By - ConstructionOk765
Reagan. You can say Carter was bad on the economy all you want, but he [provably fixed stagflation of the 70s](https://greyhouse.weissratings.com/articles/america-needs-another-paul-volcker) and nearly solved the Israel-Egypt-Palestine issue 40 years ago (his successors were not so eager to fulfill Camp David’s stipulations), Carter also mandated an end to red-lining; on the other hand Reagan’s rampant tax cuts on the rich tanked the deficit immensely, while more and more Americans saw their unions dying and economic safety shattering. Also the War on Drugs, a set of policies that he supercharged, which incredibly and on a systematic level hurt poor communities, just look at the [incarceration numbers when Reagan starts dictating policy](https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States). Also, Reagan did not end the Cold War, as shown by [internal Soviet documents and clear evidence](https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehill.com/opinion/international/478941-lets-stop-revising-history-reagan-didnt-win-the-cold-war%3famp), the USSR collapsed in on itself.
I mean, you can’t deny that Reagan’s policies did accelerate the fall of the Soviet Union, even if he wasn’t involved with the root causes of the collapse. Additionally, I’d argue that Nixon was a bigger contributor to the War On Drugs than Reagan. Even if you disagree on that point, you have to admit that the War On Drugs was founded on good intentions. I’m not trying to defend the War On Drugs, but I feel like it’s unfair to imply that Reagan was somehow targeting poor folks. As for the tax cuts, I’d argue that it was the defense spending that was a bigger contributor in blowing out the deficit than the tax cuts. Plus, the defense spending, let’s be fair, was meant to be temporary to accelerate the aforementioned collapse of the Soviets. I don’t think Reagan was God or anything, but I’d definitely say America was headed in a better direction under him than under Carter.
I have never seen a credible source that said Reagan’s policies contributed to the fall of the Soviet Union, the only source I have seen was one published by the U.S. themselves and when I asked the person who gave it to me to maybe give a more credible one, he couldn’t. The incarceration numbers speak for themselves in regards to the war on drugs, that’s just undeniable, Nixon started it but Reagan pumped it up to 11, and Nixon’s own right hand man, one of the Prussians John Ehrlichman admits to it beings a scheme to target anti war and black people. I don’t think it makes any economic sense to say that the deficit plummeting is not tied to the government losing one of its main source of revenue in income tax? That makes no sense to me and it was surely apparent to Reagan’s successors as well, who raised those slashed taxes, and even got a surplus under Clinton, albeit that surplus was also to do with other factors as well.
To downplay the role of Reagan in the fall of the USSR and ending the Cold War, is totally irresponsible.
And really...to link us to an article by such a biased author.
The War on Drugs was popular. You have to keep issues within the context of times.
I do not believe for a second that Reagan ramped up crime policies to purposely increase the number of minorities in prison. It was an unintended side-effect. There are also factors such as racial profiling, local judges, juries, poor representation, etc. involved.
Actually, tax cuts can lead to an increase in tax revenue. Just look at the below. When there is a tax cut, revenue drops for a couple of years and the rebounds.
[Federal tax revenue](https://taxfoundation.org/federal-tax-revenue-source-1934-2018/)
Clinton's budget surplus. Remember, Republicans controlled Congress for the last 6 of 8 years in office.
Not going to comment on anything else, but a policy being popular at the time does *not* absolve the President of responsibility and criticism for still instituting/supporting it.
Every president is F tier then?
No, and I’m not sure how you remotely jumped to that, from me implying that Presidents have accountability for their actions even if it polled well.
No, I'm not. Simply put, if all presidents were held to present standards, they would all be in F.
I’m not suggesting we totally discount contemporary standards of Presidents in their decision making. I am saying that shit policies that had bad effects should still weigh on President’s legacies and rankings even if they were sometimes popular.
To suggest otherwise makes evaluating Presidents impossible.
You linked to a Wikipedia article that in the first paragraph says historians debate about how responsible Reagan actually was, while I linked to an article that used primary sources directly from USSR documents. Presidents, when they can, should try and lead public opinion, and it is understandable that Reagan led opinion into deepening the War on Drugs which - whether he knew it or not - directly and categorically devastated black and brown communities. I actually have gone in depth into that set of tax charts for school projects and in depth tax and deficit analysis, I do not however know which moment you are citing, the Reagan cuts run parallel to the deficit spiking and you can’t argue military spending is alone the cause, I mean hey, if you actually do look at the graphs and data the U.S. with a highest bracket rate of 70% (one it held from I believe 1964 to 1981 if memory serves) in 1969 had a surplus in the midst of the Vietnam War. And this, “Clinton’s budget surplus. Remember, Republicans controlled Congress for the last 6 of 8 years in office”, it really shows kind of which side you’re playing for so to speak, because I didn’t mention Republican or Democrat, I mentioned presidents and their specific tax policy.
