Focus Point - Reagan's Boom

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. To hear Bill Clinton and Al Gore tell it, you'd think the economic boom is a democratic creation which began in January 1993.

But former Federal Reserve Governor Lawrence Lindsey recently set them straight in the Wall Street Journal. The expansion dates from 1982. It was spurred by income tax cuts in '81 and '86, and aided by deregulation in transportation and other industries. Yes there was a reduction in the Capital Gains Tax in 1978 -- so chalk one up for the Democrats.

More to the point, the Reagan economic reforms changed our thinking; we now see supply side economics as the driving force behind expansion.

Of course -- and this is my belief, not necessarily Lindsey's -- that idea hasn't been fully translated into public policy. Clinton, Gore and Bradley all still talk about ways to spend more, make government bigger and take more of your money. But economic success has made the market side respectable in the economic debates. The next step is putting more of it into public policy.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, unwanted entitlements.