The Reagan years were they overrated or was he underrated as the 40th President of the United States. This report will cover the agendas and accomplishments of Reagan during his tenure as President. Starting from the Hostages coming home to the supply side economy and how he was able to conclude the cold war. Were the actions of President Reagan underappreciated or was he glorified for actions taken while performing the duties of his position. The students set their hostages free on January 21, 1981, 444 days after the crisis began and just hours after President Ronald Reagan delivered his inaugural address (“U.S. History”, 2015). The main point here is that the hostages were free and came home. The dilemma is that it happen to be on the day of President Reagan inauguration. President Reagan campaign took advantage of the slow and poorly handled hostage situation by the Carter Administration and made negotiation with the Iranians release the hostages. Which is a job done well not only by President Reagan but his crew as well.
It’s possible that the negotiations happen to be settled by Reagan Administration on inauguration day, but knowing that he was going too inaugurated that day it’s unlikely that his staff spent the time to negotiate that day. With that being the case, it is a bit inhuman to keep these Americans in limbo longer than they had to be when they could have been freed sooner. A publicity stunt to promote President Reagan as a savior, and he and his administration always denied these allegations. Ending the Cold War was done during President Reagan tenure and rightfully so he should receive the credit for performing the duties of his position. Although the cold war ended, it came at a high price for American’s. President Reagan strategy for ending the war came after observing a U.S. Military that need updating and re-shaping. Observing that most members of the military would not re-enlist because of the low morale, low wages where they sought employment outside of the military after their tenure was over. On top of the low military wages came outdated equipment that was unfitting for combat.
The embarrassing ending to the Vietnam War and the U.S. embassy employees being taken hostage were proof enough that change was needed. President Reagan then began improving the military by expanding the U.S. budget to improve the military. By doing so military budget up 43% and created programs such as SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative) where the U.S. began to test missiles in outer space. While the U.S. was on a spending spree and advancing their military program the Soviets, were the complete opposite. The Soviets had a deteriorating military and an economy on the verge of crashing. The Soviets could not withstand a war with the United States. In fact, they had a war inside of their country that lead to the breakup of the Soviet Union. Having the new and improve military resources were an intimidating advantage, but no matter who was president at the time Russia was heading into a civil crisis inside their nation which led to their break-up.
While campaigning in 1980’s Ronald Reagan promoted his solution to fixing the economic debt that the United States accumulated over the years. This solution was named “Reaganomics”. The United States was left with a $2.6 trillion dollar debt from President Reagan theory by cutting taxes, and the Federal Revenue would increase because economic activity will increase. President Reagan focused cutting down taxes down for upper income at 30% for the first three years as President. President Reagan assumed by doing so that they the rich would increase their spending and investing. By theory, this would stimulated the economy and created more jobs. As a result, inflation and higher interest rates cause the dollar to rise internationally which slowed down exporting. Importing increased which helped stabilize the economy, but must of that was used to upgrade the military with supplies. As a result, the national debt rose from one to three trillion during President Reagan’s reign. President Reagan should have not lowered taxes if he was going to spend trillions on military upgrades.
In conclusion to Reagan tenure as President, It would be hard to say that he was underrated as a President and more fitting to state overrated. Supply side was a plan that looked good because he promoted lower taxes and this would allow for a stable economy but in theory the next generations to come have inherited this debt, and it actually leaves them in a horrible position. Now presidents in the future have to play devil’s advocate because they cannot lower taxes as Reagan did because of this high spending spree. We cannot blame presidents for being the villain on raising taxes because they have inherited an enormous national debt. So I feel that President Reagan is responsible taxes being raised to this day because of him accumulating an enormous debt. The upgrading of the Military was an evident and right choice by President Reagan because it did aid in the ending of the cold war.
The problem is perhaps not enough time was done for proper research to be done on the technological advancement for the military, and instead they were in a rush to seek resulted which cost a lot of money. The Star Wars program was not successful at first but then came around. The next Presidents would have an address the military concerns. It’s hard to give President Reagan sole credit for the downfall of communism because the reality was the Soviets economy collapsed, and they were on the verge of breaking up without a war. Now there is the hostage situation which President Reagan is credited for but the actual credit goes to him and his administration. The overrated celebration of the hostages being freed on his inauguration day makes it about him.
If the hostage could have been released sooner he still, would have been credited for the negotiation f freeing them. Final thoughts are that President Reagan was an excellent President for dealing with some of the tight situations and issues he was forced to deal with. I do believe that the United States needed more of a conservative approach at this time, and he brought that. With that being said, he did his job and tried to promote himself more than he should have. He nearly tripled the U.S. debt, and that is a burden on the following generations.
Cillizza, C. (2013). Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/02/21/the-most-underrated-and-overrated-presidents/ Donelson Moss, G., & Thomas, E. A. (2013). Moving On The American People Since 1945 (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. USHistory.org. (2008-20014). Retrieved from http://www.ushistory.org/us/59b.asp U.S. History. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/iran-hostage-crisis