Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Twenty-Five Years Later

My friend Thomas Bray wrote an excellent article ("Reagan's Winds Still at Our Backs") reflecting on the resounding success of the Reagan Revolution. Here's a portion of the article available at RealClearPolitics.

"Last weekend was the 25th anniversary of a turning point in Western civilization: the Reagan tax cut of 1981. Aside from an approving editorial in the Wall Street Journal, however, there was hardly a peep in the mainstream media.

That's not surprising: Ronald Reagan and his tax cuts remain highly suspect in the highly statist world of the national press corps. Among the chattering classes, and even among many tax-cutting enthusiasts, there is still little appreciation of the broader significance of the tax-cutting movement that swept Reagan into office in 1981.

It was far more than a revolt of hard-pressed taxpayers, who, acting out of base self-interest, greedily wished to keep more of their paycheck (or in the left's view, the dividend check). It was far more than a matter of making the economy more "efficient." It was an outward manifestation of a sea change in public attitudes about the proper role of government itself.

Reagan gave voice to that sea change, sometimes coarsely - "the most feared words in the English language are 'the government is here to help you'" - and sometimes eloquently, as when he lectured students at Moscow State University about what my late colleague Warren Brookes called "the economy in mind" - the good things that happen when government power is limited...

...Reagan's optimistic message that freedom and markets can do a better job of delivering the goods than government still has no serious opponent."

Well put...