tv The Presidency Reagan Tax Cuts 40th Anniversary CSPAN November 23, 2021 10:32pm-12:03am EST
lincoln's vision of peace after the civil war. watch wednesday eat him eastern on c-span 3. >> download c-span's new mobile app, and stay up today -- from live streams of the house and senate floor, and key congressional hearings. the white house events and, supreme court or will i have arguments. our weekly series, the presidency, highlights the politics, policy isn't, legacies of u.s. presidents and first ladies. we continue our look back at the reagan administration, with a conversation about president ronald reagan's tax cuts and economic plans from 40 years ago. featured speakers among others
are arthur laffer, stephen moore, and edwin meese iii. >> good evening everybody, thank you so much for joining us today. it's my pleasure to welcome everybody today's event, a celebration of the 40 year anniversary of the reagan tax cuts. i met dickerson, director of the grover and, here at the heritage foundation. we focused our research on issues related to taxes and spending, i think there's been a little too much about those going on recently. but we're very happy to be hosting this event, the celebration. the economic recovery tax act, which is a positive change in tax dollars, yes. but it represented much more than that. it was a change in the mindset. in the 1970s where a time of i inflation, high unemployment, low one opportunity. our leaders rejected the idea of american greatness, i thought the american dream was behind us. 30 years ago, the heritage
foundation hosted the celebration for the tenth anniversary of the tax cuts, it was titled the importance of america's victory over washington. think about that for a second. america's victory over washington. as the tax cuts were being debated in congress, president reagan gave voice to the sentiment, and his televised address reassuring the american people. quote, all of the live,-ing organized demonstrations, and the cries of protest by those whose ways of life depends on governments wasteful ways, are no match for your voices, which were heard loud and clear. so, it's healthy, and very important to our movement, to celebrate our successes. remember the good things that were accomplished for the country, it's even more important for us to come together and consider the lessons learned. and teach the next generation how to apply those lessons, to the challenges of today, and
the challenges of tomorrow. i'm retrospective analysis of the 1981 tax cuts performed by the taxman de shan, found that if -- it instead of being partially rollback by later tax hikes, it would've increase the long run gdp by 8%. a huge number. think of how good that would have been for the country. perhaps we should have given that a try. it turns out that if you lower taxes, reduce regulatory burdens, allowed people to keep more of their own money, and allow them to make their own decisions about what to do with it, it results and more economic growth, more prosperity, and higher standards of living for the american people. but now, president biden's agenda, has posed a major threat to american prosperity and our way of life. they are threatening massive tax hikes, a massive expansion of government control, over the
most personal aspects of your life. not to mention, key provisions of the tax code are soon going to be expiring. and the tax code is still too burdensome, too and competitive, and perhaps most importantly, the size of social government has grown to unstable, too costly, and to harmful. it is going to restrict future economic growth, and it has strictures on liberty, and has very serious negative effects on peoples lives and liberty. so it's vital that we all work together, rise to meet this moment, and address these challenges head on, just as president reagan addressed the challenges of his time. and it was in the age of reagan, stephen hayward made a very interesting observation. he said i had one of the things that made the phenomenon phenomenal -- there weren't even enough
supply insiders, to fill all the key positions in the reagan administration. and it's notable that some of the most ardent criticism of the supply insiders came from republicans. but the supply insiders understood the way the world worked, and the american people intuitively understand as well. so when president reagan, and jack kim, and stephen, and all the others harness the power of ideas, hardest power of principles and spoke the truth boldly and unapologetically, they won, we won. even the democrats at the time, sorry to talk about the need to reduce tax rates, in order to help fix the economy. the heritage foundation, analysis at the time, called that a triumph of supply side thought. unfortunately, to many of today's conservatives are unwilling or unable to argue in terms of the first principles,
of our true north. as well as president reagan did. we have truth and justice and fairness, and all, these great things on our side, let's talk about a boldly and probably. and here to do just that we have a very fantastic lineup this evening, which needs a little introduction. we will get our introduction from adam meeks, and -- we'll hear from arthur laffer, founder and chairman of laughter associates, and a panel hosted by lawrence kudlow. we are going to hear from heritage foundation trustee steve forbes, the committee -- stephen moore. senior fellow at the independent, institute judy shelton. speech writer to president reagan anthony -- first i want to turn the stage over to my friend anthony. in the reagan alumni
association, new korea. luke. >> i'm new correa, president the directive reagan -- behalf of the board where delight to cohost this event, with the heritage foundation, and the committee to unleash probability, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of president reagan's tax cuts. we are at a surreal moment, at the one hand we are talking about the massive reagan tax cuts, and across the street downtown, we have president biden and the democrats looking to spend 1.9 trillion, i think it's called the american rescue act, 1.2 trillion. 3.5 trillion. and so on and so forth. with its terrible where we are now, and just remember it was
terrible at the end of the 1970s, and folks like reagan, and the folks like the people in this room, and around this country, we will rebound. i will take just a couple of minutes just to touch on, some of the quotes of ronald reagan when he talked about his tax cuts, because it and then talking about it afterwards. many of you recall that one of the quotes he used often was that governments view of the economy can be signed up in some phases. if it moves tax, it and if it stops moving subsidize. it another one was, the problem is not that people are taxed too little the problem is the government spends too much. he said when john kennedy's tax program, which he said was not too dissimilar was from his, was passed, the same thing happened. more revenue, i lower tax
rates. he said the taxpayer is someone who works for the federal government, but doesn't have to pass the civil service exam. he said our federal taxes it is utterly impossible, utterly unjust, completely counterproductive, it wreaks within justice, and it's fundamentally un-american. it is earned a rebellion, and it's time that we were bell again. a couple more as he said, if you reduce tax rates and allow people to spend or save more of what they earn, they will be more industrious, the have more incentive to keep the money that they are in. they will add fuel to a great economic machine that energizes our national progress. result, he said, more prosperity for all, and more revenue for government. there were a few economists at the time who called this
