Tax Debate: 1984 Election and Beyond

Archive Report

Campaign's Tax Issue

Reagan vs. Mondale on Budget Deficits

Four years ago, candidate Ronald Reagan successfully based his presidential election bid on the promise to cut federal income taxes. The nation's economic ills, he proclaimed, were due to the excessive burden government imposed on its citizens through taxation and interference in private enterprise. Renewed growth and prosperity could be attained by reducing taxes and “getting the government off our backs.”

As president, Reagan has largely succeeded in transforming his vision into law. Congress has approved substantial cuts in individual and corporate income taxes, as well as federal spending for many domestic programs. But the administration's prediction that the federal budget deficit—$59.6 billion in 1980—would be wiped out before Reagan had completed his first term in office proved ...

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