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J. E. McDonald, and state Democratic Executive Committee chairman George Butler tried to organize the Texas Democratic state convention as an anti-Roosevelt force. Failing that, they organized a third party, the Texas Regulars, in an attempt to prevent Roosevelt’s re-election. They included in their ranks U.S. Senator Pappy Lee O’Daniel, oilman Hugh Roy Cullen, and Oveta Culp Hobby, owner of the Houston Post, and called for, among other resolutions, the “restoration of the supremacy of the white race, which has been destroyed by the Communistcontrolled New Deal.” Governor Coke Stevenson did not endorse a candidate in the 1944 race, though members of his organization were active among the Texas Regulars. In 1948, Governor Beauford Jester was active in efforts to have Dwight Eisenhower nominated as the Democratic presidential candidate, instead of Harry Truman. When that failed, however, Jester did not bolt the party with Strom Thurmond’s Dixiecrats, who opposed a civil rights plank pushed by Hubert Humphrey. A 1950 U.S. Supreme Court decision gave the federal government jurisdiction over offshore drilling and led to the revolt of 1952 headed by then-Governor Allan Shivers and the oil lobby. Under Shivers’ leadership, the state Democratic convention that year endorsed Eisenhower for the presidency, and every Democratic statewide candidate, except Ag Commissioner John White, filed as both Democratic and Republican candidates. In 1956, Shivers again backed Eisenhower against Stevenson. Except during elections with Lyndon Johnson on the by Democratic leaders of the Republican presidential nominee has been substantial. Since his governorship, Shivers has backed every Republican candidate for president, except Barry Goldwater in 1964. John Connally organized the national Democrats for Nixon in 1972. In addition, some Texas Democratic leaders, while not actively supporting Republican presidential nominees, have been singularly silent during presidential campaigns. These include Johnson’s silence in 1952, 1956, and 1972; Price Daniel’s inactivity in 1956; John Connally’s reluctance in 1968; and Dolph Briscoe’s absence in 1972. With the possible exception of Texas House Speaker Gib Lewis’s absence, the state Democratic leadership this year shows no such lassitude. Freedom and Coercion There is another problem the Republicans face in Texas. If Reagan hopes to paint the Democratic ticket as extremist and the Republican party as traditional and moderately conservative, he’ll have a hard time convincing any observer of the state Republican party. Since the mid-1970s, the state party has been moving the way of the national Republican party, but at an even faster pace. Your traditional countryclub conservatives of ten years ago have been replaced in leadership positions by what Republican former legislator Maurice Angly calls “single issue right-wingers.” They are typified by Fran Chiles of Fort Worth and Fred Gray of Pasadena. When Chiles, wife of Eddie “I’m Fed Up” Chiles, was running for Republican national committeewoman in 1980, she warned that the country is “slipping into a liberal socialist society.” Gray of Pasadena asked the Republican state convention in 1980 to require a 75 % Americans for Conservative Action voting record for vice-presidential candidates. This would have eliminated George Bush and Howard Baker. Even Reagan supporter Ernie Angelo, former mayor of Midland, is beginning to look like a moderate Republican leader compared to the forces of fundamentalists and anti-abortionists flooding Republican ranks. Then there is the increasingly formidable role of Dallas billionaire Nelson Bunker Hunt. Hunt has served on the national council of the John Birch Society and is now raising funds for the National people who want to purge Sen. Lowell Weicker, R-Ct., from Republican ranks. In his Austin speech, Reagan told the audience that the 1984 election represented the choice between “greater freedom or coercion.” That may be the one point on which he and Mondale agree. G. R. “For decades we have piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children’s facture for the temporary convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social, cultural, political, and economic upheavals.” President Reagan Inaugural Address January, 1981 Washington, D. C. WHEN RONALD REAGAN campaigned for the presidency, he promised a way out of the recession of 1980: a radical economic program of massive “supply 4 AUGUST 17, 1984 side” tax cuts, increases in defense spending and cuts in everything else, restrictive monetary policy, and widespread changes in economic and social deregulation. This economic program, he promised, would produce rapid economic growth, declining unemployment, and lower inflation and interest rates. Total federal spending was to be reduced; this, combined with strong economic growth, would balance the federal budget by 1983. The balanced budget, together with the supply-side tax cuts, would lead to unprecedented increases in work, savings, business investment and productivity growth. All of this was to take place painlessly with low and fair taxes and rising living standards for everyone. Everyone assumed then that the country would have an economic recovery in any case, but this was much more. Mr. Reagan’s thenopponent, George Bush, called it all “voodoo economics.” It sounded too good to be true. It was. Part of the promises came to pass. Inflation was brought down, not by increased investment and an economic recovery, but by a savagely tight monetary policy that produced the deepest recession of the postwar era. Taxes were cut, too, but primarily for large corporations and the wealthy. In all other respects the policy failed. The living standard of the average family remains below that of 1979. The budget promises failed even more dramatically: instead of falling, total John Bryant is the U.S. Congressman This article is a chapter, from a briefing book prepared by Bryant on the Reagan administration. Reaganomics Reviewed The Federal Deficit and You By John W. Bryant