principle supply side economics, and sometimes he called it a common sense. lastly is one of the more powerful ones when he said the american tax structure, the purpose of which was to serve the people, began to serve the insatiable appetite of government. he said, if you will forgive, me you know someone has likened government to a baby. it is an elementary canal, with an open tight and when end, and no sense of responsibility at the other. president reagan's tax cuts, simply's stimulated, economy made millions of jobs, and got the country out of president carter self-described delays. and speaking of president carter, i'll try to attack with reagan like humor, let's imagine in 1979 that president carter was driving around the tidal basin, when he slipped and fell in. secret service may be looking the other way, they got off
their bikes and saved him. and they said, i'm the president united states, i'd like to do something free. the first guy said, can i get into the white house, carter says i'll take it myself. second can said all buy a new bike. their kid says, as president of united states did you ever say you're going to the cemetery. he said i do. as president you have enough power to get me a plot there. but you're ten years old, why are you taking of death? . -- next we'll hear some remarks from arthur laffer. >> thank you very much, it's a pleasure, that was great by the way, it's fun being with all of you. panel, i wish i was there, i have to go up to the mountains tomorrow, up to rancho dallas hero, we're all be doing a
hosting at that event for 40 years, i wish you are where there. when i just want to say, and i don't want to overlook all the other accomplishments of the reagan administration, i want the president did. for example, coming in and seeing the end of the iran hostage crisis the moment he took the oath of office, that's incredible, that shows the power. we had a joke, before he took the oath of office, what's covered in sand and blows in the dark, and the answer was check iran in about 15 minutes after reagan takes office. they understood the threat from reagan and he took the oath of office, i also don't want to underestimate the power of, we had all the gas lines if men if you remember that. the limit of the gas line was how long it took to drive through with one full tank of gas. you could never get any longer than that. that line [laughs]
then of course, the air traffic controllers. i don't want to underestimate them. that was powerful as well. some of you may know, i think it was the ear traffic controllers, they were the only union that supported us in the republican primary in 1980. i think they were the only union that supported us in that general election. even with all of that get well towards the administration of from the administration, you can't strike against -- ronald reagan gave them a firm edict without consideration of what they had done for us. that's really a powerful thing as well. i want to focus on the tactics here. but you want to look at and i've looked at the -- of being the first installment of being a 2 installment policy. the next one was the 1986 tax act. those 2 together replace released supply side economics on the country. people respond to incentives.
and i was shocked at some of the details of the response to the incentives that occurred with the supply side economics. and also with the tax cuts to get the bill through the house and the senate. president reagan agreed to put in the tax cuts. the tax gap cuts began on gender first, 1983. it is amazing to me how tax cuts to work until they take effect. we had a deep downturn in 1981, 1982. literally, one minute into 1983, bam, the bomb hit. from january 1st 1983 through june of 1984, an 18-month period the u.s. economy grew by 12% in real terms. 12%. we grew at an admiral average annual rate of 8%. last chinese growth rates. it's just amazing if you look at the whole set of policies there. i just want to go through them.
we had tax cuts. paul -- deserved amount of credit for the type of policies that he put in in this administration. even though he was appointed by jimmy carter, he did the greatest job. found money. tax cuts, free trade, and deregulation. you'll get the prosperity we had and that prosperity was wonderful. i don't understand why heller who was the architect of the kennedy tax cut, why he would be against it. but he was. he said we'd have hyper inflation. you tell me, how to supplying more kids to the marketplace cause prices to rise? if you have a bumper price unravels the price of apples goes down. i mean, when you look at all the situation there, this was a beautiful period. it was simple. as larry get limit says --
but larry get land says it each rocket surgery. [laughs] the prosperity. upper poor person can spend himself into wealth. jack kennedy but it so beautifully. the best form of defense spending is elizabeth to whatever you find yourself in a situation where you need your military hardware and prowess. this is a clear time that he did not spend enough. reagan understood all of these policies. but altogether created the greatest prosperity ever. i'm so proud i was able to work with him. it was terrific and now i want to give you the scene of the reagan period. my dear friend and a man who wish could be up there with me tomorrow. but but a denise is the heroes
hero. and, the show is yours. >> great job as usual, art. you know how happy i am to be with you and the my friends on this program. this was a very important day for the country. [inaudible] and legislation signed in 1981. the presidency of ronald reagan as you related. that was the crux of getting things started, getting the country back together. there is one person who's not here today with us, and fortunately, and that is mark mothers. mark passed away on number of years ago, but he was very instrumental back in 1979, 1980. he was with ronald reagan during the campaign mission for the presidency. in both 1976 and 1980. it was at that time as you
point out, our country was in deep trouble. we were at the greatest economic crisis since the great depression of the 1930s. and in the transition, royal regan asked mark to come up with a new strategy for how we could get the country back on track. so, mark went to work and said our, you definitely had your ideas in mind when you illustrates apply site economy by drawing a design to on the back of a cocktail napkin. [inaudible] to explain a really complex subject and a very simple and very illustrative way. so mark went to work having
been tasked by the president elect. he came to the president with a 4-point strategy, which he related to him in the transition i believe the end of december, start of january, 1981. there were 4 points. some of which you have already talked about today. one of course, was the tax cut. the 2nd was regulatory reform. the 3rd was maintaining a stable monetary policy. and the 4th was slowing the growth of federal spending. each of these is important. the tax cut was absolutely significant because this was the one that medley showed the american people how they individually and through their families would be able to benefit from the new policies of this administration. so, the tax cut was put into effect with ron illegal signing
the legislation on the 12th of august 1981. this is a day that i'm glad were able to celebrate 40 days showing, as you point out, the conservative ideas i'm particularly conservative economic ideas work. i'm sure panels will be speaking later on today that will describe this in more detail. the challenge of course was once the plan was was getting it passed by the legislature. that's why this day itself was so important. but the challenge then after that was to make sure that these tax cuts could be continued.
