Tax and spend. Here the Democrats, with Biden, go again.

Michael Busler
4 min readAug 22, 2020

The Democrat's solution to today’s economic problems is to tax more and spend more. It doesn’t work.

During a presidential debate on October 28, 1980, candidate Ronald Reagan listened to the responses that President Jimmy Carter gave to questions asked. Carter’s response to the economy meant that the federal government would solve problems by spending money on social programs and then raising taxes to pay for those programs.

Reagan said that response was typical of the Democrat’s approach to problem-solving. The Dems seem to believe that it is fair and justified to take income away from people that earned it and give it to people, who for whatever reason, did not earn it.

Tax and Spend. There you go again,” Reagan said.

That statement resonated with American voters. At the time, the economy was mired in stagflation, meaning the economy was stagnant yet inflation was increasing, eventually reaching 13%. Unemployment was nearing 10%.

A new term was developed called the misery index. This was found by adding the unemployment rate to the inflation rate. The misery index was over 20%. It was obvious that the tax and spend philosophy didn’t work.

Reagan’s position was to do exactly the opposite. He wanted to dramatically cut taxes and make the federal income tax code less progressive. He also wanted to reduce government spending and attempt to balance the budget.

After the election, Reagan did just what he said. He convinced Congress to cut taxes and follow his plan. In 1982 all tax rates were reduced with the top tax rate dropping from 70% to 50%. The lowest tax bracket was decreased from 14% to 11%. The capital gains tax rate was reduced from 28% to 20%.

The combination of a recession and a tight money policy from the Federal Reserve had reduced the inflation rate to 6% by 1982 and down to 3% by 1983. Reagan’s tax cut increased economic growth and brought the unemployment rate down to just over 7%.

More importantly, economic growth accelerated. In 1983, GDP growth was 7.5%. In 1984 almost 6%. When Reagan took office in 1981, growth was negative.

Michael Busler

Dr. Busler is an economist and a public policy analyst. He is a Professor of Finance at Stockton University. His op-ed columns appear in Townhall, Newsmax.