Indeed, a POLITICO review of Reagan’s own budget documents shows that the Republican president repeatedly signed deficit-reduction legislation in the 1980’s that melded annual tax increases with spending cuts just as President Barack Obama is now asking Congress to consider.
The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA) is the most famous, because of its historic size and timing, a dramatic course correction that quickly followed Reagan’s signature income tax cuts in 1981. But in the six years after were four more deficit-reduction acts, which combined to almost double TEFRA’s revenue impact on an annual basis.
A table in one of Reagan’s final budget submissions spells this out.
For 1991, the document projects $61.6 billion in revenue increases attributed to TEFRA. At the same time, the four other smaller deficit-reduction acts were expected to add a total of $53 billion in revenues on an annual basis.