it was a big move in 1982. because as you point out, art, the whole program had not yet taken a 2nd till the impact. and we still had major economic problems in 1982. and many people talked about the tax cuts. i remember being with final regan at the oval office when he told those who had tried to do away with the tax cuts that he was going to stand firm and there was no way he was going to be able to change or modify or destroy the significant foundation for the economic recovery. as you point out, art, that was the start of the longest period of peacetime economic growth in the history of the country. that's why it's appropriate that we commemorate that day
when the legislation was signed. port important actually that we remind people of the benefits that this country derived from that economic strategy. and it's important to remind legislators today and the national leaders for the future that tax cuts and low taxes is the keynote of a successful economic program and economic success for the nation. so it's a pleasure to be with you all today. i see a lot of good friends will be speaking later on and to commemorate what ronald reagan did. and also to remember martin anderson who is instrumental with all of those who are here today, and making this up and. i appreciate appreciate the privilege to meet with all of you and help you celebrate an important day. thank you. [applause]
>> larry, i think. europe >> already? >> what was yours, larry? >> mr. meese, it's wonderful to hear your voice. is thank you for what you just said. everybody knows tony, who was a reagan speech writer. chief speech writer, excuse. me [laughs] some things never change. he also winds up bumping around the trump white house. there few of us left who served in both of those places. by insisted that he come here. i don't think he knows anything
about the economy [laughs] . my dear friends steve moore long time leader in supply side and politics and communications who was that bedrock of that great, great principle. my brother steve moore. similarly, we've been in middle of just about every insurrection you can imagine here in washington and elsewhere. i think icy and more out there. hello, and. she's been married to steve all these years. she deserves a hasn't just for that alone [laughs] . i'm sorry. you can punch me after the tv show. and judy shelton, great monetary expert. great friend of ours. advisor both the reagan people and trump people and many in between also. a person of great principles.
i want to begin with one of the thoughts that steve forbes mentioned on our store show a few moments ago. which i think is so very important. that is the relationship between economic strength at home and national security, military strength abroad. sometimes is characterized as weakness at home, weakness abroad. but i think it's more properly characterize at strengthen and strength abroad. the one leads to the other. to some extent, it's perhaps less understood or underrated as a factor. but steve, you mentioned it on our show as you always do. and i wanted you to talk a bit about that. because america was on the defensive in the 1970s. maybe long before that, but certainly in the 70s. we forget the strength of soviet communism. we forget the fact that not only did the soviets have
eastern europe and so forth, they were infiltrating our own hemisphere. not just in cuba but also in places south. throughout south america. that all changed during the reagan years. why don't you take it from there, because i think in some respects in the grand sweep of history, that maybe the most important impact of ronald reagan. , >> that's right, not only did his programs, 2 big tax bills which are mentioned, conquering inflation. which set off an extraordinary boom. we mentioned on the show, that between 1983 in 1990, the sheer growth of the u.s. economy. the growth alone exceeded the entire size of the german economy, then the 3rd largest in the world. we grew germany in 7 years. an amazing achievement. silicon valley became a by word for cutting edge technology.
so, the u.s. went from them release of the 1970s, when it looked like our best days were behind us. that we couldn't compete again. that we're going to fall behind. we had to keep temperatures down 55 during winter time. to a nation that was really on -- was driving the world. the amazing thing is after those tax cuts 50 nations around the world imitated those cuts. so, you had a global boom. relating to what laurie said, in the 1970s, especially in the demoralize after nap mat of the vietnam war and the hubris the late 60s -- and by the way, the book on the great society chronicles that time in the late 60s when we lost our way -- but in the 70s, we faced the aftermath of it. as laurie pointed out. in central america, it looked like other countries were going
to go the soviet way. in africa, angela and mozambique. human mercenaries. they or falling and fell. europe itself, the soviets put in missiles, short-range missiles, to really displace nato. which enabled us to win the cold war. but the whole battle over missiles, nobody remembers it today. that was so important because the soviets figured if they had short term missiles aimed at europe, the europeans would no longer trust the u.s. to defend them if there was a nuclear attack, because we would risk utter destruction of the united states. so it's key that we get short term missiles stationed in germany, which no surprise was fiercely resistant by the soviet union. they joined up opposition to germany and elsewhere. but thanks for the evidence strength of the united states, in the early 80s, became apparent. we were on the march again, and
we were a nation of innovation and confidence and growth, that we have been in the 50s and 60s. that was back again, that had enabled helmet cole schmidt to believe the u.s. was going to be there, so the missiles got in, and this great soviet gambit to win the cold war ended. so a strong economy, means a strong country, doesn't mean we don't make mistakes but, the world wants a strong leader, a civilized leader, one who believes in human freedom. so all the complaints you get from europeans about the u.s., they fear the u.s. not being strong in the world. and in asia, who ever thought that the vietnamese would be begging us to have aircraft carriers as a counter to the pressure from china. and so we play that unique role, and all you have to do larry, is look at the 1930s when the u.s. was weak, racked by the
great depression, and where we nearly lost civilization. the 1970s, when these bad policies are continued. we had soldiers on food stamps, for crying out loud. we couldn't even keep our ships and repair. and so it looks like the u.s. was washed up. and suddenly, overnight, confidence returned, and by golly it was a better, richer world. and that's what's so dangerous today, so dangerous today, we're making the same bloody mistakes again, and i use the words bloody advisedly. if the u.s. is seen as a weak, and by golly if biden has his way with those entitlements and everything else. weak dollar. we are going to have a troubled period again, and hopefully we can turn it around, but this is why this panel is so important, and others like it. it reminds people that it can be turned around, but let's turn it around and not repeat the same mistakes again.
