Reaganomics: Myth v Facts

Ronald Reagan was a big spender: Spending during Reagan’s two terms (FY 1981-88) averaged 22.4% GDP, well above the 20.6% GDP average from 1971 to 2009.

Ronald Reagan did not care about the debt: The public debt rose from $712 billion in 1980 to $2,052 billion in 1988, a roughly three-fold increase.

Ronald Reagan raised taxes: Reagan hiked taxes many times and instituted new taxes. He increased taxes about a dozen times when confronted with surging deficits.

Under Ronald Reagan’s watch, U.S. moved from the world’s largest international creditor to the world’s largest debtor nation.


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