Ronald Reagan’s Presidency and Legacy Essay

956 Words 4 Pages
Many opinion polls in past years have asked the American public to rate who the greatest American Presidents were. Presidents who have contributed to the foundation of America, such as George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, regularly receive the top votes in the public’s and scholar’s opinions. However, scholars and the general population differ on just how great the remaining Presidents were. According to public opinion, Ronald Reagan was one of America’s greatest presidents, deserving of the highest praise, for “winning” the Cold War, establishing “Reaganomics,” and essentially making a massive headway in the war against communism. On the other hand, liberal scholars rank Reagan as one of the worst presidents …show more content…
In doing this Reagan began the “arms race,” first bolstering the quantity and quality of America’s military technology, then daring the Soviet Union to match it. “I feel the Soviets are so defense minded, so paranoid about being attacked that without being in any way soft on them we ought to tell them no one here has any intention of doing anything like that. What the h--l have they got that anyone would want (Regan, Brinkley 199). The Soviet command economy could not withstand the difficulty of matching America’s military and technological advances and, facing U.S. supported uprisings throughout Europe, collapsed just as Reagan predicted. In the 1970s, America was facing an economic recession coupled with high inflation (also known as stagflation) due to the ending of the Vietnam War. To worsen matters, the Yom Kippur War between Arab countries and supported-by-western-countries Israel ended with an Israeli victory and an Arab Oil Embargo on the West. The embargo caused oil prices to surge-almost tripling by the end of the decade. Oil prices are linked with inflation and unemployment rates and when one dramatically increases, the other will as well. By the time Ronald Reagan became president in 1981, the unemployment rate was at 7.6%. In order to fix this, Reagan implemented “Reaganomics,” following the theory of supply side economics, passing laws to reduce income tax in 1981 and again cutting taxes on corporations and individuals in 1986. “The

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