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The Reagan EraA History of the 1980s$
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Doug Rossinow

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231169882

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231169882.001.0001

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The Agenda

The Agenda

(p.31) Two The Agenda
The Reagan Era

Doug Rossinow

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses Reagan’s policy agenda. Cutting income taxes for Americans, especially for wealthy Americans and beefing up the country’s military were the twin pillars of his 1980 platform. Reducing the federal government’s (nonmilitary) spending took a distant third place–although, to gain fiscal credibility, the Reagan team tackled spending before pushing its tax-cut bill on Capitol Hill. Other matters were not deemed worth fighting for, including such issues as abortion and school prayer. In race matters, Reagan rhetorically hewed to an individualist line, preferring to enforce simple antidiscrimination law but opposing affirmative action. With regard to business regulation, the administration’s approach followed a pattern: slow things down, further review, and provide additional opportunities for business corporations to appeal.

Keywords:   Reagan administration, tax policy, tax cuts, military policy, government spending, race, business regulation

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