Wall Street Strategies
Hello! Sign in or Register

Does Reaganomics Work? 

By Charles Payne, Principal Analyst & CEO

Markets continue to soar in part to the assumption that tax cuts are coming sooner or later. All we have to do is to convince Republicans that supply-side economics work.  I present exhibit A:

Reagan’s Economic Template

Does Reaganomics work?  This question continues to be asked as if it’s an untested theory. While there are always unique factors that influence the economy, evaluating a system or an approach is difficult and to a certain degree, it’s up to interpretation. How much did Bill Clinton benefit from the technology boom, and how much was George Bush hurt from the technology bust?

Using key metrics, however, it cannot be argued that Ronald Reagan’s eight years of the presidency were an economic miracle that returned American prosperity.

Economic Growth

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth was amazing, averaging 3.5% per year, over an eight-year span that achieved a mind-blowing 7.3% in 1984. 


The job boom was remarkable as well; 16.5 million jobs were added as the percentage of people working climbed to 63% from 59%. Participation moved toward an all-time high point.

Reagan Job Boom

December 1980

December 1988

Civilian Non-Institutional Population






Participation Rate



Source: https://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet



Wages soared under Ronald Reagan.  In current dollars at the time, median income leaped - 54% of the (adjusted for inflation) median income increased by $4,000 or 8.1%. 

Reagan Income Boom



Current Dollar



Inflation- Adjusted



Source: https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/historical-income-households.html


Regrets?  He made a few…                                

Reagan’s “Greatest Regret” was the 186% increase in U.S. debt under his watch.  A big chunk was devoted to building the military and defeating the Soviet Union. However, for the small governmental president, it remained a sore spot.

Bottom Line

I continue to ponder the persistent questioning of Ronald Reagan’s successful revitalization of the American dream. The good news is that he left a blueprint with his legacy:

  • Tax Cuts
  • Regulatory Cuts
  • Stable Monetary Policy
  • Strong U.S. Defense Capabilities

I sense the stock market knows that portions of Reagan’s formula will become law, and inject this economy for a run that attempts a return to its former glory. 


Charles Payne
Wall Street Strategies


Add a Comment!

Submitted comments are subject to moderation before posting.

Home | Products & Services | Education | In The Media | Help | About Us |
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use |
All Rights Reserved.