Are you sure that you posted the right article about Reagan and the fall of the USSR?
I have read the article you posted by Marik Von Rennenkampff several times today when I had a free moment (we celebrated Thanksgiving today).
I saw no evidence that any internal Soviet documents were used for that article. There is no mentioning of it. There are no links to it. There isn't even any alluding to it.
It took some time clicking all of the embedded links and still nothing. I was rather dissappointed.
What I did gather from the article is that Von Rennenkampff used Reagan and the USSR to attack Trump for his hardline stand with Iran. Then he praises Reagan's more moderate tone with Gorbachev and suggests that Trump should follow suit in regards to dealing with Iran.
The article is literally all over the place. So I did do some research and found that the writer has served in low level jobs in the Obama and Biden Administration's. I did some research about articles written by Von Rennenkampff and found that they either bash Republicans and conservatives or are about UFO's.
“With access to thousands of pages of Soviet [records, oral histories, and memoirs](https://www.armscontrol.org/act/2010_10/Hoffman), we now know that the confrontational approach that defined Reagan’s first few years in office had very little, [if any](https://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/politics/foreign/reagrus.htm), impact on Soviet [strategic decisionmaking](https://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/politics/foreign/reagrus.htm). In fact, the antagonism of Reagan’s early presidency likely [prolonged](https://thebulletin.org/2013/04/shooting-down-the-star-wars-myth/) the Cold War by [elevating ](https://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/28/opinion/the-gop-won-the-cold-war-ridiculous.html) hard-line, anti-American voices over those of moderate reformers like Gorbachev.”
Also, if you actually did go and read every source cited in that article, I sincerely hope you enjoyed that in confidence with your time management.
That's about one person's notes on the arms race. The way you made it sound, it was it was something major...like out of the files of Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, or Gorbachev's. I have to settle for notes from a staffer that are in California. What a letdown. If they were important or revealing, they would still be in Russia. They are just that way.
We all know Reagan increased defense spending causing them to counter during his first term. He couldn't really do much other than that. They were dropping like flies. It would have been impossible to have any dialog with them. Brezhnev was ill when Reagan took office and died in late 1982. Then there was Andropov. He was ill most of time until he died in 1984. Then we had Chernenko for about a year before he died. It was all rhetoric during that time...but that was a lot of what the Cold War was. Talk tough. Both sides did it.
I did the best I could. We celebrated Thanksgiving today. So many of the articles were glanced when I went outside to get a moments peace.
I retired at 54, so I have plenty of time on my hands. Much of it is spent reading (you can see some of my books on my profile).
Control of Congress is the big elephant in the room here. For the last 6 years, he had to go through a Republican-controlled Congress to get anything that he wanted. Republicans "tweaked" Clinton's requests to their liking.
I think that just means you need to look more, nobody is going to give you 15 sources and documented analysis on the fall of the Soviet Union and Reagan's contribution to it on Reddit, If you want to know then you should search How he contributed to it.
Oh it wasn’t on Reddit, it was a casual conversation with someone I know over discord that turned into a debate. I looked myself for sources, but I just couldn’t find anything. In fact when I looked I found sources saying he wasn’t the one who made the USSR fall, that’s how I formed my opinion. I didn’t come in looking for biased sources to confirm any preconceived notions, I try to reach the best conclusion and I think I’m able to say good things about presidents I otherwise dislike, for example Reagan’s reparations for Japanese Americans who suffered the internment camps of the 1940s, that was a really cool thing to do and he definitely did not have to do it with that political climate.
Even that wasn’t really due to Reagan. Carter began the process of military buildup to deal with the Soviets, as acknowledged by Reagan years later: https://www.nytimes.com/1986/04/06/us/reagan-acknowledges-carter-s-military-buildup.html
Those that hate Reagan will never admit to his accomplishments. This guy will not admit to a shortcoming in FDR either. You can have a discussion with him, but you won't change his mind.
I can tell.
This is funny because in a different reply in under my comment I said something very explicitly positive about Reagan that also tacitly condemns an action of FDR specifically, “…I didn’t come in looking for biased sources to confirm any preconceived notions, I try to reach the best conclusion and I think I’m able to say good things about presidents I otherwise dislike, for example Reagan’s reparations for Japanese Americans who suffered the internment camps of the 1940s, that was a really cool thing to do and he definitely did not have to do it with that political climate.” So in the light of that I would suggest that your comment might be mild to extreme projection on your part.