it's not just deep gdp, it's about the safety and moral of a free, civilized society. >> thank you, that's great. >> one of the thoughts here is that, when reagan started to negotiate, meet and negotiate with gorbachev. the issues were disarmament, missiles, but of course gorbachev of wanted to give her to give out star wars, in effect. today, by the way, is a bastion of why we keep it up. but when those guys met, it just occurred to me, and i think many others. gorbachev was facing a guy who allowed his country, had literally delivered the goods to the citizens. whereas, in the soviet union,
they couldn't deliver the goods. the system had in fact self destructed, as reagan himself predicted would happen. and it was happening, in the mid 80s. our recovery was off to a flying start. reagan, in effect, unleashed capitalism. unleashed free enterprise. took the cuts off, lower taxes, minimized regulation, deregulated oil, which i result drop to ten or 12 dollars a barrel by the mid 80s. so gorbachev could not masha, because his economic system didn't work and arrested. so, you and i have pen this up, paper there's about the growth rate and so forth. today, today, i think we're in danger of re-handcuffing free enterprise and capitalism. as dan clifton has noted in
recent days, these are the first tack sykes on capitol, because they get laid the golden eggs, on capitol, in 50 years. and i find that to be for voting, certainly moving in the wrong direction, and will certainly damage us in the eyes of the rest of the world. >> so, let me just shout out a couple of just great people in this room. i just wanted to say that the reagan tax cuts would not have happened without richard, richard you are a superstar. you are at that time i think chief economist at the chamber of commerce, when the chamber of commerce was good. thank you for what you did, because we were a driving force behind that. and then grover north face, i don't know if you had it back
then, i think reagan did certainly gave birth to that movement and help reagan from b and c and comes in to be in the comes to tax increases. and judy, you should be the chairman of the federal reserve board. either way, i tried. very hard. i wanted to mention to other people, because it's just such a great day, it's a great day where we can remember what happened. great robert bentley, and i don't think it would've happened -- for those who don't remember, bob barkley was the editor-page editor of the wall street journal, and every day editorial is explaining and teaching the american people about why this is so important. and of course, jude witness guy, who is at the editorial page that time. and we'll see the one who came up with the term supply side economics? i don't remember.
>> herb stein call that supply side. >> so that was all cool, let me just say one quick thing i think we are in a danger zone right now, because some of the lessons that we should've learned over the last 40 years seems to have been learned by the left, and that's troubling to me. one thing you said on the show today, larry. was that revolution was a 30-year revolution, i would say it's a 40 year revolution -- . obviously, trump followed a lot of those ideas from reagan as well. i'm gonna give you one statistic from the wall street journal, it will be announcement tomorrow. it's just incredible when you think about this, that 40 years ago today, give retaken 100 points or so. the dow jones industrial average was at 1000. 1000. today, 40 years later, the dow has hit not 3500 but 35,000.
this is the greatest period of wealth creation in the history of civil society, we haven't seen anything anywhere in the history of the civilized world that comes close to what happened in united states. it's from just a tax cuts, it's from the deregulation, it's from the sound money policy, clearly. it was the march towards free trade, and limiting government. and now we are seeing, biden and not just joe biden, but the left in america has not learned any of the lessons from these things. and that troubles me, because i do worry that if we start turning these styles back to where they were in the 70s, when we did have 60 and 70% tax rates. elizabeth warren talks about this all the time, as we should go back to. they want to regulate the airlines and the railroads. i mean, come on, how stupid is that. is there any success with the
deregulation and she markets and the railroads. and they want to go back to the policies that we had. one of the reasons we put this whole thing together, by the way, thank you to heritage for doing a great job in getting this, and thank you all of you for being here, and braving covid to be here. i think it's really important that this lesson be taught in schools, and universities, and what reagan did for our country, how we keep these races low we could have another 40-year period like the previous 40 years. i really believe that, and will be an unrivaled superpower. china will only catch us, they're only going to catch us if we allow, if we do it to their ourselves, right? if we reverse our own policy, because china will not with us if we keep our tax rates low,. and judy shelton, we talked a lot about the policy mix of low
tax rates, and a strong dollar. or low tax rates, and tight money, that's how mandel used to characterize it in a shorthand. so we don't have that now, so -- i would probably not gonna have a low tax rates, although we'll see how that legislative argument plays out. but in your judgment, did reagan work well with -- with the lab for mondale hypothesis in play at that point, either consciously or not? >> well he also expressed my thanks for being with you all, i feel very grateful, to be on this panel with my heroes. i didn't serve in the reagan administration, but my first job as a newly minted doctoral person, was to be a research
assistant to martin anderson. so i feel like i brought promise with me, my first project was with martin, he had this pamphlets called in economics the bill of rights. so i want to integrate some of the things i've been hearing, which have given such a remarkable perspective on, as edwin meese iii said, martin rode the memorandum delayed out the four points. in this pamphlet he was reflecting on that. so he had just left the white house, having served as the chief domestic economic policy adviser. so he was saying, what do we do next? and he decided, i think, to get reinvigorated a think tank out of the hoover institution. but in here he said in the summer 79 he said, reagan's
approach to resolving the economic malaise of the 70s, was spelled out in that eternal memorandum, and that became the basis of the policies of his 1980s campaign, and the economic recovery program, there are the four basic parts. the first, we control the increase of government spending to reasonable, prudent levels. we need that now. the second was to produce personal income tax rates, and to accelerate and simplify business depreciation schedules, in an orderly, systematic way. to remove the increasing disincentives to work, to save, to invest, and to produce. people respond to incentives. the third was to reform, reduce, and eliminate economic regulation so as to encourage economic growth. the sounds a lot like the trump administration probe growth agenda. the fourth was to establish a stable and sound moment military policy.
that was the part to me was visionary. and radical, in the sense. and you're right, larry, as you asked me at the outset. did that work? here you had -- who decided he try this experiment of targeting monetary aggregates, and let the interest rate let it go wherever it had to go. at the same time, you had the pro growth tax policies, and that was linda's magic formula, and it did work. it works tremendously, it was brutal. it hurt a lot of the economy, but wrenching out the inflation was vital. and i think we went from over 13% in 81, to three or four the years here at later. it was astonishing. so -- the american idea.
what a promoter he was, here is a guy who had said on about going from one football game to the other reading john maynard keynes general theory, and understanding it. but then i remember you, and my thanks to jimmy who gave me some books from his dad's library, which i treasure. but shaq said, the monetary issue is anything but remote from people's experience. in my experience, honest, sounds, stable money, is a popular, blue-collar, bread and butter, winning political issue. and we see how people are so distressed over this rising inflation, they definitely get the value of stable money, have a sound monetary platform, so they can plan and invest and make good decisions dictated by free market mechanisms. another one. a perfect problem.
