decreased inflation from 15% to a minimal figure and created 18 million jobs - massively reducing unemployment.
- was involved in foreign affairs (i.e. the Nuclear Forces Treaty of 1987) but not in domestic ones, as he promised.
- vowed to the American people to 'get the government off our backs' - reduce big government.