Yeah he’s a good guy who gets undeserved hate, and it’s not necessarily fair to judge him for the many crises that were out of his control, but not only did he fail to make any meaningful headway on those crises (stagflation, the oil embargo, **arguably** the hostage crisis, Afghanistan) but he completely lost the confidence of the people with the commendable but misguided “Malaise” speech
Don't forget the damage to trucker unions.
Carter solved stagflation.
False, he worsened it!
By doing the thing that had to be done but no one wanted to hear the backlash.
Carter, then Reagan
Carter. Though he is an amazing person, he wasn't a good president.
In order for me it would be like this.
1. George HW Bush
2. Bill Clinton
3. Gerald Ford
4. Ronald Reagan
5. Barack Obama
6. Jimmy Carter
7. Donald Trump
8. George W Bush
He really was not a very good President.
Under his tenure, the economy got worse. He blamed Americans for it. He blamed it on consumerism and told us to turn down the heat and wear a sweater. Then he turned to concentrate on the Camp David peace talks.
Inflation was in the double digits. Unemployment was above average. Interest rates were astronomical.
By allowing The Shah of Iran take refuge in the US, he created to Iranian Hostage situation which lasted 444 days.
In 1980, nearly 60% of the voters voted him out of office. He left office with a 34% approval rating. That's a 3-way tie with GW Bush's and Trump's final approval numbers. It is only appropriate to vote him out after Bush Jr. And Trump.
Actually the Carter administration Federal Reserve policies ended stagflation of the 1970s. As you can see in the graph in [this article about Carter’s fed appointment Paul Volcker](https://greyhouse.weissratings.com/articles/america-needs-another-paul-volcker) inflation and unemployment were decreasing in the later Carter administration at the exact same rate as we go into the 1980s, it was Carter who solved the issue, it just took more time than he was afforded.
Carter worked against Volker and only appointed him because he couldn't find anyone else to take the job after he promoted William Miller to Secretary of Treasury after his malaise speech. It was Reagan that worked with Volker. Inflation was exploding under Carter!
Yearly inflation rates:
The only other president that had back-to-back years of double-digit inflation as far back as I could find stats was Woodrow Wilson.
The evidence and statistics disagree, as I showed.
Actually, I posted the statistics. The economy was far better in 1976-1977 than it was in 1980-1981. Carter left the country far weaker than when he found it.
It was better over all but the trends - as the graph in the article I posted showed - are better in Carter’s last year and maintain at the exact same rate into numbers that were better than before the recession.
There is alot more to it!
[Volcker and the Reagan legacy](https://www.forbes.com/sites/briandomitrovic/2011/02/07/volcker-and-the-reagan-legacy/amp/)
Wait but no, that article is saying the problem started to be properly addressed through Reagan policy but as the chart I just showed dictates, rates started going down in the Carter administration and kept going down at the exact same rate, I don’t get it.
You don't understand because that is the misery index. It weighs inflation and unemployment. It leaves out the other numbers that were crushing American's at the time...like interest rates.
Also, anticipation affects the numbers. Reagan was favored to win for much of 1980, when that misery index chart begins.
Also, the spike in the Carter years is due to the recession brought on by Carter's anti-inflation measures. As the recession ended, of course numbers were going to fall back to pre-recession numbers.
Interest rates were raised to combat inflation, and it worked so then interest rates could be lowered down the line. I learned this in my Personal Finance class is god damn high school man, and every place I’ve researched the issue has confirmed that narrative and relationship. Your view is very myopic, interest rates famously were raised by Paul Volcker and that along with his other policies solved the economic crisis. Even if you want to say the numbers went down after the high numbers of the recession you have to own up to the fact that they went down at a steady rate that stayed throughout until the rates were stable and lesser than before the recession due to Volcker, Carter’s appointment.
Interest rates declined from 1976 to 1977 then started increasing. They really shot up in 1980, when Volcker increased them.
Just imagine trying to buy a home back then with a 16% interest rate. Now, rates are around 3% to 5%. In 1987, Reagan opted not to reappoint him.
I have only ever seen Volcker get praised for making the tough decision to raise rates to get the other problems in the economy fixed, and I think making those hard and correct decisions should be applauded, it’s not a fault but instead a positive. And Reagan re appointed Volcker in 1983, majorly due to Volcker’s literally undeniable success, Volcker’s strategy was important to solve the issues of the time and then after they were solved interest rates were again lowered, about 10% from 1981 to 1987. Only ever have I seen economists praise him for this stern and sensible approach that fixed the problems.
Like I have been saying, anyone can write an article, present an argument, and back it up with select facts.
