.. d his family and continued to put others before himself. In June of 1948, Wyman filed suit for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty. She said that they engaged in continual arguments on political views and that there was nothing in common between them. Reagan didn t contest the divorce and Wyman took the children (Edwards 355). After the divorce with Jane, Reagan continued to date, but he didn t get himself caught up in the glamour of things.
One day on the set at work he met Nancy Davis. Nancy and Ronald dated for quite awhile and on March 4, 1952 at the Little Brown Church in the Valley, Nancy and Ronald were married. The wedding was private and small in fear that if the Hollywood Press had gotten wind they would ve stormed the church (Reagan 122). After the wedding Nancy quit her job and stayed at home, because that is where she felt she was needed most. Reagan said that he felt as though his life had just begun when he met Nancy and summed up his marriage to Nancy by telling her, “God must think a lot of me to have given me you” (Reagan 124).
On October 21, 1952, Nancy gave birth to Patricia Ann Reagan and a few years later gave birth to Ronald Prescott Reagan on May 20, 1958 (Reagan 125). Hollywood to Government Reagan started to cut back on movies and took on a program with the General Electric Company which show business historians now refer to nostalgically as the “Golden Age of Television” (Reagan 126). On the GE Show initially speeches were only about the picture business and he used it as a warning tool to others that they needed to be aware of unfair treatment by the government. He then realized how the government really operated and affected to people in America, and not how it was taught to him in school. He would give examples of how the government had six programs to help poultry growers increase egg production, and with a seventh program costing almost as much as the first six, to buy up surplus eggs (Reagan 128). In 1960 when Nixon was running for election against Kennedy, it was then that Reagan changed over to Republican.
He had realized that everything he stood for and believed in were Conservative Republican ideas. Some referred to him as a “right wing extremist” because of the views he stated on the GE Show (Reagan 137). During the 1964 election race, Barry Goldwater asked Reagan if he would be the cochairman of his presidential campaign in California. So as cochairman he traveled around the state of California speaking on the behalf of Barry and to help him raise campaign funds (Reagan 139). The 64 election was a landslide with Lyndon Johnson over Goldwater, but others that had heard Reagan speak on Goldwater s behalf thought that Reagan should run for the 1966 election for Governor of California. Reagan replied, “I m an actor, not a politician, I m in show business” (Reagan 145). Reagan had never thought of running for office and had no interest.
After all the research he had did on the operations of government, the last thing he wanted to do was become part of it, all he wanted to do is give speeches on it. He finally gave in to the pressure and ran for Governor of California, and in November of 1966 he won the election. During his inauguration speech on January 2, 1967, he told the people of California the financial mess that he uncovered and promised he would do everything he could to put the states financial house back in order, but he warned them that it was going to be tough and he needed them behind him all of the way. The first task he had before him was to draw up a balanced budget, and that was the first difficulties of many he ran into with the Democratic leadership of the state senate, with Jesse Unruh, the speaker of the assembly leading them up. After all he was a classic tax-and-spend liberal (Reagan 156). Another thing that he did was make up what he called his “kitchen cabinet.” This cabinet was made up of people he knew didn t want the jobs, but could be persuaded, as he had been, to make a sacrifice and help put the government back on track.
Reagan went right to work as govoner, his first objective was working one on one with minorities such as the blacks and Mexicans. When he was doing this he found problems with certain systems and corrected them. One such problem was with the states testing system and how it favored the whites. Reagan fixed that problem so that it didn t favor anyone and he gained more respect for that (Reagan 164). The biggest problem that Reagan faced was the states debt.
He had to raise the taxes in order to lower the debt, and in 1968the state financial director after going through the books took notice that the state would have a surplus of more than $100 million the following fiscal year. Reagan said that it would go back to the people as a tax rebate (Meese 115). In 1970 Reagan ran for governor again, this time he ran against Jesse Unruh. Reagan was reelected by a margin of 53% to 45% (Reagan 185). His main objective was still ahead of him and that was reforming the bloated California welfare program. In 1970 about 10% of the California population was on welfare, and the state had more than 16% of the nations total welfare recipients.
Through computer cross checking, they discovered thousands of people who were receiving welfare checks at the same time they were gainfully employed, and others who were receiving aid that didn t need it. Reagan didn t want to get rid of welfare because he believed that we shouldn t take aid from the people who really needed and deserved it, the truly impoverished elderly, blind, and disabled. In order for Reagan to pass the bills that needed to be passed, he would have to go to the people because they would apply the pressure upon the Democratic legislature that was needed to get the bills passed. His plan worked as planned and a welfare reform package that cut hundreds of millions of dollars a year while raising benefits and providing cost-of-living increases for the truly needy in the state. By tightening eligibility standards and eliminating loopholes, he turned a monthly increase in the welfare caseload of 40,000 to a monthly decrease of 8,000, thus California was no longer the welfare capital of the country (Meese 56). During his second term as govoner, he gave his forth rebate of state taxes to the people, which was also the biggest at $5 billion largely through property tax.
