NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Reagan Policies Influence Today's Economy

August 12, 1997

Both the White House and Congress are rushing to take credit for deficit reduction. Economists observe that credit should be given to the sound economic policies put in place by President Ronald Reagan during the 1980s. The economy -- not recent activities in Washington -- has brought record high revenues into the national treasury.

  • According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the deficit has fallen from $290 billion to $34 billion since 1992 due to a tidal wave of tax revenues.
  • The government collected $1,090 billion in taxes in 1992.
  • This year the government collected a whopping $1,578 billion -- a $488 billion increase over the past five years.

What happened? Revenues have poured in, as Ronald Reagan and supply-side economists of the 1980s predicted they would. Federal tax receipts, which were only $517 billion in 1980, have risen 205 percent while consumer prices have increased only 85 percent.

Two-hundred CEOs and CFOs of the largest U.S. firms were recently asked by Investor's Business Daily what they believed to be the primary causes of the recent economic surge.

  • In sixth place was the first political figure, Ronald Reagan, with 26 percent of surveyed CEOs and CFOs crediting his policies for the economic growth.
  • Farther down the list were "Bush policies," and last were President Clinton's policies.

James K. Glassman (American Enterprise Institute), "The Reagan Boom," Washington Post, August 12, 1997.


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