Reagan Memorial ProposalTheReagan presidency is seen as one of the most influential administrations inAmerican history. President Reagan deserves a memorial on the National Mall forthe many accomplishments achieved during his two terms in office and the legacyhe left behind. This document will highlight what social, economic, andpolitical achievements Reagan secured during his time in office and how hisefforts lead to the downfall of the Soviet regime. DuringReagan’s first term he moved on two key issues; tax cuts and military buildup.The new president moved quickly to pass the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981.Reagan’s tax act reduced personal income tax rates by 25 percent over threeyears and cut the top marginal rate on individuals from 70 percent to 50percent (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.
233). The bill also outlined taxbrackets to keep rates constant with the income to inflation ratio (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 233).Reducing federal regulation on the economy was also on Reagan’s agenda.
Heappointed like-minded individuals to regulatory agencies to direct the nationaleconomy (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.233). Theeconomy staggered in 1982 but strong a strong recovery was seen in 1983 andcontinued into 1984. The GDP rose by 6.8 percent in 1984, which was the largestone-year gain since the Korean War (Moss& Thomas, 2013, p. 236). Inflation also dropped to 4 percent in 83and 84 which was the lowest our economy had seen for over a decade (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.
236).The economic upswing experienced during Reagan’s first term continuedthroughout his second term. Growth rates averaged 3-4 percent per annum, andmany corporations experienced record sales and profits (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 240). A toughstance on union labor was enforced when 11,500 Professional Air TrafficControllers’ Organization (PATCO) members started an illegal strike. PresidentReagan fired the entire union and directed the secretary of transportation toreplace them (Moss & Thomas, 2013,p.
234). The number of strikes per year dropped to an all-time low afterthe decertification of PATCO (Moss& Thomas, 2013, p. 235). PresidentReagan supported women’s rights by appointing women to a few highly visiblegovernment seats. Appointing Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court markedthe first female jurist to be chosen in American history. (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 235).
Another influential position filled by a woman during the Reagan administrationwas Jeane Kirkpatrick as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 235).
Womenfilled many other cabinet seats during Reagan’s time in office (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 235). Reaganappointed over 400 federal judges and shifted the Supreme Court to the rightduring his presidency. Besides O’Connor, he also appointed Antonin Scalia andAnthony Kennedy as Associate Justices of the Supreme Court (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 244).Appointing Associate Justice William Rehnquist, the most conservative member ofthe court, as Chief Justice secured conservative values for years to come (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.
244).Relationswith Asian nations and the U.S.
were shaky during the first term of Reagan’sadministration (Moss & Thomas,2013, p. 250). In 1984, relations with China improved when Premier ZhaoZiyang of the PRC visited the U.
S. and established agreements in crucial areasof industry, science, and technology (Moss& Thomas, 2013, p. 250). President Reagan visited China and signedpacts to pledge cultural exchanges between the two countries shortly after (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.
250).Reagan also worked with Japan to increase their defense cost and relieve thefinancial burden from the American taxpayers (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 250). Canada was also on thepresident’s radar.
In 1984 a historic agreement was reached between the U.S.and neighboring Canada to remove all trade barriers to open trade between thetwo countries (Moss & Thomas,2013, p. 253). The agreement made the Canadian-U.S. markets the largestinternational free-trade zone in the world (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.
253).Reagan’splace in history was secured by his approach to foreign policy. His core beliefwas that the United States was an exceptional nation with a mission to outlastand ultimately destroy Communism and spread democracy throughout the world (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 247). Heused the CIA to counter terrorist threats and fight Soviet intervention in theMiddle East (Moss & Thomas, 2013,p. 247). Significant progress was reached with the Soviet Union duringReagan’s second term by working with their new leader Mikhail Gorbachev (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 247).
One major factor that aided negotiations with the communist regime wassuccessfully implementing Carter’s 1979 initiative to place 572intermediate-range cruise and Pershing II missiles in Western Europe (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 248). In 1983Reagan single-handedly escalated the arms race between the U.S.
and the SovietUnion by ordering the Pentagon to develop a Strategic Defense Initiative (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 249).The new weapon would use space-based lasers to destroy enemy missiles in flight(Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 249).
Later that year, A ten-day NATO exercise deemed Able Archer 83, centered on theSupreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in northern Belgium caused acrisis between the two superpowers (Moss& Thomas, 2013, p. 249). The Soviets responded by prepping theirnuclear arms and placing squadrons in Poland and East Germany on high alert (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.
249).Tensions settled when Able Archer 83 concluded on November 11th (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 249). Reaganchanged his approach to the Soviet Union and authorized the resumption of armsnegotiations in 1985 (Moss &Thomas, 2013, p. 260).
The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and PresidentReagan met in Geneva for a two-day summit conference but could not reach anysignificant agreements on arms control (Moss& Thomas, 2013, p. 260). A healthy relationship started to formbetween the two leaders that would eventually result in the end of the Cold War(Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 260). Agreements were nearly reached between thetwo superpowers during a conference held in Iceland in October of 1986 (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 260).Reagan was frustrated with the inability to reach an agreement and stood beforethe Brandenburg Gate in divided Berlin on June 12, 1987, and presented a movingspeech (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.260).
He professed “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if youseek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seekliberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev,tear down this wall!” (Reagan, 1987).InDecember of 1987, the two superpowers signed a historic agreement know as theIntermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.
261). It eliminated an entire classof weapons and provided inspector for both nations to oversee the dismantlingand destruction of the intermediate-range missiles (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p. 261). The agreement between the twonations relieved tensions and prompted the end of the Cold War in the comingyears (Moss & Thomas, 2013, p.261).
Reaganchanged the political and economic climate throughout the nation and abroad.His social reforms and foreign policies have molded our nation into what we aretoday. Relieving tensions between the Soviet Union and U.
S. prevented apossible nuclear war to end all wars. All the accomplishments stated in thisdocument are valid reasons Reagan should have a monument in the National Mall.ReferenceMoss, G. D., & Thomas, E. A. (2013).
Moving on: The American people since 1945 (5th ed.). United States,NJ: Pearson.
Reagan,R. (1987). President Reagans address at the BrandenburgGate Transcript.