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Return to Reaganomics
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Policy making; Economic policy; Tax cuts
Author: Broder, David S
Date: Feb 6, 2001
Start Page: A.17

There's been no burnout for [Ronald Reagan]'s ideas -- even when Democrats held power. President Clinton took up Reagan's effort to "end welfare as we know it," and saw it accomplished in 1996. Vice President Gore campaigned in 2000 on his "reinventing government" project, a variant of the Reagan plan to reduce the size of the federal bureaucracy and shift responsibilities to the states.

The first is the proposition that wealth creation spurred by lowering marginal tax rates is the surest way to expand economic growth. Derided by Democrats as "trickle-down" economics and faulted by liberal critics for its contribution to America's uniquely high disparities in income, it nevertheless has become the bedrock principle of Republicanism. Larry Lindsey, [George W. Bush]'s White House economics adviser, believes it just as fervently as Arthur Laffer and Jack Kemp did when they sold Reagan on "supply side" economics a generation ago.

All of which is, in a real sense, a tribute to Reagan's enduring influence. Nor is this the only one. It was also Reagan who introduced the idea of shooting down nuclear missiles -- the Strategic Defense Initiative, better known as "Star Wars." And now Bush wants to develop the "Son of SDI" in the form of theater missile defense systems. There will be a major debate about this, but Bush seems committed to carrying through on this Reagan notion as well.

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