Ed Meese: GOP Candidates Should Embrace Reagan’s 4-Part ‘Magic Formula’

January 13, 2012 - 6:17 PM
Ronald Reagan, Edwin Meese, George H.W. Bush

President Ronald Reagan, in the Oval Office, toasts congressioal passage of his tax cut bill with Vice President George H.W. Bush, Edwin Meese, and other staff and senior officials on July 29, 1981. (Reagan Library)

(CNSNews.com) - Edwin Meese, a longtime adviser to Ronald Reagan who served as attorney general in Reagan’s administration, told CNSNews.com on Thursday that the Republican presidential candidates should adopt Reagan’s 4-part “magic formula” for economic growth—which includes across-the-board tax cuts, regulatory reform, a stable monetary policy and restraining the growth of government.

“I think that the most important thing they will tell the people is that they will get the country back on track,” Meese said in an interview “Online With Terry Jeffrey” interview.

They can do that Meese said by talking about the “kinds of  things Ronald Reagan did in 1980,” which Meese said included four elements.

“He reduced tax rates across the board,” said Meese. “He didn’t engage in any of this cultural warfare, class warfare that we have the president engaging in at the present time.

“Secondly, he had regulatory reform,” said Meese. “He eliminated a lot of unnecessary and burdensome regulations.

“Third,” said Meese, “he worked with the Federal Reserve to have a stable monetary policy.

“And fourth,” said Meese, “he slowed the growth of federal spending.

“Now, I think if a candidate committed himself to all four of those things, this is the magic formula that brought back the economy--that revived the economy--in 1980 and 81 and the years that followed, and started the longest period of economic growth in the history of the country,” said Meese.

“That’s what our candidates ought to be doing,” said Meese.

When asked if he believed these policies would work to spur growth in the current economy as they did in the 1980s, Meese said he was certain they would.

“Absolutely,” he said. “They worked once in a recession that was nearly as bad as the present one. The major difference is that when Ronald Reagan took office he applied these various strategies and told the public what they would do and when they would do it. And by 1984, as you will remember, when he ran for office again it was, quote, ‘Morning in America” because we were on the right path. Today, it is just the opposite.”