Remembering the '80s

Commentary by Pete du Pont

Host intro: Do you remember the 1980s fondly? Lots of people don't. That doesn't surprise commentator Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis, considering all the bad things politicians are saying about them now.

In his convention acceptance speech, President Clinton promised to spare us from a repeat of the 80s. What does he want to save us from next? Penicillin?

Before Democrats completely revise history, let's remember the facts.

We entered the '80s with an annual inflation rate of 12.5 percent.

The prime rate was 21 percent.

Real income of the median family had fallen $3,000 from 1973 to 1981.

By 1987, inflation was 3.5 percent, the prime was 8.25 percent, and the median family had gained back those 3,000 bucks. The economy grew at more than three percent a year.

And while the revisionists carp that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, every income class had real gains between 1981 and 1988.

Contrasts that with the first year of the Clinton administration: income inequality between the richest and poorest families increased more than in any year of the Reagan administration.

As for the so-called tax breaks for the rich, the biggest beneficiaries of the Reagan tax cuts were the middle class and the federal government, which collected more revenue when the rich were taxed at 50 percent than it would have at 70 percent.

Instead of demonizing the '80s, we should be turning back the clock.

Well, those are my ideas, and at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.

Host outro: Tomorrow, Pete du Pont cools off the global warming hotheads.