Ronald Reagan’s Impact on American Politics

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Ronald Reagan’s Impact on American Politics

Ronald Reagan was undoubtedly one of the most remembered presidents in United States history. Although much of his term in office controversial, Ronald Reagan redefined the purpose of government during the Reagan Revolution, which hardened the conservative agenda for years after he left office. His negotiations with Soviet Union’s Gorbachev at the Reykjavik Summit were the turning point for the Cold War.

Ronald Reagan’s term in office is commonly known as the Reagan Revolution. Within this revolution, the Reagan Boom occurred, which according to the Editors of Congressional Quarterly in U.S. Foreign Policy the Reagan Imprint resulted in 92 consecutive months of economic growth. The fruits of this boom included a 31% increase in gross national product and the creation of 18.4 million jobs by 1990. Reagan lowered taxes but increased the budget from 144 billion dollars in 1980, to the 290 billion dollars by 1988. (Presidents and their Decisions Ronald Reagan.) This raise in budget caused a deficit to the government. Reagan’s philosophy was known as supply-side economics. In theory, if he lowered taxes the American people would spend more as well as save and invest.

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Although it is to be believed that Reagan’s policies created one million jobs in one month (, that is far from the truth. September 1983 had a massive increase in hired employees, however, the bulk of these employees were returning members from striking against the American Telephone and Telegraph company. So, while Reagan’s policies did create thousands of jobs, it was not as impactful as many believe today. The combined jobs Reagan’s policies created, along with workers going back to work from being on strike, led to the unemployment rate falling from 7.6% to 5.5%. With the average American family’s net worth increasing by 27% annually, more money went back into the economy making it even stronger. Now many Americans could live by the supply-side economic philosophy. Reagan’s policies did not just affect the average white male American either, the employment of African Americans rose more than 25% as well as over half of the jobs created were filled by women. Much of Reagan’s policies, he believed, would be difficult for the economy in the beginning, then in the long run display ample development overall. Reagan’s belief was, by cutting taxes, reducing the size of government, reducing government expenditures equivalent to amounts of taxes being cut, was the best way to attain a stable budget. Though, during his term in office he failed to cut federal spending, he only increased it for his strong-arm maneuvers against the Soviet Union in an arms race.

During his first term, Reagan had one major goal in mind as far as foreign policy, that was to shift the Soviet Union from being a communist nation.

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