Florida 500: The Reagan Tax Cuts in Congress

Perhaps no piece of legislation has been more damaging to the American dream than Ronald Reagan’s irresponsible tax cuts passed in 1981. These tax cuts sent the US economy into a deep recession and allowed Reagan to build up a bigger Federal deficit than the every previous President combined. Much of the US economic engine and manufacturing base has never fully recovered from the irresponsible economics of the 1980s pushed by Reagan’s “Supply Side” theorists and big business who benefited from the tax cut.

The Republicans captured the US Senate in 1980 and that meant the Reagan Tax Cuts were part of the Budget bill that was backed by the Senate leadership. The Democrats offered an amendment to restore fiscal sanity to the process. It was rejected 57-42 with 4 Senate Democrats joining all the Republicans in rejecting it.

Florida’s Senators Lawton Chiles (D-Lakeland) and Paula Hawkins (R-Winter Park) split along party lines on this vote.

In the House the Democrats maintained a majority after the 1980 election but with the “Boll Weevils” (somewhat like future Blue Dogs) holding a significant number of southern and western Democratic seats, the GOP essentially gained a working majority. Future Republican Presidential Candidate Phil Gramm, then a Texas Democrat sabotaged the Budget Committee Chairman Jim Jones (D-Oklahoma), no liberal himself,  by working with the committee GOPers to undermine the leadership bill. Joining with Delbert Latta (R-Ohio), Gramm offered a substitute that included tax cuts. It passed the House 238-195 with 47 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote for the bill. That number included six of the eleven Democrats in the Florida delegation.

Full Florida House Delegation vote below.

Remember an AYE vote was a vote in favor of the Reagan Tax Cuts, a NAY vote was against them.

AYE   D Hutto, Earl FL 1st
AYE   D Fuqua, Don FL 2nd
NAY   D Bennett, Charles FL 3rd
AYE   D Chappell, William FL 4th
AYE   R McCollum, Bill FL 5th
AYE   R Young, Bill FL 6th
NAY   D Gibbons, Sam FL 7th
AYE   D Ireland, Andy FL 8th
AYE   D Nelson, Bill FL 9th
AYE   R Bafalis, Skip FL 10th
AYE   D Mica, Daniel FL 11th
AYE   R Shaw, Clay FL 12th
NAY   D Lehman, William FL 13th
NAY   D Pepper, Claude FL 14th
NAY   D Fascell, Dante FL 15th

1 thought on “Florida 500: The Reagan Tax Cuts in Congress”

  1. Lewis in Lauderdale

    The worst legislation ever. Sad to see so many Democrats vote “AYE.”

    Just the five more liberal and senior Democrats voted no if you look at the histories of that particular set of Dems.