For the Record by Donald Regan (1st edition hardcover)
This mostly memoir with bits of autobiography tells many interesting facets of 1980s governmental monetary policies, tax code restructuring, reforms, and entitlement issues. When some hear of a book penned by a Secretary of Treasury an incipient yawn creeps into them. But "For The Record" is lively and interestingly written.
Coming from the Wall St. world of Merrill Lynch, where he spent 35 years, ending with the position of Chairman of the Board, Regan had a strong attitude. He had amassed $30 million dollars from his work and endeavors in the private financial world prior to joining the Reagan administration. This net worth was what he referred to as [***] you money." He wasn't dependant on anyone, or any particular organization, and instead of being a squimish "yes-man" so common in the private and public world, Regan was more of himself.
He did note several things the administration did, that the media and Americans didn't catch on to. For example, cutting spending by 3% which was tied to a matching tax increase, while at the same time telling the American public that they were having their taxes cut (p. 223).
Many bills are named by names and number, as well as the logic and debates that molded them into what the finally became. During his gig, Regan had proposed a VAT tax, commonly used by socialist nations (i.e., western Europe). Before the 1980s Tax reforms the U.S. had a 14 bracket tax system that went from tax rates of 11 to 50 percent. Afterward, 3 brackets were created which were levied at 15, 25 and 35%. These numbers are presented in the context of real-life using realistic and easy to understand examples. It's important to note that at one time in America, there was 91% tax bracket.
Memoirs and autobiographies usually focus on things conveniently remembered and bad things not mentioned. This work details many things about the policies and people involved in Washington and the policy process during Regan's tenure. Those into economic policy, monetarism, 1980s politics and policy implementation, or history will find it good.
Condition: Book and dust jacket are in excellent condition