Reagan's ’New Federalism’

Archive Report

Government's Changing Goals

Steps to Limit Washington's Influence

Ronald Reagan's first months in office could mark the beginning of a reversal in the role the federal government has played over the last half-century. The changes Reagan is seeking in the name of “new federalism” are part of his announced effort to cut taxes, trim spending and significantly reduce “Washington's influence” over the states. The impetus for this undertaking stems from the president's decisive victory in November, which the White House interprets as a popular mandate, and from his often-repeated commitment to balance the budget and reduce inflation.

Reagan's program rests on two ideas long associated with conservative politics: that of decreasing the size and influence of the federal government and making it more efficient. To help accomplish ...

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