bob bradley. he's [inaudible] can i see popularized in the best since, helped everybody understand. for me, having studied international monetary systems, he was my personal guru and all of that. but i remember in his acceptance speech in 1999, for his nobel, here is what he said. i think this sums it up. the 70s worry disaster in terms of economic stability. but we learned a valuable lesson. the person was that inflation, budget deficits, big deaths, and big governments, are all detrimental to public well being and that the cost of correcting them is so high that new democratic government wants to repeat the experience. so, i'm very afraid we might be about 2 [laughs]
like he warned us. >> wow. in some on this one, it did work and they did collaborate. >> i think that ronald reagan honored the independence strength. it's true volker had coming under carter in augusta 79. he was there until august of 1987. but we had the 1981 goal commission and i think that volker understood that people were so concerned about the lax policies of his predecessor in arthur burns. and whether there was some kind of acquiescence to what the white house might want. president reagan was very respectful, but it turned out that what paul volker thought he had to do happen to be exactly in compliance with what lindell said. in order to have the tax
policies expand on the economic output. >> the combination of low tax rates and found money, to me, that's the most important lesson to be learned. i was a young kid then. i did sit in on one of those voter meetings. reagan and volker had something in common. volker was the last guy, he was defeated when nixon went through what he went through in the early 70s. volker was the undersecretary of the treasury at the time. he did not want to de-link the dollar. he wanted to make some minor price adjustments to the gold link, but not and it. i don't know about burns. burns i've heard both ways. i know volker, i know him very
well. i was once his executive assistant. i think reagan, those guys saw things syrians similarly. the rest of reagan's didn't like volker and try to push him out, and eventually succeeded in 1987. green span came in, i thought he did a pretty good job. but i always thought those guys -- >> exactly right. >> and volker took no prisoners. he was like reagan. reagan used to say, leave the politics to meet. he used to always say that about a lot of debates. and that was one of them. you do you have to do and i'll take the political heat. which i thought was fabulous. it was fabulous in a lot of other ways. my pal tony hinted that. as i said, tony has more reading to do on the economic side. [laughs] but that benefit and brilliance as a speech writer and creative
and internal actual, what was regan thinking? what was he thinking? especially in'81 and'82, 20 dollar? >> i don't want to offend you but i'll begin with some numbers that should appeal to. you >> really? [laughs] >> we were facing 22% interest rates. and back to back double digit inflation 2 years in a row for the first time since world war i. we also are facing 18% increases in federal spending. ronald reagan came into office and said no, will stop. tip o'neill center in the big leagues now. we'll teach you if you. lessons he went on the air and everything changed. ronald reagan came up with the perfect label for him and branding. but it also helped the media similar. yes, that's right. reagan had this video magic. ,.
-- the reason they were doing it is because he said, i have -- and did reagan what he had done prior the economic speeches. by the way, marty anderson in the audit that was based on. i'm so grateful to ed from bringing him up. but i must tell, you reagan were those speeches. and they were his views. you've been talking about this forever. the same thing he called it pete sanford in the 70s and said pete, have you seen this tax cut bill? so, they did the script together and he insisted on. no one thought would reagan run for president again this time. even then, his advisor said governor, you sure you want to be that far out at something like this? and he had to fight for in the campaign, as we all know.
arthur was a great guy -- [laughs] bob dole i gave a copy so he could give it to bob dole. these were things -- everyone told me over lunch were you and i used to commute as well that ronald reagan new economics as well as anyone. he knows our bag of tricks. and i want to emphasize, we sent to drafts in for the speech. tip o'neill was laughing. all of washington was laughing. the 4 said you know, the president was very pleased with the drafts. i said, well mike give it to me. it was all his stuff. [laughs]
for 3 months have been talking about this bill in formal and informal situations. then could handle any speech but in particular, thank he was a supply side believer. he did the draft that had terrific descriptions of what was going on. and again, part of the conservative speech writer, regan white house. we plagiarize regan and then we get to take credit for his speeches. the half hour period of time on all 3 networks. it was just a setup. it was okay, the breakthrough has to come now. and it's up to you. you gotta read the speech, and there is a critical moment, one of the congressman came in and
they let me, remember reagan got this through a democratic house in a very republican and elected senate. the republicans for the last game with their own task, cut and this one was going to finally do reagan in. and one of the congressman said, you know, mister president. i was up talking to farmers the other day, and i explained to them our tax cut bill, and how it was good, in just fine. and it was okay. and i went into all the involve discussions about it and so forth. finally the farmer said, congressman, are you form or against him. and he says mister president i voted for you. he tells a story, in the speech. think of what happened, because ronald reagan had this vision of the economic world that he did. and where did he come from? he believed in benefits and forces, he believed that this
as calamitous as our world is. if you believe the true thing goodness still has power, and what he was saying is that if you understood paradoxes, you have to lower taxes to raise revenue. you confront a criminal regime in order to make a conciliatory. if you want, i can tell you a story about reversals, on the back and forth he was doing with his -- i'll finish with this. he understood paradox, ambiguity, and mystery. the mystery of not fatal conceit, as high put it. the oligarchs, the philosopher kings know better, it's mysterious force. democracy works better because people make a better corporate decision than the oligarchy's, and similarly, lots of people don't know each other making economic decisions in billions of transactions to way better than the government panelists. so i had to tell you that's the
reason ronald reagan, believed in supply side, and believe that if you really stood up for the truth it had ontological power. he believed in today christian paradigm, and he believed if he just had a little trust in a mysterious, you can change the world. and that's what i believe, this was a remarkable intellect as well as a remarkable communicator. he actually did use numbers and his speech. >> he loved numbers. >> a lot of these politicians today, we'll tell you -- owe nobody listens to numbers, it's not good. >> well listen to the 64 speech. >> he always use numbers. in fact he used on camera charts, charts on camera, which was very cool. >> if you want the story or not? >> i'm not gonna be able to stop you anyway.