While govoner Reagan used his line item veto 943 times and was never overridden by legislature (Reagan 191). He did not run for reelection again because he accomplished what he set out to do by making the state government less costly, smaller, and more businesslike. He was able to upgrade the quality of people attracted to government, and cut the governments growth to a rate at or below the level of California s population. He made the bureaucracy more responsive to the public, and begun to return some of the power and taxing authority seized by the state from local communities back to where they belonged, at the local level (Meese 91). In 1976 Reagan decided to run for President, however he ran short of delegates to Ford and started looking towards the 1980 campaign.
On November 13,1979 he announced his decision to run at the New York Hilton Hotel. This time he had a strong showing in New Hampshire and all the canidiants besides Bush dropped out, and later in May he did too. Later Reagan asked Bush to run as Vice President and together they went after Jimmy Carter and Walter Mondale. The night of the election, two hours before the polls closed in California, Carter called Reagan telling him he conceded, and congratulated him (Reagan 222). It was then that Reagan realized he would become the fortieth President of the United States. Reaganomics When Reagan took office in 1980 inflation was at 13.5%, meaning that the value of the dollar was decreasing.
Reagan felt that the size and cost of government was too high, and figured that a cut in this field would drop inflation. The result was that inflation dropped to 4.3% in 1984, and continued to drop to 4.1% in 1988 (Lowe 381). The Middle Class income for families earning between $20,000.00 and $50,000.00, enjoyed the fastest expansion in net worth during the Reagan boom, a 28% rise. Another effect Reagan had on society was in the way of charitable donations. When Reagan took office in 1980, charitable donations where at an all time low, inflation was high and people did not want to give, but when inflation was starting to drop, the people came around.
For example, the Greenpeace organization experienced a 44% increase in membership, along with the Wilderness Society increasing members by 35%, even the National Wildlife Federation experienced a 14% increase. But it did not stop there, over 53% of the families in the United States volunteered time for worthy causes, a sharp increase from just 36% while Carter held office (Evans 220). With the cuts in government spending, and a drop in inflation, Reagan created an economic boom that resulted in creating more than 21 million new jobs. President Reagan didn t create low paying “hamburger flipper” type jobs, but he created jobs for the middle class paying anywhere from $7,012.00 on up. For example, while Carter was in office, his main contribution to the job market was only that for jobs paying under $7,012 at 41.77%, while Reagan only increased that job market by 6.0%. Reagan however increased the job market for jobs paying between $7,012.00 and $28,048.00 by 46.2%, and increased the market for jobs paying over $28,048.00 by 46.1%, while Carter had a fall of -9.9% from the Nixon/Ford era (Evans 125).
Response While I was doing this paper on Ronald Reagan I learned a lot of things about him and how he lived his life. Ronald Reagan was an inspiration to me, he grew up and put all of his faith in the Lord and did what he had to do to get by. He was always looking out for his family and making sure that they were okay, either by always sending them money or finding work for them. He never let down and hated to loose a battle. I guess what inspired me the most is how it seems our lives are so familiar in what we believe and hold closest to our hearts.
It is my personal opinion that more people should study him and his way of life and they too would be inspired. Conclusion Ronald “Dutch” Reagan was the kind of person that believed in perseverance and hard work by doing what had to be done, even if it meant not having everyone s approval. He demonstrated this from the time he was a child in school and church, work and play, and helping others. When he went into the radio business he never gave up and ended up with a good job. In Hollywood he didn t always have the best roles, but he played them, and eventually the good ones came around. He even went as far with his relationships and there to he felt as though he had started a new life when he met Nancy.
Reagan gave a 110% when he held office, he reestablished the welfare state in California and even gave four rebates to the citizens. When he was President he did a lot of things that others couldn t do with a Democratic Congress, and he improved society as we know it. Ronald Reagan is one of the elite people in the United States for all that he has done and the life that he lived. Works Cited Davis, Patti. Angels Don t Die: My Father s Gift of Faith. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.
Edwards, Anne. Early Reagan: The Rise to Power. New York: William Morrow and Company, 1987. Evans, Rowland, Jr., and Robert D. Novak. The Reagan Revolution.
New York: Elsevier-Dutton Pub., 1988. Lowe, Carl, ed. Reaganomics: The New Federalism. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1989.
Meese, Edwin, III. With Reagan: The Inside Story. Washington, DC: Regnery Gateway, 1992. Reagan, Ronald W. An American Life: The Autobiography/Ronald Reagan. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990.