Compare and contrast what Reagan promised the American people with what his administration actually delivered to the country in his 1st yrs in office?
I feel that much of this question is contingent on how much credit Reagan is going to get for injecting consumer confidence back into the American psyche. The reality of capitalism's booms and busts is that much of it is a waiting game. The market expands and contracts, and when the former is present, all in the position of power benefit. Conversely, when the latter is present, those in the position of power pay the price. Regan's predecessor, Carter, paid the price. Reagan's belief that American exceptionalism entitled it to see itself different than others helped to inspire some level of confidence around the world. Fair or not, the American public associated the release of the American Embassy Hostages in Tehran with this confidence and swagger. It is difficult to really assess the administration's goals of deregulation in the first year. It was evident that this was the direction that it wanted to go, but little significant in terms of production and legislation could be seen in this end to merit affirmation or negation. It was clear, though, that by the end of his first year in office that Reagan's goals were going to be to ensure that individuals were able to break through regulatory means of the past decades and establish a more business friendly environment in business and its relationship with government.
He did raise taxes eight times and expanded the federal government by bailing out the Social Security Program by injecting 165 billion dollars into it, which flew in the face of lower spending and reducing the size of government. The Federal workfoce increased by 61,000 jobs.