>> but it's about the charts. i'm not getting. >> go for the charts. , i'm a student larry. >> just got my title right next time. in any case, he's rehearsing. somebody, we are going through once, and white house aides -- he said no we want to make a change. >> no was, and it was gergen. so we had a wonderful director, and what reagan news is that live feed anything go wrong, talking about calamity. so you better do it right. and mark went up to an and said, mister president, we want you
to go to the chart now once, and back to the chart. but we've only rehearsed it as you're going to the chart once, can you handle this? and the president is kind of looked at him and didn't say thing, and i realized there was something going on here between director and the artist. and he said can you handle this, and you do this. and finally, one more time, mark said, mister president can you do this? i knew it was happening he was giving reagan his chance to tell a story, so he pushed himself back and said fellas, i made a film with wallace barry, i can handle anything. and we all laughed, hysterically, but only mark knew why we are laughing so hard. so the background for next time i asked him, as somebody mean by that. well listen, there is saying in hollywood, never make a film with a little dog, a little kid,
or wallace barry. it was my scene, i was the only one on camera and wallace was to my left, but i was the only one with any lines. he said by the end of that scene, do you realize while this was the only thing you could see off camera talking to the back end of the horse, and that was supposed to meet my scene. and that's my point. he understood that -- there are always prepared, market one point i had to crawl across the oval office, to hold the pan out, because the lights are dried out. ronald reagan new set to force,. >> and he could handle it. >> allow me to finish on this. when he gave a speech there were no theatrical, the great communicators just let the words and the ideas do the work, and speak for themselves.
>> the benefits of reagan -- that's almost a lost art. there are few people who are off the miss, who believe as bad as things may be, they can be turned around as big as the soviet union was and powerful, it could be brought to its knees, as awful as the u.s. economy he inherited, it could all be changed in the year or two. and he was the quintessential optimist. how important is that? >> well, it was critical, because people could be optimistic, and depressed people. novel chamberlain was an optimist in the early 1940s before the german offensive, but did it inspire people that the situation was one hand, but made reagan's often is believable was one, that he believed it, it wasn't just a shower of let's put a merry face on. but also a profound
understanding of what made america unique. while times and circumstances have change, free people will find a way to overcome the obstacles and move ahead. and because people come from the most unlikely backgrounds, to do great things and commerce and elsewhere. that profound faith. this was not some guy who read a line and went on to the next thing. people sense that even if the elites didn't. so, they believed yes, we can see through this thing. and also, what made the optimism enduring was that when he went through a very rough period from 1981, when the bill was signed and the economy crashed into recession, beating in congressional elections. people thought the economy would do much in 1983 and he was going to be in jeopardy. his poll numbers went down, i think, about 35%.
but people stuck with him even though they may have disapproved, because they figured there's something there. that's why he rebounded so quickly. the economy rebounded quickly, he was up in the 60s by the time 1984-year-old around. he carried 49 out of 50 states. it would've been 56 out of 57. but he would have done that, the thing is, it was grounded in understanding that people had confidence. it like it did with a churchill. as bad as things are, there's a well spring there that you can trust. that's the key word, trust. trust us. >> i often thought, those are difficult, tough years. the economy was in recession. we didn't get the really recovery in early'82 that all
of us were hoping for. i often thought that as the tax debate came upon the white house, you've got a faction of senior advisers who wanted to back off that tax cuts. and regan refused. very important. i was a witness to it but i'm guessing it occurred at the highest levels. also, with respect to his tough hard-line with the soviet union, it was really only one guy among the senior policy staff in the white house who believed a, you had to through diplomatic shackles aside and be brutally tough with the soviet union. with respect to their flaws and their vulnerabilities. and the u.s.'s new position of strength. and then be, there was really only one person among his
senior policy people who truly believed -- i mean truly believed -- that the soviet union would and could be overturned and defeated. [inaudible] that was reagan. he was the only senior policy guy, and i saw this, i watched it. i can't sleep or i participated in. i was still up against the wall, not at the table. he was there and he was unyielding. and they came very close in'82 2 overturning the tax cut policy. you heard mr. need mr. meese say how essential that was. if you're a tax cut or you're not likely to big spender. if your tax cutter you believe in people, not government planners and bureaucrats and ivy league scientists, and so forth. so, it meant a lot. most of his senior staff, not all, but many of them, big shots, wanted to change the tax
laws, because they -- it was more than we're shipping at the shrine of the budget. to solve policy problems. they didn't care about growth, they didn't care about blue collar workers that 20 was correctly talking about. but reagan believed. he came from a blue collar backgrounds. they were afraid of politics. oh, the polls. reagan just pushed it aside. he would take the political wrap but he wanted to do the right thing. the extraordinary leadership. . >> yeah, i remember in'82, there was so much pressure to exceed the giant tax increase. and thanks god he didn't cancel the last -- i think one of the things about the congress wanted to do was canceled the last leg of the tax cuts is that right? that would've been disastrous. we wouldn't have gotten the full thrust of the tax debate. a mean, it took a lot of courage. i couldn't agree with you more
for reagan to withstand that. he did pass a tax increase but is thankfully much smaller. and also the rate cut. >> that's right. and -- >> and the indexing of the -- to then do what they did in 86 was incredible accomplishment. the top tax rate is 70, 80%, to get it down to 20%. you always talk about the 15 to 28. how great would that be if we could talk -- >> i was talking to freeman at the time, he was so excited. he said, i did this column for newsweek and in the early 70s, just to start an argument. he said reagan's rates are only 3 points higher than what i was trying to start. [laughs] and larry just emphasize what you said. they started the whole thing
with the economic miracle, the cold war was over. treat barriers fell down, a billion people were lifted out of poverty, off because of what happened 40 years ago this state. that was -- judy shelton, some of that groundwork was laid in the tax cuts. right? i think a lot of people forgot about that. the air traffic controllers union, which had endorsed reagan during the campaign, it's an upper middle class, shall we see union. they went out on strike. regan said don't do it, i'll fire you. they didn't believe him, so they went out, and he fired them. i was thought for domestic purposes, but also international purposes, that was a shot heard around the world. >> i tho>> i thought that was fs
and unique, coming from a politician. so, i guess that is the delegate definition of leadership. you're so right. when you mention this optimism, believing in what he knew in his heart having the integrity to fight for it and carry it out. that i think is so important that faith in the future -- i was look at things from a monetary point of view and i think what have we've been doing to put money in a bank account and get then get zero. how does that support the idea of you sacrifice today because it's the financial seed corn that's going to be invested productively and is going to lead to higher standards of living. and everyone benefits. and you destroy that faith in the future with the monetary policy we've been having. the real rates of interest.
