View Poll Results: Was Reagan a fiscal-small government conservative?

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Thread: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

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    Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Easy question. Yes or no. and Explain why.
    Last edited by Hatuey; 02-14-10 at 02:34 AM.
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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Yes. He did all he could to slow the expansion of government in the face of a hostile Congress. He cut domestic discretionary spending more than any other president, even though he only got half of the cuts that he wanted. He wasn't perfect, but he's as small-government a president we've had at least since Coolidge.

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dav View Post
    Yes. He did all he could to slow the expansion of government in the face of a hostile Congress. He cut domestic discretionary spending more than any other president, even though he only got half of the cuts that he wanted. He wasn't perfect, but he's as small-government a president we've had at least since Coolidge.
    Since when was the military not part of the government?

    "Reagan's Liberal Legacy" by Joshua Green

    According to this:

    AEI - Papers

    Reagan's net cuts are chump change compared to other presidents.
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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by obvious Child View Post
    Since when was the military not part of the government?

    "Reagan's Liberal Legacy" by Joshua Green

    According to this:

    AEI - Papers

    Reagan's net cuts are chump change compared to other presidents.
    The main difference is that his military spending was intended to be temporary, while welfare spending never is. By cutting domestic spending to a reasonable level, and contributing to the fall of the Soviet Union, which permitted cutting military spending a huge amount, Reagan's budget allowed for the surpluses of the 90's even though no president after him cut domestic spending.

    That's not to mention that, as I already said, he only got half of the cuts he wanted.
    Last edited by Dav; 02-14-10 at 04:41 AM.

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    By cutting domestic spending to a reasonable level, which permitted cutting military spending a huge amount, Reagan's budget allowed for the surpluses of the 90's even though no president after him cut domestic spending.
    Reagan didn't cut domestic spending. It actually went up under him.

    The Free Market: The Sad Legacy of Ronald Reagan

    Quote Originally Posted by Volume VI, No. 10,
    October 1988
    In 1980, Jimmy Caner's last year as president, the federal government spent a whopping 27.9% of "national income" (an obnoxious term for the private wealth produced by the American people). Reagan assaulted the free-spending Carter administration throughout his campaign in 1980. So how did the Reagan administration do? At the end of the first quarter of 1988, federal spending accounted for 28.7% of "national income."

    Even Ford and Carter did a better job at cutting government. Their combined presidential terms account for an increase of 1.4%—compared with Reagan's 3%—in the government's take of "national income." And in nominal terms, there has been a 60% increase in government spending, thanks mainly to Reagan's requested budgets, which were only marginally smaller than the spending Congress voted.
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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hatuey View Post
    Reagan didn't cut domestic spending. It actually went up under him.

    The Free Market: The Sad Legacy of Ronald Reagan
    True. Actually, the best fical conservative was Bill Clinton. I don't know what so hard with reduce spending. It's not like there isn't places to cut.

    However, the worst have been the last 2 years, and the next 4. The deficit is going down, but that isn't because of reduced spending. It's because of increased taxes and still the deficit will be huge. Actually, federal spending is estimated to be aroung 43% of GDP in 2014, up from 35% in 2007. That's European level. You can look at spending here.
    Government Spending Chart in United States 1940-2014 - Federal State Local
    Last edited by Camlon; 02-14-10 at 06:34 AM.

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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Camlon View Post
    True. Actually, the best fical conservative was Bill Clinton. I don't know what so hard with reduce spending. It's not like there isn't places to cut.
    Yes I heard a guy describing the importance of the Laffer curve on BBC World Service desrcie how the best supply sider in government had been Clinton. he was quite caustic as to Clinton the person but clear that Clinton the conservative was a good thing to a right wing economist.

    Reagan talked the talk but didn't walk it. Ultimately he was a big government guy who hated social dependency and confused the two issues. Thatcher was the same.
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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Interesting topic. There are two different questions here, however. A fiscal conservative isn't necessarily a small government conservative. The two are linked but not synonymous.

    Two (and certainly more if we spend time thinking about it ) aspects of government aren't necessarily dependent on adjustments to departmental budgets:
    1. Government involvement in the imposition of particular moral and ethical standards on the individual citizen
    2. Political interference in the professional decisions of workers not involved in the governmental process

    Small government advocates would see it as indispensible that government promotes the freedom of the individual to make their own personal and professional decisions free from political coercion where those decisions do not impinge upon the ability of other individuals to exercise the same right.

    I'm not American and did not visit the US until long after Reagan left office, so I'm not going to offer an opinion on whether he can be seen as a small government advocate on these terms. I do think that, in answering the OP question, issues beyond who spent more, who cut more budgets should be considered.
    Last edited by Andalublue; 02-14-10 at 08:33 AM.
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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    no and yes
    he was unwilling to seek efficiencies within the DoD segment of government
    but his was the regime when the 'starve the beast' strategy was implemented
    by spending enormous revenues on defense while effecting tax cuts, ronnie raygun was forcing cuts in federal programs ... the social safety net:
    ... During the 1980 campaign, Ronald Reagan endorsed the Kemp-Roth tax cut, but he also insisted that he would sharply cut government spending. Upon taking office in 1981, he followed through on this promise and asked Congress for spending cuts as well as tax cuts (White House 1981). However, Reagan was unwilling to hold his tax cuts hostage to congressional inaction on spending. In explaining why tax cuts should precede spending cuts, he said that the former would pave the way for the latter, as the starve-the-beast theory posited. In a national television address on February 5, 1981, Reagan explained: “Over the past decades we’ve talked of curtailing government spending so that we can then lower the tax burden. Sometimes we’ve even taken a run at doing that. But there were always those who told us that taxes couldn’t be cut until spending was reduced. Well, you know, we can lecture our children about extravagance until we run out of voice and breath. Or we can cure their extravagance by simply reducing their allowance” ...
    an early example of 'compassionate' conservatism from uncle ronnie

    http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/t...1_bartlett.pdf
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    Re: Was Reagan a fiscal/small government conservative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Plato View Post
    Yes I heard a guy describing the importance of the Laffer curve on BBC World Service desrcie how the best supply sider in government had been Clinton. he was quite caustic as to Clinton the person but clear that Clinton the conservative was a good thing to a right wing economist.

    Reagan talked the talk but didn't walk it. Ultimately he was a big government guy who hated social dependency and confused the two issues. Thatcher was the same.
    You're right, but not about Thatcher. In my opinion she was probably the best Prime minister UK has ever had. She first got a broken economy, so she had to increase spending somewhat. I mean the unemployment rate was around 12-14%. However, it was nothing like Obama who increased it with 7-8%. She only increased it with 1-2%. In the years thereafter she decreased spending from 46% to 35% of GDP. She destroyed the unions who crippled the economy. She gave people the possibility to decide how many hours they wanted to work. She let people get their wage decided by their merits instead of by union officals and after that the UK economy has had high growth rates compared to France and Germany who was in better shape than UK in 1979.

    You must remember that UK was hit really badly by unions. If she didn't take office, then I'm guessing UK would end up like New Zealand. New Zealand went from beeing at Australia's level to a much poorer country and guess what. They got fed up with the labour unions as well, and did even more market reforms than the UK.

    I'm moving to New Zealand in five days, so I know a little about them as well.
    Last edited by Camlon; 02-14-10 at 10:12 AM.

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