Ronald Reagan is one of the American presidents whose activity contributed a lot to the development of the United States. Sutcliffe (2010) points out that Ronald Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois in 1911. He attended school in Dixon after his parents had migrated. Reagan was keen on sport, and according to Sutcliffe (2010), it helped him to win a college scholarship at high school. This enabled Reagan to attend Eureka College, where he was trained as both an economist and a sociologist.
Sutcliffe (2010) mentions, that after completion of the college, Reagan managed to find his first job. He worked as a sports commentator in a radio station called Davenport. According to Sutcliffe, Reagan’s ambition on sports led to his movement from one radio station to another that made him one of the most popular sports commentators. However, Kelly (2012) points out that Reagan did not only concentrate on sports, but he also was interested in filmmaking. He notes that, in 1937, Reagan moved to California where he worked for seven years on a contract basis with the Warner Brothers. Reagan had the opportunity to appear in several film series like the “Hollywood Hotel” and “Love”. He was close to become a public figure step by step.
The Beginning of Reagan’s Political Career
According to Sutcliffe (2010), the political career of Reagan started after he had been elected as the president of a film industry known as the Screen Actors Guild in 1947. Though, Reagan was initially a liberal, he later changed his ideologies to support the conservatives. This was after he had experienced various disputes at the film industry. Sutcliffe (2010) points out that Reagan supported conservatism through the hosting of various conservative lobbyists on his television program. It was on this basis that Reagan found it easy to secure the seat of the Governorship of California in 1966. He was also re-elected for a second term in 1970.
Sutcliffe (2010) points out that 1980 was a year of political changes for Reagan, as he won the Republican Presidential nomination for the top seat struggling with defeated President Jimmy Carter. This election was marked with anxiety since American economy had just been weakened by the effect of the Iran-Iraq war in which the U.S. had been involved. However, Sutcliffe (2010) notes that this did not hinder Reagan to win the election. He got a landslide victory managing to get 489 electoral votes against President Jimmy Carter’s 49.
Achievements of President Ronald Reagan
It is reasonable to note that Ronald Reagan took over the presidency at a time when the country was already experiencing the impacts of the cold war and consequences of the war between Iraq and Iran. Having campaigned on the platform of empowering the American citizens to eliminate dependency on the Government and the elimination of terror activities, the citizens of America had high hopes for his presidency. Therefore, Reagan took measures allowing him to implement a tough international policy with the aim to eliminate terrorism. His policy on security greatly transformed the country’s homeland security.
Reagan’s first achievement as a president thus concerned his transformation of the Homeland Security in the 1980’s. Aguebor (2008) observes that this enabled him to finish with the Soviet Union, which was broken into individual states. The policy is still widely known as the Reagan build-up policy of the 1980’s. During this period, the rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union was intensifying, and America had to put measures in place to ensure the security of its people.
As the president, Reagan managed his activity to change the main focus of the country’s foreign policies to enable the country to resist terrorists’ activities. This was a great achievement of the country’s foreign policy, which had been aimed mainly to reduce the spread of communism. According to county’s Congress report (2008), Reagan’s first step towards rebuilding the country’s security was his intention to get support of the congress to approve additional financial allocation to the defense. This enabled the country homeland security to secure high-tech weapon systems. Aguebor (2008) added that Reagan also ensured the improvement of the kind of trainings, which the rangers underwent, as well as increasing the amount of benefits that were received by the military officers.
His intention to back up the nuclear force and the missile defense system was possible through his 1983 Strategic Defense Initiative. Kelly (2012) observes that the positive effect of Reagan’s security backup was experienced when his administration sent troops equipped with bombs Libya. This was a revenge on Libya for having attacked the American soldiers in Berlin. Kelly (2012) also notes that Reagan’s administration also helped maintain the supply of oil to the country during the time of the war between Iran and Iraq. This was made possible when Reagan ensured that there was the naval escort within the Persian Gulf.
Nicholls (2011) agrees that restoration of peace and security was one of the greatest achievements realized by Ronald Reagan. It involved the formulation and enforcement of the efficient foreign policy which was meant to ensure the country’s peace. As indicated above, this was possible through the rebuilding of the armed forces. Nicholls (2011) pointed out that Reagan’s administration increased the budgetary allocation for defense forces by 35 %. Moreover, Schaller (2010) points out that Reagan’s administration initiated peace negations especially with the American longtime rival, the Soviet Union. Reagan managed to eradicate nuclear missiles especially the intermediate-range ones. This brought to the end of long Cold War.
According to Schaller (2010), Ronald Reagan’s administration enhanced economic resolutions that led to the improvement of the American economy. For instance, he points out that Ronald Reagan initiated a supply-side economy called the Reaganomics. He notes that the primary objective of the Reaganomics was to address the rising inflation rate that was still affecting the country since the Vietnam War. This was made possible by the enhancement of the economic growth through a tax cut. Schaller (2010) points out that, this reduced various unnecessary business regulations. It also resulted to the reduction of growth in government spending and thus increasing both the private and public incomes.
Another achievement by Reagan was the lowering of federal income tax rate. According to Schaller (2010), this was made possible by the administration’s signing of the bipartisan Economic Recovery Tax Act in 1981. The act helped greatly to reduce the federal income tax rate. He points out that this resulted into the average growth in the federal receipts, which in turn led to better retirement schemes for the workers. Schaller (2010) further points out that Reagan did not only cut down on the tax rates, but he also enhanced the Tax Reform Act of the 1986 that was intended to eliminate various income tax shelters.
Schaller (2011) identifies one example of such reform that was experienced in 1986, when Reagan managed to obtain the authority to carry out a complete overhaul of the country’s income tax system. This led to the elimination of most initial deductions and exempting those with very low incomes from paying tax. Up to the end of Reagan’s presidency, the country had experienced a period of remarkable peace and economic growth with such vices as recession and depression being things of the past.
Additionally, Schaller (2010) points out that Reagan’s contribution to pro-life and social values in the American society cannot be ignored. For instance, Reagan declared war on drugs which he believed was affecting the lives of many Americans and even the operations of the military. He notes that Reagan’s administration came up with various key policies that helped in the fight against drug abuse. Kelly (2012) noted that apart from his fight against drugs, Reagan campaigned for the need to restore human values including those of patriotism and hard work. Ragan is also credited with having strongly supported different movements that had been formed to help restore life and family based values. Schaller (2010) observes that the movements helped in calming the inter-communal misunderstandings that had been experienced during the 1960s and the 1970’s.
Highlighting the life history of Ronald Reagan and his contribution towards national policies and values, the paper has made it clear that Ronald Reagan still remains an important figure in the history of the United States. He helped the country to recover from the effects of a number of wars restoring hope to the people of America. Reagan’s notable military build-up enabled him to overpower the USSR and handle a number of terrorists’ threats. The paper has also illustrated that Ronald Reagan implemented various economic and social policies that elevated the living standard of Americans. His administration came up with tax cut indicatives, which relived the Americans, especially the lower class, of the high tax payments. Overall, Reagan’s administration helped to restore the country’s economy and peace.