Reagan’s Approval Rating
by Top Shelf Reagan
It was in January 1983 that Ronald Reagan’s Presidential approval rating plummeted to 35%, the lowest approval rating of his presidency. This coincided with the highest rate of unemployment of his presidency. The official unemployment rate hit 10.8% in December 1982, the highest, to this day, since the Great Depression. Interest rates had skyrocketed, thousands of businesses had failed, and homelessness had become a problem. The hardest hit area was the rust-belt. For instance, in Milwaukee, 20,000 waited in 20 degree weather to apply for 200 jobs at auto-frame factory. In his diaries, President Reagan said, “I prayed a lot during this period.” “Not only for the people in the country who are out of work, but for help and guidance in doing the right thing.” President Reagan stayed the course during the 1982 recession, refusing to capitulate on his economic policies, despite the wishes of many of his cabinet members.
In the spring of 1983, the economy showed its first signs of recovery, and much of what President Reagan did in his first 100 days in office set the stage for the great economic expansion that would soon follow. These actions are nicely and succinctly chronicled in the book President Ronald Reagan’s Initial Action Project. The economy soon took off with a dramatic force. The Reagan economic boom would last 93 consecutive months and would become the largest peace time economic expansion in United States history.