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Chapter : Economic Policy
The economic legacy of Ronald Reagan's eight-year presidency must reflect the six years of continued prosperity that followed a deep recession in the later half of 1981 and most of 1982.
When Reagan came into office, the nation was suffering under enormously high inflation, rising unemployment and record high federal budget deficits in the tens of billions of dollars. He left for George Bush, his vice president and successor, a markedly different picture.
At the end of 1988, inflation — which hit a 20-year low in 1986 — was running higher than many economists would have preferred, but well below the double-digit levels at the beginning of the decade. Unemployment, which crested at a post-World War II high during Reagan's first term, was down to ...