Ronald Reagan on Corporations

President of the U.S., 1981-1989; Republican Governor (CA)


OpEd: Deregulation became a conservative mantra

Reagan swept into office under the banner of free-market economics. Step one was to fire the cops on Wall Street. The Reagan administration proudly embraced the idea of `deregulation, as if financial and corporate regulations were the biggest problems faced by Americans--rather than the wrongs those regulations were designed to prevent. From Reagan's perspective, it was far more important to protect a corporate giant from the government than it was to protect a customer, investor, or small competitor from the actions of a corporate giant. Regulation became the new enemy. Forget exploding gas tanks, cancer-causing chemicals in the water supply, or drugs that caused birth defects--regulation was proclaimed to be the real danger in America. From the 1980s onward, "deregulation" became a scared tenet of all conservatives, a mantra that can be translated to mean: let corporate American do more of whatever corporate America wants to do.
Source: This Fight is Our Fight, by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, p. 78-9 , Apr 18, 2017

Businesses don't pay taxes; it's all passed on to customers

Here's how President Reagan explained the corrosive influence of corporate taxes on the average American:

"Some say shift the tax burden to business and industry, but business doesn't pay taxes. Oh, don't get the wrong idea. Business is being taxed, so much so that we're being priced out of the world market. But business must pass its costs of operations--and that includes taxes--on to the customer in the price of the product. Only people pay taxes, all the taxes. Government just uses businesses in a kind of sneaky way to help collect the taxes. They're hidden in the price; we aren't aware of how much tax we actually pay."

Reagan was right. If Americans understood just how many hidden government fees and taxes are absorbed into the price of the goods and services they buy, they would be irate.

Source: Time to Get Tough, by Donald Trump, p. 57 , Dec 5, 2011

Goal is not material gain; but to renew the American dream

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan, at the Conservative Political Action Conference declared, "Higher productivity, a larger gross national product, a healthy Dow Jones average--they are our goals and are worthy ones. But our real concerns are not statistical goals or material gain. We want to expand personal freedom, to renew the American dream for every American. We seek to restore opportunity and reward, to value again personal achievement and individual excellence. We seek to rely on the ingenuity and energy of the American people to better their own lives and those of millions of others around the world."
Source: Seize Freedom, by Rep. Thad McCotter, p. 90 , Feb 8, 2011

Reduce corporate tax rates & keep incentives for capital

Let us move together with an historic reform of tax simplification for fairness and growth. We have cut tax rates by almost 25%, yet the tax system remains unfair and limits our potential for growth. Exclusions and exemptions cause similar incomes to be taxed at different levels.

One thing that tax reform will not be is a tax increase in disguise. We will not jeopardize the mortgage interest deduction that families need. We will reduce personal tax rates as low as possible by removing many tax preferences. We will propose a top rate of no more than 35%, and possibly lower. And we will propose reducing corporate rates, while maintaining incentives for capital formation.

Tax simplification will be a giant step toward unleashing the tremendous pent-up power of our economy. But a second American revolution must carry the promise of opportunity for all. It is time to liberate the spirit of enterprise in the most distressed areas of our country.

Source: Pres. Reagan's 1985 State of the Union message to Congress , Feb 6, 1985

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Other past presidents on Corporations: Ronald Reagan on other issues:
Former Presidents:
Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower(R,1953-1961)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

Past Vice Presidents:
V.P.Joseph Biden
V.P.Dick Cheney
V.P.Al Gore
V.P.Dan Quayle
Sen.Bob Dole

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Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022