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The Reagan Years: "Happiness Is A Thing Called Deregulation" - 1981

( ". . .and the keys to the hen house go to . . . ") When we start looking at just when things started going south, the natural tendency is to look at the last 8 years. But those last 8 years actually began many years before that, during the

( ". . .and the keys to the hen house go to . . . ")


When we start looking at just when things started going south, the natural tendency is to look at the last 8 years. But those last 8 years actually began many years before that, during the hallowed and purportedly sacred years of the Reagan administration (and many say even before that, around 1969 during the Nixon years, but that's another post). I was always curious when did this penchant for deregulation get started? So I ran across an address by President Reagan on his proposed Tax Bill which he gave on September 24, 1981 and found this little bon mot buried in the opening statement:

Reagan: “Shortly after taking office I came before you to map out a four part plan for national economic recovery. Tax cuts to stimulate more growth and more jobs, spending cuts to put an end to continuing deficits and high inflation. Regulatory relief to lift the heavy burden of government rules and paperwork. And finally, a steady consistent monetary policy.”

Rather interesting how that was slipped in as an afterthought. Apparently, not many people really noticed. And then I began to wonder why there was such an outcry as to why our government was so ill-prepared to deal with the oil spill disaster in the Gulf. Well, that answer came a few minutes later (at around 11:00) in the address:

Reagan: “As a third step, we propose to dismantle two cabinet departments; Energy and Education. Both Secretaries are wholly in accordance with us. Some of the activities in both of these departments will of course be continued either independently or in other areas of government. There’s only one way to shrink the size and cost of big government, and that is by eliminating agencies that are not needed and are getting in the way of a solution. Now we don’t need an Energy Department to solve our basic energy problem. As long as we let the forces of the marketplace work without undo interference, the ingenuity of consumers and business producers and inventors will do that for us. Similarly, Education is the principle responsibility of local school systems, teachers, parents, citizen boards and state governments. By eliminating the Department of Education, less than two years after it was created, we can not only reduce the budget, but
insure that local needs and preferences, rather than the wishes of Washington, determine the education of our children.”

And I'm sure we can also tie that to the current state of affairs with the Texas School Board, the current state of non-education in this country and the lack of adequate teaching (teachers, classrooms, books, you name it).

So do you think, just possibly, there's a history to be had to our current situation? That all of this just didn't happen overnight?

And you think it's going to be easy to undo it?

Can you help us out?

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