what i loved about reagan, in addition to a strong leadership, was this reliance on the private sector. and his respect for the individual. but it was radical in the sense that it was sophisticated. his whole program and all 4 elements of it we're international in scope. i mean, it seemed ambitious, but even another book was -- this was co-chair, and you can and robert mondale in 1983, the williamsburg g7 conference. they put forth a monetary agenda for world growth. but like thomas jefferson, they talk fought the american ideals so wonderful and so blessed, why not extend that to the world. then they had economic policies to make it work for america. after i worked for martin, he recommended me for the national
fellowship at the hoover institution. i took what i thought would be a very dry subject. the impact of western capital on the soviet economy. so, as i started working on that in 1985 and then i saw the impact of this wildly turning around economy in the united states when where we went from being the losers to being the right message and right mechanism to turn it into a growth machine. the impact on gorbachev, who came in in 1985. was popular. but gorbachev was the first one to recognize that this will be economy was going the opposite direction. i could see that regan, by using our ability to invest in the strategic defense initiative, was the maximum
leverage. and gorbachev was saying i don't even want you to do research on it. he knew that the soviet union could never match that. so, my research ended up being a book that came out in january, '89, the coming soviet crash. so, reagan was right. he saw that country was going bankrupt. and not just economically, morally as well. is g>> judy, this is important. i was on the plane back from reykjavik. he said no, time, newsweek, the whole world was about to make him the great peacemaker. he said no, i'm going home to nancy. and he was -- the only 2 people on the plane that were happy i, don't know about reagan, but it was me and pat buchanan. because we know what had happened. we knew he had -- i think for different reasons you are happy. i said mister president,
everybody wanted a treaty. but let me tell you something, you've done what the american people have always wanted. you stood up to the russians. >> i think the reason i talk about path -- >> by the week, this will be it's notice that. >> that's where i'm going. >> it happened early. it's like one of those moments they wrote about. you think i'm not going to lower tax rates than way i said? you think i'm not going to slam down the soviet union like i said? you think we're not going to go ahead with our defense bill. well, watch me. and then this path co-thing comes in. it was a wonderful opportunity. it was like a god given blessing. and he just hit that bid. he fired. like that had never been done before. in fact, no president has stood up to labor union like that. and all that cable show that
the soviets were reacting. >> they said, who is this. got >> the shot heard around the world. i might add, in terms of inside the administration, us the, rank and file. it was a great thing. it was like, wow, wow, he did that. years later when trump pulled out of the paris climate accord -- >> will, that was the greatest moment. >> wow, he actually did that. we actually said he was going to do and he actually did it. and then we contrast that with what biden is doing now. i mean, he goes to the g7, you can have this, we'll give you this one, give you that. >> he's begging saudi arabia to produce oil. [laughs] >> he doesn't know that we have a lot of oil here. [laughs] >> oh, wait a minute he does know. >> that was one of the most embarrassing moments. >> begging the saudis to
increase their oil production? >> by the way, we do this all the time. >> that's the way our phone calls go. but that's why i thought it was so incredibly important. >> tony, quick question. >> is it true that regan, the speech writers didn't want to let reagan say gorbachev tear down this wall? >> i'll be quick, larry. [laughs] >> i've heard a lot of versions -- >> i want you to keep that in mind. >> it was early on i said mister president, it's early on in berlin. right at the end of the meeting. i said, do you have any thoughts at all about what you want to seem berlin? and he did his ritual [laughs] me well, yes, tear down the wall. i'll tell you, every buddy in
the foreign policy community community try to get that line out. peter represented a brilliant giraffe. we fought like hell for it. he went through a lot of provisions and it came out a bunch of times. >> it was one of his best moments. >> well, there's a memo about me in the files to. saying we have had 5 impassioned conversations and he refuses etc. but that wonderful part about it was the super draft and regan would take over as he would and it was very much in. in the final analysis, that was the nature of ronald reagan. everybody wanted it out and he said no. i work this in the wall street journal, for little works. it tells the story the morning of the speech. we got a cable from the state department. tom grease can give it to me. i said tom is, that what i
think it. is he said, yes. the peony attention to it. it was another last minute plea. the wall is going to be there another 20 years. and everyone brought it to regan. it is his decision. as much as we pride ourselves to keep the line in, they to get regan. >> a key moment he told the line. now different presidents, we're going to draw a red line through that. you cross that red line, and of course, it always gets cross light now. that's one of the reason we've lost the respect for the institutions. regan upheld his red line. >> and it's his day christian paradigm. >> to come back to where we began, it was the idea of strength at home strength abroad. all these decisions sent
unbelievable messages to the rest of the world about american strength. and persistence in defense of this ideal. i want and with just a little bit of history here. i'll go to steve for. steve, where arnold reagan was 5 times the president of the screen actors guild a. big union. an important union. how do you think that informed his actions, communications and political activities down the road? an>> well, he learned one about leadership. you don't do things on your own. he learned about the communist threat, which soon became taboo. you can't be -- he learned that and how insidious it was. he learned that he needs illusions that he felt his life might be at stake.
so, he was a new deal or democrat. union guy. but he never forgot he was there to serve his people, not some other political cause. and fortunately, that was reflected in much of the labor movement. they wanted to organize all that sort of thing, but they're also very patriotic. unlike the left today. that has been lost. reagan while he was a big thinker, i do want to remind you he was also very practical. i have to share the story is irrelevant. that is at the office once he gave a dinner speech and he said, if you're the dinner speaking and that is or is on the table, eat it first.
