No political figure has had as much of an impact on our region as Ronald Reagan.
The nation’s 40th president maintained his Western White House in the mountains of Santa Barbara County and he is buried at his presidential library and museum in Simi Valley. At the museum, the Air Force One of his era is perched over the mountaintop ready to soar on another mission.
For more than a decade, Reagan’s political reputation has been on the rise. He is now ranked as a near-great president, a man who remade the political landscape, rebuilt America’s sagging reputation abroad and presided over a period of prosperity and achievement.
But the financial panic that spread worldwide in recent months has called the Reagan legacy into question. The hallmarks of Reagan’s economic policies – free markets, deregulation and “getting government out of the way” – have been replaced by calls for market oversight, re-regulation and the partial nationalization of banks, insurance companies and quite possibly the auto industry.