I know that Reagan left government bigger than he found it, but still, he was the only president of my lifetime that I actually liked. He had grace, charm, class, and most of the right enemies. I don't have anything to add to all the eulogizing going on, except the following cool story about the twentysomething RR from Edmund Morris's much maligned, but flakily interesting Dutch:
"Paul was talking about a nurse who had been held up beneath Dutch's bedroom window in Des Moines. A warm Sunday night; the time about eleven o'clock; suddenly the sound of a man snarling something, and a young woman's voice, high and panicky:"Take everything I've got but let me go" Reagan leaps out of bed, seizes his latest acquisition, a .45 automatic (unloaded), and in the glow of a street lamp outside sees one of the girls from Broadlawns General Hospital with her hands in the air. The man menacing her is stooping to pick up her bag, when a light baritone that carries well on the air rings out: 'Leave her alone or I'll shoot you right between the shoulders!'"
Sheldon Richman - 6/8/2004
The civilian bureaucracy increased by 230,000 workers. The rate of new regs might have slowed under Reagan, but he rolled back very little. In contrast, Carter deregulated trucking and airlines. Reagan also used the carrot federal funds to push the states to adopt regulations regarding seat belts, airbags, and a higher drinking age. As Don Boudreaux notes, Reagan did speed up the deregulation of oil and gas prices, which began under Carter.
Lawrence Brooks Hughes - 6/8/2004
I've heard this from at least ten liberals on the tube over the past few days, but I'm not sure it's true. Has anybody checked it out? The claim was that federal employment increased by three million under Reagan. Many of those, if true, were probably hired by the DOD, and perhaps some were contractors, saving the U.S. money? I know this: The pages in the National Register shrank enormously in the Reagan years--only to balloon again under President George H. W. Bush.