As the memory of President Ronald Reagan's administration recedes, estimation of his deeds grows, and for good reason. A cursory look at his end-of-office stats impresses the casual observer — 67% increase in GDP, from $3 trillion in 1981 to $5 trillion in 1988, net job addition of about 18 million, reduction in the unemployment rate from 7.5% to 5.5%, at that time, one of the longest peacetime expansions in U.S. history, and inflation rate falling from 13.5% to 4.1%. Reagan served with a Democratic Congress and it is difficult to determine whose actions and policies determined outcomes. Was he more a bystander than an active participant in the downfall of the Soviet Union? Statistics show that during his administration the United States started on its road to continuous monetary and trade deficits.
As a lifelong blue collar worker, my assessment of Ronald Reagan, the grade B actor and proxy President, has set him at the top of my bucket list to visit his grave whereupon I will empty my bladder.