May 13, 2013
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Admit it: No one has any idea what's going on
April 22, 2013
US man departing country arrested on terror charges
An unorthodox but growing treatment in a 9-year-old's battle against cancer
April 19, 2013
Caroline B. Glick:
Why Obama's visit to Israel had no impact on public opinion or government policy
Gold collapse: The start of something big?
Livable super-Earths? Two candidates among Kepler's latest finds
April 17, 2013
Too much of a good thing? 'Palestinians' realize downside of foreign aid boom
BAD NEWS: EVERYONE IS RIGHT!
April 15, 2013
Egyptian Christians respond with harsh words to attack -- rocks, Molotov cocktails, and gunfire -- against main cathedral
Marcy Darnovsky and Karuna Jaggar:
High Court to decide if you should own your DNA
US bracing for more Russian blowback after taking action against 18 more human rights violators
April 12, 2013
New cybersecurity bill: Privacy threat or crucial band-aid?
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom:
The Kosher Gourmet by Susan Russo:
Jackie Robinson's Friend, Hank Greenberg; CNN's Jake Tapper; Texas County in the News is named for 19thC. Jewish soldier and Congressman
FRUITY QUINOA STUFFED PEPPERS: A flavorful, colorful and edible vessel of delicately fluffy, mildly nutty filling combined with chewy apricots, tangy cherries, and crunchy pistachios
April 10, 2013
North Korean missiles: Could US shoot them down?
Warning: Don't waste your capital being fooled by profit prophets
Donald Hensrud, M.D.:
Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Take vitamin supplements with caution --- even approved, they may actually do damage
74 DNA discoveries move cure closer for three cancers
April 8, 2013
Jonathan Tobin: What Part of No Preconditions Do American Jews Not Get?
Is Putin finally trading his own party for a new power base?
Jewish World Review
June 11, 2004
/ 22 Sivan, 5764
It wasn't always easy for the Gipper
The celebrations and appreciations of Ronald Reagan pouring in since his death last Saturday mostly pass over one thing about his presidency his strength in persisting in his policies, staying the course, through politically difficult times. For his poll numbers were not always high; for a considerable time, they were much lower than George W. Bush's have ever been. And the crescendo of criticism from the cognoscenti was at least as sustained during his presidency as in Bush's.
Take the economy. Reagan got his tax cut bill through Congress in July 1981. But it postponed the first tax cut until Jan. 1, 1983. Reagan had had to accept that date as a compromise to get the votes to pass the bill.
In the meantime Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker persisted in his stringent interest-rate policy and the prime rate stayed up around the 11.5 percent to 20.5 percent level. Those interest rates squeezed the inflation out of the economy. But they also squeezed out a lot of jobs. Unemployment was above 10 percent from September 1982 to June 1983 the highest rates since World War II and far above the recent peak of 6.3 percent in June 2002. Hundreds of thousands of jobs vanished in the Rust Belt. The gross domestic product in real dollars fell in 1982 and in 1983 was up only 5.5 percent from five years before.
Democrats attacked "Reaganomics" for creating the deepest recession since the Great Depression. Reagan's job approval sank to 40 percent and below, bottoming in the Gallup poll to 35 percent positive and 56 percent negative in January 1983. In the November 1982 elections Republicans lost 26 seats in the House, leaving Democrats with the working majority they had not had in Reagan's first two years.
So there was heavy pressure on Reagan to change course. But he refused to put any pressure on Volcker to lower interest rates. He waited for his tax cuts to take effect, and they did. In March 1983 the economic expansion began, which lasted for the rest of Reagan's two terms. By the 1984 campaign season the Democrats no longer were attacking "Reaganomics," as Reagan gleefully noted. It was "morning in America," as the Reagan ads proclaimed, and Reagan was re-elected with 59 percent of the vote.
On foreign policy, too, Reagan stayed his course despite heavy pressure from orthodox liberals and the media. He was ridiculed for saying that communism would end up on "the ash heap of history" in June 1982 and for attacking the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" in March 1983. He insisted on deploying Pershing missiles in Western Europe, as his predecessor Jimmy Carter had promised, and was attacked in huge demonstrations in Europe from 1981 to 1983. Democratic presidential candidates vied to prove they were the most fervent supporters of a nuclear freeze.
Again Reagan persisted. The Pershings were deployed in November 1983 and the Soviet Union, when it finally got a healthy leader, sat down to the negotiating table with the United States. Two arms reduction not arms control agreements were reached during Reagan's second term. The Berlin Wall came down less than a year after he left office, and the Soviet Union ceased to exist two years later.
There are lessons here for us. Democrats and the media for months attacked Bush for a "jobless recovery." But the Bush tax cuts of 2003, putting into immediate effect tax cuts promised for 2005 and later, have stimulated a recovery that has created 1.2 million new jobs in the first five months of this year. Voters have not yet appreciated this, but it will be hard to ignore by November.
In Iraq, the interim government that will assume sovereignty June 30 is already in place, and its prime minister has thanked the American people for their sacrifices and says he wants American troops to stay on. A favorable United Nations resolution has followed.
George W. Bush has just gone through a bad two months in the news media and in the polls, and he has stayed the course. John Kerry argues that he has been unwisely stubborn in the face of facts. As new facts emerge, voters may conclude that Bush, like Reagan, was wise to stay the course as he did.
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Michael Barone Archives
JWR contributor Michael Barone is a columnist at U.S. News & World Report His latest book is "Hard America, Soft America : Competition vs. Coddling and the Battle for the Nation's Future". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) Send your comments to him by clicking here.
© 2004, Michael Barone