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Domestic Policies (1960s-1980s)
Transcript of Domestic Policies (1960s-1980s)
President Kennedy's vision of a New Frontier represented a country hungry for economic expansion, social development, and ensuring the defeat of Communism.
JFK promised to renew the motionless economy, and enact reform legislation in education, health care, and civil rights.
With the Democratic majority in Congress and many Southerners in his own party suspicious of the new President, Kennedy was forced time and again to compromise on his legislative program.
LBJ challenged Americans to build a "Great Society".
"new generation of leadership—new men to cope with new problems and new opportunities."
Congress blocked Kennedy on the matters of health insurance for the elderly, work initiatives for youth and migrant workers, and federal aid for education.
Only a modest increase in the minimum wage
Major medical program for the elderly was shot down.
Increasing education funding was blocked.
JFK made several gestures toward civil rights leaders but did not embrace the goals of the civil rights movement until nearly the end of his presidency.
Results of the programs
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (JFK)
Funding NASA and encouraging the nation to send Americans to the moon "before this decade is out."
The Peace Corps (1961) created to help underdeveloped countries with meeting their own needs.
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ)
"The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time....But most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor."
With the Democratic majority in Congress, Johnson was able to pass many social improvement bills (expanding upon the goals set by the Kennedy administration.)
Johnson was able to pass two of Kennedy's Administration proposals.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Great Society Programs designed to:
Eliminate racial injustice
Federal involvement in
and arts and culture.
War on Poverty
LBJ BIG FOUR LEGISLATIVE GOALS:
1. Aid to education
2. Medical care for the elderly and indigent
3. Immigration reform
4. New voting rights bill
Economic Opportunity Act of 1964:
Law created the Office of Economic Opportunity, aimed at attacking the roots of American poverty.
One of the key provisions of the EOA was the creation of community action agencies that could apply for federal funds to support the development of service programs like Head Start, Legal Services, Job Corps, and VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America).
"maximum feasible participation of the poor"
Aid to education
Medical care for the elderly and indigent
New voting rights bill
Programs reduced rates of poverty and improved living standards for America's poor.
Voting Rights Act
(1965) guaranteed minority voter registration and voting by restricting the use of literacy tests and poll taxes.
Immigration and Nationality Services Act
(1965) did away with the national origin quotas put in place in 1924; this law opened the door to waves of Asian and Latin American immigrants.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act
(1965) allotted more than $1 billion to help schools purchase materials and start special education programs at schools with high concentrations of low-income children.
The Higher Education Act
(1965) raised federal aid to public and private universities, granted scholarships and low-interest loans to students, and set up a National Teachers Corps.
The Bilingual Education Act
(1968) helped local school districts address the English-language needs of minority children.
The Social Security Act of 1965 authorized:
Medicare, which provided federal funding for the medical treatment of elderly and disabled Americans.
Medicaid, a program providing health-care assistance for the poor
A system which directed money and power away from the federal bureaucracy and toward state and local governments.
Throughout his political career, he had opposed big government programs and fought to restore political authority to the local level.
Nixon believed it could respond more efficiently to the needs of the people.
Under revenue sharing, state and local governments could spend their federal dollars however they saw ﬁt within certain limitations.
Nixon's New Federalism target:
To cut down on inefficient and large bureaucracies.
Nixon contended with budget deficits and high inflation.
Nixon made controlling inflation a priority, experimenting with price controls with varied success.
Nixon's budget included grants to the states and the sharing of federal revenue with states.
General Revenue Sharing Bill
Federal funds given to states to use on social programs.
Law that hugely aided the financial problems of individual governments across the United States
Allowed tax money collected by the federal government to be distributed among state governments that needed it.
Provided direct financial aid across America.
(Based on the idea that local officials knew how to better use the money than a federal official.)
Nixon proposed revenue sharing as a way to "side-step congressional politics that targeted categorical grants at specific constituencies."
(1972 to 1980): States received approximately one-third of the grants and local governments received two-thirds
The four pillars of Reagan's economic policy were to:
Reduce the growth of government spending,
Reduce the marginal tax rates on income from both labor and capital,
Reduce inflation by controlling the growth of the money supply.
It operated on the belief that the economy was struggling in large part because of excessive taxation.
Taxes Were Cut:
Growth in Spending Was Reduced:
Regulations Were Reduced -- Somewhat:
Inflation Was Tamed -- at a Cost:
(Reagan succeeded with lower marginal tax rates in conjunction with simplified income tax codes, and continued deregulation.)
Reagan increased spending by 2.5% a year - mostly for defense.
Cuts to other unrestricted programs only occurred in his first year.
$31 billion cut in spending in 1981, close to 5% of the federal budget.
Cut tax rates to restore incentives for economic growth (stimulating consumer demand.)
Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981,
reduced income tax rates and provided incentives for businesses, including an adjustment to depreciation rates.
(Top marginal tax rate fell from 70% to 28%)
Reagan lifted the remaining domestic petroleum price and allocation controls.
Saved consumers an estimated $100 billion per year in lower prices.
Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act in 1982
, this bill would substantially deregulate the Savings and Loan industry.
Anti-inflation monetary policy restraining money supply growth compared to demand, to maintain a stronger, more stable dollar value.
Inflation was tamed, but rates also smothered the economic growth.