Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981 armed with a quixotic strategy for reducing the size and scope of the federal government and for closing the budget deficit. The President's strategy required a massive reduction in taxes and, simultaneously, even greater reductions in expenditures. But by 1984, President Reagan had failed to translate his commitment to minimalist government into reality.' Although President Reagan sought and achieved large tax reductions in 1981, his budget proposals, due to sustained real growth in defense expenditures, actually increased gross federal spending.

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