Does Kathryn Jean Lopez also think Reagan was "unpresidential"?

Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

At NRO's The Corner, Lopez writes:

I actually try to give the president of the United States the benefit of the doubt. But the blaming of the past administration is pathetically unpresidential. And last week suggests it's a pretty dated line of attack.

I wonder what she thinks of President Reagan's first State of The Union. Back in 1982, he devoted significant portions of his speech to attacking President Carter's administration for "the situation at this time last year":

To understand the State of the Union, we must look not only at where we are and where we're going but where we've been. The situation at this time last year was truly ominous.

The last decade has seen a series of recessions. There was a recession in 1970, in 1974, and again in the spring of 1980. Each time, unemployment increased and inflation soon turned up again. We coined the word "stagflation" to describe this.

Government's response to these recessions was to pump up the money supply and increase spending.

In the last six months of 1980, as an example, the money supply increased at the fastest rate in postwar history 13 percent. Inflation remained in double digits and Government spending increased at an annual rate of 17 percent. Interest rates reached a staggering 21 1/2 percent. There were eight million unemployed.


A year ago, Americans' faith in their governmental process was steadily declining. Six out of ten Americans were saying they were pessimistic about their future.

A new kind of defeatism was heard. Some said our domestic problems were uncontrollable that we had to learn to live with the-seemingly endless cycle of high inflation and high unemployment.

There were also pessimistic predictions about the relationship between our Administration and this Congress. It was said we could never work together. Well, those predictions were wrong. The record is clear, and I believe that history will remember this as an era of American renewal, remember this Administration as an Administration of change and remember this Congress as a Congress of destiny.


First, we must understand what's happening at the moment to the economy. Our current problems are not the product of the recovery program that's only just now getting under way, as some would have you believe; they are the inheritance of decades of tax and tax, and spend and spend.


The only alternative being offered to this economic program is a return to the policies that gave us a trillion-dollar debt, runaway inflation, runaway interest rates and unemployment.


The budget in place when I took office had been projected as balanced. It turned out to have one of the biggest deficits in history.


Higher taxes would not mean lower deficits. If they did, how would we explain tax revenues more than doubled just since 1976, yet in that same six-year period we ran the largest series of deficits in our history. In 1980 tax revenues increased by $54 billion, and in 1980 we had one of our all-time biggest deficits.

Does Lopez also think Reagan was being "unpresidential"? Or is she grading on a partisan curve?

National Review Online
Kathryn Jean Lopez
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