I am one of the old timers who remembers the Reagan Administration and how much heat the President was getting for submitting a budget that carried a record setting $128 billion in 1982. Legendary Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill in November 1981 told the news media,
"He knows less about the budget than any president in my lifetime. He can't even carry on a conversation about the budget. It's an absolute and utter disgrace."President Reagan left office with a deficit of about $152 Billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget. But Reagan's choice was not to spend us out of a dire recession left by his predecessor Jimmy Carter, but to cut taxes, control government growth, and expand the free market.
Let us also remember that President Carter's economic plan threw the United States into its worse recession since the Great Depression. Unemployment nationwide climbed to 10.8% in the aftermath of Carter and during the first two years of the Reagan Administration. There were cities in the US-Youngstown, Ohio and Decatur, Illinois-where unemployment topped out at over 20%. Inflation moved in parallel with unemployment, topping out at 13% in 1980-the last year of Carter's presidency, sliding to just over 10% during the 1982 recession. The prime lending rate of the Federal Reserve was at an astonishing rate of 21.5% in June 1982.
Reagan was known for cutting taxes, increasing defense spending and de-regulating the economy. The real benefit of his economic program was not realized until after he left office. The administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton benefited from the Reagan policies as the economy boomed, unemployment spiraled downward, inflation was minimized and interest rates tumbled. Enter 9/11 and the war on terror and a George W. Bush administration that was bent on the politically correct "compassionate conservatism" and after eight years, the economy has tanked, and the nation has abandoned the free market principles of success, adopting instead socialism.
Under the current Administration, the deficit will ascend to $1.72 TRILLION - more than 10 times the one for which Reagan was so severely criticized. Unemployment is climbing toward 8%. The mortgage, banking and auto industries are being taken over by the government and committees of the government. Debt is king. America owes China upwards of $2 Trillion. And because of our government's budgeting, every American owes the government about $10,000. Reagan was hammered by the news media for Carter's deficits. The free press these days seems to want to embrace them. One thing for sure, you can't spend your way to prosperity.
Romans 13:8 says,
"Owe no man any thing, but to love one another."Good advice.