We have both presented articles that back up our belief. I believe a President's economic policies play a bigger role in the economy than you do.
I really feel like you don’t understand my position at all, lol. I’ve never even alluded to a President’s economic policy not being important, in fact I’ve said much of the opposite. I don’t know if that image of me you’ve built up is more comfortable to talk to on this with you; I don’t really know what contrary facts you have presented, you just said interest rates were high and then I agreed and made the conversation more nuanced than a single data point and then you just countered by saying interest rates were in fact high, like this is pretty silly.
If you're going to give Carter credit for appointing Volcker, which is fair, you also have to give him flack for appointing Miller, who was trash and made everything worse.
I think that you're absolutely correct that Carter did a lot of bad for the country, but Reagans major negative impacts are felt to this day. Reaganomics broke our economy and is a large reason for our major defects today. His drug policy imprisoned millions of Americans for little to nothing and put us in an endless war against our own people. And his tough of communist approach is often overblown as it did little to impact the end of the soviet union. Reagan should be first out, then Carter
Historians rank Reagan generally around 8 to 13 over the past 10 years. We are talking about a group of left-leaning historians and political scientists.
Carter is ranked in the mid-20's.
You can criticize their findings all that you want. But consider for a minute, that many of them have researched him and his presidency alot more than you have.
Would you say the same for Wilson, who is ranked in the top 15 often, or Arthur or Grant who are severely under ranked, sometimes netting bottom ten positions? This is an appeal to authority at its very worst. Consider, for a minute, that modern historians as their own group have biases and certain odd trends just as every other group, and to reach a more nuanced and historically accurate view, we must look at the facts and find the best analysis that we can even if others disagree.
Appeal to authority fallacy.
No. I am pointing out that people who have researched Reagan have a better impression of him.
You are not going to get a thorough knowledge of any president by reading one or two books on them.
Take Robert Caro for instance. Everytime he visits the LBJ library, he learns something new. Some of those things will end up in his books and some will not.
The point is, there is new information available on most of the presidents if you take the time to deep-dive into research. Most of those historians and political scientists that participate in those surveys, have done that. That is why they are selected to participate.
You also have to stay away from online articles, unless you are going to fact check them. Sometimes they seriously distort the truth.
It’s just not a very strong or reasonable argument to make that a President must be good because others think he’s good. Two people can have all the same information in the world and come to vastly different conclusions of what is a “good” or “bad” policy/Presidency. One man’s runaway success is another man’s absolute failure.
So appealing to the authority of historians who have ranked Presidents weirdly countless times in history is an unfair way to position someone else’s negative view of Reagan as being uninformed or impossible. That’s just not how subjective rankings of an inherently political judgement process works.
No. I have done a lot of research on certain Presidents (LBJ, Truman, Teddy, Reagan, Harding, etc.). I understand why they rank them where they do, considering the good and the bad. Many of those participants talk about their conclusions in articles published in journals.
In regards to Reagan, I have read pros and cons of things that he did. He should have cut spending when he cut taxes to avoid adding to the debt. Star Wars was a waste of money. He should have had tighter control over his cabinet and appointees. He certainly wasn't perfect.
Aside from the books and articles available on Reagan, there are also 43 million pages of information that most of us do not have ready access to. We don't read those. The academics do.
As for morale authority, the same arguments could be applied to McCullough's "Adams", Caro's LBJ series, or Alter's book on Carter. We base our conclusions off of their research and what they wrote.
Yes, but that information does not change that me and a Presidential historian can look at the same decision or policy and come to vastly different interpretations of whether it was good or not, irrespective of how many of Reagan's sticky notes and cabinet lunch orders the historian is in possession of. There comes to a point where it really does come down to what one person considers to be a good move versus bad. Somebody who believes in American expansionism would love Polk; somebody who's an anti-war dove and non-interventionist would consider his Presidency absolutely disastrous.
That's why defaulting to academic's opinion on something as subjective as Presidential ranking, versus medicine or science (objective pursuits), is to me - and I don't mean this rudely - intellectually lazy. It takes the onus off of any of us to come to our own decisions and it makes these debates impossible if any time someone has a hot take its shot down by "well these other guys who used to think Wilson was the greatest thing since sliced bread disagree". Well, okay. Great.
Rankings are not the be all end all, argument-ender you seem to use them as when referring to Reagan here and in other threads. JFK is in my opinion ranked too high based on potentially emotional reasons in the rankings, and I like the guy. I can divorce my or someone else's right to hold a strong and reasonably well-informed opinion even if they haven't read 43 million pages to decide that Reagan destroying inner-city minorities is a good thing.
