Thursday, August 27, 2009
How Reagan Closed Budget Gap
Many people who calls themselves Reagan Conservatives forget that before Ronald Reagan was elected as President of the United States in 1980, he was governor of California from 1967-75.
Reagan's election as governor in 1966 was his first public office. During the 1964 presidential campaign he served as cochairman of California Republicans for Goldwater.
After defeating incumbent Democrat Governor Pat Brown with 58 percent of the vote, Governor Reagan went on to establish a conservative record in restricting the size and cost of state government.
Just as Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer inherited a huge budget deficit from Democrat Governor Janet Napolitano, Republican California Governor Ronald Reagan inherited a huge budget deficit from Democrat California Governor Pat Brown.
What did Reagan do, how did he handle the budget disaster he inherited from his Democrat predecessor. Reagan immediately ordered a hiring freeze of new state employees and then cut the state budget across the board by 10 percent.
The father of Reaganomics did something else that may come as a shock to the blind followers of Grover Norquist and Americans for Tax Reform. Working with a cooperative state legislature, Reagan was able to obtain an increase of the state income tax together with welfare reform legislation that striped the less needy from the rolls and increased benefits for those that met higher eligibility requirements. By cutting expenses and increasing revenue, Reagan was able to close the budget deficit he inherited from his Democrat predecessor.
Fast forward 40 years and doesn't that sound familiar? Isn't that the same as what Conservative Republican Governor Jan Brewer is trying to do to solve Arizona's budget problem, cut expenses and increase revenue? It seems that the only difference between what Reagan did and what Brewer is advocating is instead of raising the income tax, Arizona will cut the income tax to stimulate spending and temporarily increase the sales tax by one penny to increase revenue to help close the gap. .
There is one important difference between Reagan and Brewer however, Reagan didn't have uncooperative state senators like Pamela Gorman and Ron Gould obstructing solving his budget crisis, Brewer and Arizona does.
American Conservative Republican