AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE.---OK, this is the final blog about America. At least for a time. I left the last one at the start of the 60's, kinda, and the advent of the Space Program. I could now blog about the 60's and the Hippie movement, Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, the National Guard shootings at Kent State. The Vietnamese war and the pull out of the US, leaving several countries to become communist ran countries in just a few short years, could fill a couple of blogs. Richard Nixon and his resignation, in disgrace, after Watergate could fill another one. But I will by pass those, and many other items, such as the gas and oil shortages of the mid 70's, and will say just a few things leading up to the election of President Ronald Reagan. There is so much history there, that I will surely leave something out. Probably several somethings. After Nixon's resignation, Gerald Ford watched in frustration as Congress cut off all military and domestic aid to our former allies in South Vietnam. Millions were killed by the communists. Since the US didn't do any thing, other communist regimes began to take over Cambodia and Laos. In Africa the Soviet Union used Cubans to impose "Protection" over ten African nations. Then the Soviet Union supported terrorist regimes in Libya, Syria, Palestine, Eastern Europe, South Yemen and Cuba. Jimmy Carter's presidency was based on the belief that the most important foreign policy was the encouragement of "human rights". While this was a noble goal, it was also impractical. In November 1979, 52 Americans were taken hostage at the American Embassy in Tehran. They were held for 444 days, and released just after Reagan took office. There is much more in this vein, but I will focus on just a bit more. When Reagan took office, much to the surprise of many foreign nations that a nobody actor would be elected to this office, a runaway inflation of 13% was eating up Americans pay. Savings account values were shrinking, and interest rates were at historic levels. Home Mortgage interest rates were in the upper teens and the housing market was in collapse and business and industry were suffering under the crushing interest rates. The US and Russia were in a feverish arms race, spending Billions of dollars every year to stockpile nuclear weapons. The US Senate had refused to sign the SALT II treaty that would have put a cap on the nuclear weapons that the countries could build. There is so much more on what was going on at the time Reagan was elected, that it would be nearly impossible to remember or even blog about it all. Suffice it to say that shortly after Reagan took office, after a small bailout program, he then cut taxes, and within a year the economy had turned around, interest rates began to come down. Crude oil dropped from $30 a barrel to $10 dollars a barrel by April of 1986. ( Boy, wouldn't we like to see the $30 now even) Reagan had to fight a hostile congress and a hostile media for a long time. He believed in America and did not apologise for it to any one. Margaret Thatcher was his only ally for a long time.
Reagan called Communism a failed system, and fought the Russians on every front world wide, until they finally decided that he was a force to be reckoned with. And he called on Russia in 1987 to Tear Down This Wall, meaning the Berlin wall. This did eventually happen. He believed in Peace through Strength, and built up the military arsenal. By the time he left office, eighteen million new jobs had been created, taxes had been significantly cut, unemployment was reduced to 1/2 of what it had been and the inflation rate had been reduced to 4%. The number of pages in publication containing federal regulations had been reduced by half.
Now, I would like to contrast this with the current administration. Once again unemployment is high, the housing market is in decline, and taxes have been raised, not cut. Tax cuts from the previous administration have been eliminated. And Nancy Pelosi just last week or so said that the Government needs to raise the amount of unemployment checks and extend the time they are given as "This will stimulate the economy." Uh! no. It will not. This money comes from pay roll taxes, and until the economy picks up, and people return to work, so there is a payroll, the unemployment checks will only drain the federal coffers further than they already have. Someone needs to un elect that woman. And that is the View From The Ditch Bank