Reagan and the Cities

Archive Report

Contours of New Urban Policy

Reagan's Plans of the Reduced Federal Role

For the last half-century, the federal government has been actively involved in trying to solve the problems of America's cities. Unable to deal effectively with poverty, population growth or loss, increased service demands, shrinking or static tax bases, and unable to gain sympathy from rural- or suburban-dominated state legislatures, the cities in recent decades have turned increasingly to Washington for economic assistance. Despite the hundreds of federal programs, physical and social and economic conditions in many cities, especially the older industrial cities, have become worse.

Many conservatives, including Ronald Reagan, have pronounced the era of large-scale federal assistance a failure, saying that it has done little to help the cities while placing a massive burden ...

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