It’s hard to believe 25-plus years have elapsed since Ronald Reagan’s presidency ended.
Ten years to the day after the 40th American president’s death — June 5, 2004 — Reagan is still regarded as one of the most popular presidents in recent history. Admittedly, I’m not a Republican supporter. As such, if I were an American, my ballots would continually be cast for the Democratic donkey. Maybe that’s because I continue to be perplexed by the majority of George W. Bush’s actions following 9/11, but that is a discussion for another day.
Reagan, who took down incumbent President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election, is remembered for a great many things, most of which aided America tremendously.
Just 69 days after he took the Oval Office, Reagan survived an assassination attempt by John Hinckley Jr. outside the Washington Hilton Hotel.
Not only did his recovery raise his popularity in the poll, but Reagan himself believed God spared his life so he might fulfill greater purposes.
The Economic Tax Recovery Act of 1981, which brought reductions in individual income tax rates and incentives for small businesses and savings, kick-started the Reagan Recovery.
Five years later, the Tax Reform Act brought — at the time — the lowest individual income tax rates of any industrialized country in the world. They contributed to the production of positive stats in the U.S.
Under Reagan’s presidency 20 million new jobs were created, inflation dropping from 13.5 per cent in 1980 to 4.1 per cent in 1988, the 26 per cent boost to the U.S. gross national product and the net worth of families earning between $20,000 and $50,000 annually increasing by 27 per cent.
He was like a saviour to America during his eight years in the Oval Office. Of course, the Californian was also at the helm of the most powerful country in the world at a time when its biggest adversary, the USSR, was beginning to crack.
Personally, I don’t believe Reagan had much to do with the fall of the USSR, but his June 12, 1987 speech at the Berlin Wall’s Brandenburg Gate in which he challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” must have had an effect. A few years later, it was indeed torn down.
Whether it was his foreign policy or domestic initiatives, Reagan is still revered throughout parts of the U.S.
His memory may have faded — he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994 — but people’s memories of him and what he did professionally continue to live on, including in my mind.
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks