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"The Reagan Presidency"

President Ronald Reagan is considered an influential person in American politics, and his domestic and foreign policies still have lasting effects today. A new documentary, The Reagan Presidency, is a three-part series, focusing on President Reagan’s domestic and foreign policy decisions during his two terms in office. Not only does the documentary focus on Reagan staffers, but also historians, journalists, and even international political figures who offer different perspectives on Reagan’s  legacy.

The documentary premieres on WTTW11 at 8:00 pm. Director Chip Duncan joins us on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm with a preview. We spoke with two economists for their opinions on the effect of Reaganomics on today’s economy. Here's what they had to say:

Casey Mulligan
Professor in Economics and the College
University of Chicago

"Reagan (and Carter before him) presided over a wave of federal deregulation. But after his term federal regulation was on the rise again, especially EPA and health regulation. Reagan also oversaw income tax simplification in TRA 1986. That trend has also been reversed, with many complexities added to the tax code since then, such as a plethora of tax credits. Perhaps our economy is ready for another wave of deregulation and another wave of tax simplification."

Mark Witte
Distinguished Senior Lecturer
Northwestern University
Department of Economics

“Dick Cheney said Reagan taught us that deficits don’t matter. America has moved from a carefully balanced budget to reducing top tax rate without spending offsets.”