Entrepreneur’s Lesson from President Reagan…
So many eulogies and tributes can be found everywhere you look on the internet right now. He deserves all of them. But I want to zero in on a lesson Reagan taught our nation’s entrepreneurs.
Before I go into that lesson, however, I’d like to say something about this great man. I came “of age” during President Reagan’s terms in office. I was in the US Air Force during the vast majority of his two terms. He single-handedly shaped my can-do attitude regarding America. This nation was completely and utterly demoralized under Carter’s presidency. I remember coming out of the movie Top Gun when I was stationed in Holland and thinking to myself that I was so glad to be an American and that pride came directly through President Reagan and his principled resolve to do the right thing here and abroad. It had nothing to do with Top Gun the movie… but everything to do with Top Gun, the country. At the time, I remember Americans had a pride that no one else in the world had of their own country. I got in an argument (friendly one) with a dutch guy when I was travelling in Israel about national pride. He couldn’t understand why someone would be particularly proud of one’s nation like Americans were of theirs. He didn’t understand, I concluded, because he wasn’t an American. You got to feel it to believe it.
Anyway, when I heard of his passing, my wife said she knew that I had admired him and she knew I would be upset. (I cried for what seemed like hours… it was just that difficult for me to accept.) I quickly corrected her and said, I didn’t “admire” President Reagan… you admire someone who jumps into a fire to save someone’s life. You admire someone who has scaled Mt. Everest. No… I genuinely, without shame, LOVED that man. I loved him probably more than I love many people in my own family. I would have given my life for him and his Presidency (our nation) if called upon. He was someone that inspired others to be inspiring. You only find people like that once a generation… and ours is gone now. I will miss him with all my heart and soul.
So what did he teach us entrepreneurs? He taught us the value in paying less taxes so we can spend it on expanding our businesses. Whatever negative things you read about supply side economics… you need to read them then laugh at them. The negatives are written by people who would rather spend our money the way THEY see fit than the way WE want to.
The facts are in black and white. During his presidency, tax burden went down on all income brackets yet the individual federal income tax revenues coming into the federal coffers grew from $286 billion in 1981 to $446 billion in 1989. Yes, the deficits went up dramatically, but that’s because the spending outgrew the receipts. But, if supply side economics are faulty, how can you REDUCE everyone’s tax brackets, yet collect MORE revenue?
I’ll tell you… cutting taxes allows for more money to be spent into the economy and thereby creates economic growth. More jobs, more income, more tax revenue. It’s so simple, yet no one had run our government like that since John Kennedy. He did the same thing during the beginning of his presidency and because of that, we had a balanced budget in 1969.
Now, President Bush did the same thing and look at how the economy is taking off.
If President Reagan hadn’t cut taxes, we wouldn’t have had an economic boom and funding the military build-up thereby scaring off communism might not have occured. It’s really easy to draw parallels to our economic prosperity and the Soviet Union not being able to keep up militarily and collapsing under the financial weight. Which in turn ushered in democracy where communism once stood firm.
I can’t tell you how important Ronald Reagan was to the history of this nation. It can’t be stressed enough. Now, I believe what Ronald Reagan did to defeat communism, George Bush is trying to accomplish against radical facism across this globe. We need to support him not only in spirit but also in backing policies that will allow our country to finance this mission for the long haul. This means lower taxes.
Bottom line… if America wins, the world wins. Regardless of where the President feels the fight needs to occur, we need to put 100% of America behind it. Only then will we follow through on our historical destiny of keeping the world safe from tyranny.