‘Reagan Democrats’ still key to economic reform

In his memoirs, President Ronald Reagan (Feb. 6, 1911-June 5, 2004) recalled, "To get the spending and tax cuts we wanted through Congress, we needed the help of a substantial number of Democrats in the House as well as the votes of nearly all the Republicans in both houses of Congress."

Despite deep partisan divisions, Reagan won majorities of Republicans, Independents and "Reagan Democrats" by heeding James Madison's observation in Federalist No. 10 that "the most common and durable source of factions is the various and unequal distribution of property." (Madison defined 'property' broadly to include what's now called 'human capital.')

Voter party self-identification shadows the shares of family income received as gross labor or property income (chart below). This is why treating labor and property income roughly equally—e.g. cutting marginal income-tax rates "across-the-board" in 1981 and 1986 and rebalancing pay-as-you-go Social Security retirement pensions in 1983—was the glue in Reagan's winning coalition. Fiscal policy has been a losing issue for GOP presidential candidates since.

The next successful president—including success in reforming monetary policy—will readopt Reagan’s winning fiscal strategy.


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An Exclusive Interview With Lewis E. Lehrman

June 22, 2015

An Exclusive Interview with Lewis E. Lehrman, Part Twenty-one


Signs Of The Gold Standard Emerging From Great Britain?

by Ralph Benko

... Given Kwarteng’s current and, likely, future importance to the world monetary discourse it really would be invaluable were he to master the arguments of Jacques Rueff, and of Lewis Lehrman, as well as those of Triffin (who shared the same diagnosis while offering a different prescription).

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Exclusive interview with Prof. Lawrence White, Part 3

Ralph J. Benko  |  Oct 20, 2014
Lawrence H. White is an  economics professor at George Mason University who teaches graduate level monetary theory and policy. Lawrence White As described by the Wikipedia, "White earned his BA at Harvard University (1977) and PhD at the University of California at Los Angeles (1982). Before his current role at George Mason...
The Federal Reserve System's James Narron and David Skeie, career officials with the Federal Reserve System, are two eminent historically erudite figures.  Writing in the New York Federal Reserve Bank's online publication, Liberty Street Economics, they recently provided a continuation of their valuable historical "revue," Crisis Chronicles: The Collapse of the...
An article headline in Saturday’s Wall Street Journalread “Rate Talk Heats Up Within The Fed.” As Journalreporters Jon Hilsenrath and Michael Derby...
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Key Monetary Writings
Ralph J. Benko

An Exclusive Interview with Lewis E. Lehrman, Part 21

It is an extraordinary privilege to present this exclusive interview with Lewis E. Lehrman, in 21 installments, of which this...

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Ralph J. Benko, Editor

In Memoriam
Professor Jacques Rueff

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