because they always ask you to speak when people are having that is are and they never save it. so, eat it first. [laughs] >> okay. >> another thing on the actors union, he never said never sat down the table unless you're willing to get back up. >> but what is he doing? 5 terms president. he did one thing that have never been done before unappreciated not since. he called a strike against the studio bosses. he did it in college, too. that's the only strike they've other ever had. in those days, hollywood was very closed, moderna monopolistic, all of our skull. regan himself his future career was very much up for grabs. he was already moving away from it and he called a strike. and in that strike, he got a lot of concessions, not only for actors but also for the
screenwriters and the people behind the camera, whose pensions were at stake and work rules were at stake. and he just did that. it's like patrick oh where before there was a path co-. i also want to ask, the years he was at ge, he learned about handling unions from the other side. he learned how to be a very tough messenger of free enterprise and free markets and capitalism. all the factories all around the country -- who was it? the fabulous book, all never remember the author -- about the experience and what reagan was stopped. judy was talking about found money helps the blue collar worker, which is something jack kemp talk all of us. reagan learned a lot of that stuff. we talk about how the gop now
has become a workers party. a lot of trump's own messaging and so forth. reagan was right there. doing his best to fight the establishment and he learned a lot of that during the ge days. because in those days they had a bunch of factories around the country, not like today. he would go and talk to the blue-collar people, all argue with him back and forth. and i believe reagan was a democrat, a new deal democrat. before he became a republican. the other guy i worked for more recently was a democrat who then became a republican. i was a democrat who became a republican. and i still to this day believe the best republicans or former democrats. [laughs] > larry, could i just mentioned that the battle against the soviet union in all of it's a tax on the human soul,
material as well as in hart, was facilitated because of regions ability to work with the union movement. with labor and labor solidarity. lane kirkland was extremely helpful. so, i think the fact that reagan has such credibility, workers really knew he was on their side. he understood how americans principles really helped give opportunity to the little guy. a message that. would-be >> and kirkland actually -- those guys were anti communities. those old union guys were anti communist. that game has changed.
the left is just so awful now, the left hates america. in those days, the union guys loved america. they just wanted to stand up for their members and they didn't collect dues in order to provide critical race theory in junior high school. they loved this country and they did it go around talking about systemic racism and america is always wrong. so, it was a very big difference. >> larry, in terms of ge, there is great writings on reagan's education at ge. and again, the humor when he became a ge spokesman, they turned his house into a laboratory of electricity. everything was electrified. he said, i drew the line when they wanted to do cheers. [laughs] is that in your book?
>> i want to -- our time is probably up, but i just want to make a point. what we have now with the biden administration is an attempt to overturn, overall and reverse every single one of the principles we've been talking about this evening. i mean, every single one. whether it's taxes or regulations or free enterprise, or patriotism or love of america. as seymour said, perhaps the most pathetic thing in a long line of pathetic things i've seen in the last few months -- which is killing biden's policy because the american people are way smarter than people think. this business about pleading with saudi arabia's just utterly pathetic. here we have the greatest oil and gas business on the planet, it was completely unlocked
unleashed by president trump. where they had discovered new technologies and horizontal drilling. and the natural gas revolution which has brought down emissions by 25%. were 5 years ahead of the paris climate accord targets. no government assistance, no government planning. it is just a bunch of guys who put in technology to work. which is the release of the private sector. i want to see, we really have to view every intellectual activism, communications, writings, money, whatever it takes to defeat the reconciliation bill that will come up for a vote. not immediately, but in a couple months. because in this bill they're using it as the vehicle to transform america. to transform its values, its culture, its history, and its economy.
they have no interest and economic growth. they know well that you're not going to tax your way into prosperity. they know well that the inflation is rising because of too much spending and the fed's monetizing. and that's always going to be the bigger risk. he's already put it on polls head, yesterday he said that. well, they'll do it when they think it's appropriate. this is the monetary equivalent of sending kamala harris to the southern border on immigration. [laughs] and i just want to make a personal plea to everybody here. heritage is important, because this a great place. there is nothing more important than defeating reconciliation. that's all there is to it. nothing. [applause] it's literally our way of life is at stake, our economy is at stake. and every great principal we're talking about, from optimism to taxes, timothy, to free enterprise to actually
upholding promises, to abiding by red lines will be defeated by the bidens. and they're actually rather brush about. i don't care who is in charge. whether it's aoc, bernie sanders, nancy pelosi, or my suspicion is joe biden. make no mistake, they want to overturn everything we hold dear. everything we hold dear. so, i'm just begging you. i let my panelists each get one last word on whatever topic they want. but that is my thought for the day. believe me, trust me. the stakes are incredibly high. last work, tony dolan. >> behind his back i refer to larry as laurie the golden hearted. he's wonderful, warm, great person who is getting -- that's a secret that i only
here with all of you. i think the point i would make is regan was the author of his own success and he was a troublemaker. embraced controversy just like margaret thatcher. he knew that's how you move the ball. >> reagan understood america in a way that few presidents have. lincoln did, a handful of others. coolidge, who did amazingly. nobody realizes. it but reagan did and that's why he was successful. that's why my grandfather call the stick to it nice. through setbacks which are inevitable inevitable. even when he had setbacks he had trumps. he believed in the uniqueness of this country. sadly, the establishment today, unfortunately, culture, politics and elsewhere, has the
exact opposite view. this country is a disgrace to humanity. that's what we're fighting. the battle for the soul of america. let's not forget it. >> steve moore? >> you mentioned on a tv show that i worked on in 1987, the office of management and budget under jim miller. i never really thought of it. i spent 7 or 8 months, we try to privatized amtrak. wouldn't it be a great thing -- that's an example of the kind of thing reagan wanted to do. . -- i tell my kids, you work for
ronald reagan. that is so cool. but his stature keeps going up. you notice that? overtime,'s keeps going up. and i think the last thing i'll say is i went out to south dakota 3 weeks ago, rapid city, brown mount rushmore. there is room for one more. [laughs] wouldn't it be amazing if we could put ronald reagan on that? [applause] >> judy shelton, last word? >> i think he proved you really can change the world. you can change the destiny of the world for the good. for me, the 80s started with the privilege of getting to hear about the reagan program from martin anderson and the people who created it. then see that, the consequences of that. juxtapose against my study of
the internal monetary and economic systems of the soviet union. who of course still had the capacity for thermal nuclear exchange to destroy everything. what you everything. what you saw was the combination of vision and fortitude was able to bring down that nation. i remember when i see john sitting there i don't know if he remembers he wants came to visit gil and me at my home. you know what you brought us as a little housewarming gift? a piece of the berlin wall. >> one of those worth now? >> i'm keeping it. [laughter] it just shows that ideas are powerful for good or for ill. if you combine that with the leadership and the
and now from cork ireland historian, michael patrick cullinane joins us, but he's a new jersey boy. he's a yankees man and after pace university. he earned his advanced degrees at cork and cork ireland and that's where he will join us tonight. he's a professor at rohampton university london, and he's a specialty is early 20th century diplomacy and international re