The Pros And Cons Of The Budget Of Reagan

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Many things President Reagan had pledged during his campaign never really came to fruition such as government spending, budget deficits, tax cuts, deregulation, and free trade. In his 1980 campaign, then Presidential candidate Reagan pledged to cut government spending. In his 1980 Republican National Convention acceptance speech, Reagan said, “first, we must overcome something the present administration has cooked up…one party deficit spending…” However, as President, Reagan and his administration did the exact opposite. The 1980 budget of the Carter administration requested “591 billion dollars” (1980 United States Budget) while the 1986 Reagan administration requested “990 billion dollars,” (1986 United States Budget). Between the years the budget had increased around 68%. No reasonable explanation can justify an increase in the budget of that amount. As a percentage of Gross National Product, the budget of Carter was 21.6% in 1980 while Reagan’s budget was 24.3%. Gross National Product is “the total monetary value of all final goods and services produced in a country during one year,” (Dictionary). Comparing the budget to GNP shows whether the budget shrank, stayed the same, or outgrew the national economy and in this case, the budget outgrew the economy. Reagan continued the policy of Carter which he criticized so much, but in the end only continued the policy and made it worse. One of the more puzzling promises Reagan made during his campaign was the reduction of the yearly fiscal deficits. Reagan had been an open critic of the Carter administration and frequently called Carter out on his reckless spending. Reagan in his acceptance speech also said, “The head of a government which has utterly refused to live within its me... ... middle of paper ... ...pion of free trade. In 1986, Reagan said, “Our trade policy rests firmly on the foundation of free and open markets. I recognize… the inescapable conclusion that all of history has taught: the freer the flow of world trade, the stronger the tides of human progress and peace among nations.” However, contrary to what he said, Reagan significantly raised tariffs during his tenure. In one instance, “President Reagan on Friday imposed tariffs of 100% on medium-sized Japanese color televisions, powerful lap-top and desk computers and certain hand power tools,” (Phillips 20). 100% tariffs on certain goods definitely seem like anything but free trade. Additionally, under the years of Reagan, import tariffs had risen by 1% compared to that when he assumed office. As President, Reagan didn’t really promote free trade, but set higher tariffs and import quotas on certain goods.

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