reagan's record as PRESIDENT, GOVERNOR After cutting the top federal income tax rate from 70 percent to 35 percent in 1981, Reagan went on to sign the largest tax increase in history in 1982, as well as another significant hike in 1986. Federal spending under Reagan increased the national debt threefold to a record $2.6 trillion by the end of his second term. He promised to eliminate entire departments of the federal government but didn't. Instead, he added one more, the Department of Veterans Affairs. He signed the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty with the Soviet Union to reduce nuclear arsenals, upsetting such conservative stalwarts as George Will and William F. Buckley Jr. Instead of reforming Social Security as he'd vowed, he bailed it out with $165 billion in new funding -- and made Social Security taxes more progressive. As governor of California, his first act in 1967 was to raise taxes. That same year, he signed the most liberalized abortion law in the nation and the Lanterman Act, which created safeguards for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled. He created the Department of Consumer Affairs in 1969; signed a law limiting agricultural burning in 1970; and signed the California Clean Water Act of 1969.
Source: Bay Area News Group research