Yes and that is why I have done a lot of my own research on Reagan. I am not basing it off of an author or an historian's ranking. My research concludes with concurrence with what they generally say about Reagan.
Let's assume reddit was more conservative and Kennedy was voted as one of the worst presidents. Would you accept that or would you glance at what the experts say and have to question the results?
> Yes and that is why I have done a lot of my own research on Reagan. I am not basing it off of an author or an historian's ranking. My research concludes with concurrence with what they generally say about Reagan.
Good; that’s totally fair. And somebody else can do their own research and come to the conclusion that they dislike Reagan. Firing back that they’re wrong because some academics like him is not a good argument, it lacks substance at best and is a logical fallacy at worst. People are entitled to disagree with academics if they view a President’s polices negatively whereas some others may view them positive.
> Let's assume reddit was more conservative and Kennedy was voted as one of the worst presidents. Would you accept that or would you glance at what the experts say and have to question the results?
I wouldn’t use the historian’s rankings to make my argument. I would use data points and my views on his polices and rhetoric and effectiveness. If somebody else thought civil rights sucked and big government was horrendous, than those are fundamentally partisan issues with Kennedy that will of course make him a weak President in their eyes. And even if I disagreed with them, they are fundamentally fair arguments and that person has a right to dislike Kennedy despite him ranking highly. Same way I can hate Reagan despite him being popular with academics: I view many of his policies as bad and harmful where others may not.
You *cannot* have an objective ranking of Presidents. And I don’t think that every time someone raises criticisms of Reagan, using the fact he scores in the top ten in a panel of guys who used to love Wilson and hate Grant is a ‘gotcha’ moment.
I don’t even agree with how highly Kennedy is ranked by historians, and they technically help my position on him.
There was little long term good that came out of the Reagan administration. Quite honestly I could give 2 shits about what some other historian says. Reagan bad, Carter bad, but not as bad as Reagan
Spittin’ facts over here.
Carter I'd say
This would be such a more balanced debate if it wasn’t on Reddit - Carter is obviously the worst of the remaining bunch. Everyone here has a very little understanding of the economy clearly.
I mean Reddit is Reddit
i love the guy but Carter
James Earl Carter Jr
Reagan. In addition to his terrible drug policies and botched handling of the AIDS crisis, he, more than any other president, normalized far right extremism within the Republican Party and paved the way for Trump.
To be fair the AIDS and Drug policies were started a decade earlier and supported by almost 100% of politicians at the time, that’s not really a poor reflection on Reagan as much as it on American politicians in general. I mean long Democrat and current president Joe Biden famously said that Reagan’s response to the drug epidemic wasn’t strong enough. It’s like criticizing any of the first 15 presidents for not abolishing slavery. Sure their support of the institution was bad but using it as a platform to criticize their policy shows a poor understanding of the political climate at the time.
I admit that what you said was true about drug policies but the Reagan administration was extremely complicit in the AIDs crisis being as deadly as it was. If you watch the press conferences with Larry Speakes it is very clear that the world understood how dire the situation was and how little the Reagan White House gave a fuck because it had to do with the gay community. One of the only good things Reagan did was appoint C. Everett Koop surgeon general, a man with at least a base level of human decency who acknowledged the situation and tried to act (albeit with zero assistance from the president).
My order (1 = best, 8 = worst)
1. Trump (B)
2. Reagan (B)
3. Ford (C)
4. Clinton (C)
5. H. Bush (C-)
6. Carter (D)
7. Obama (D)
8. W. Bush (D-)
Yes, this is my opinion. It’s not objective whatsoever. Everyone’s rankings are different.
Reagan. Then carter
Is this what you wanted?
Thank you Lurker.
You're welcome. I'm glad I could be of assistance.
Get bill outta here
I'm just a bill, yeah I'm only a bill, and I'm sittin here on capitol hill
While they’re stuck in committee I’ll sit here and wait
I want to see a nice number 6 drawn over Ronald Reagan's face
For me this list goes Trump, Reagan, Clinton, W, HW, Carter, Ford, Obama.
In order that I would eliminate:
6. H. W. Bush (could be interchangeable with 7)
7. Ford (could be interchangeable with 6)
Reagan. I agree, Carter was not a good president and if we isolate them to the 4 or 8 years of their terms was probably worse. I will vote him out next. But the damage Reagan has done is much longer lasting and has had far bigger implications on America today than Carter.
So see ya later Reagan
Ronnie Ronnie Ronnie Reagan
let's yeet reagan out
Reagan, for gut-stabbing the American middle class and letting us bleed out over the subsequent four decades.
Ronald wilson reagan....6-6-6
Reagan deserves the 6
~~American Margaret Thatcher~~ uh, I mean Reagan