As a veteran of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, I’ve been asked the about differences between then and now. The biggest difference is in how everyone viewed what we were doing. We were just doing our jobs.
In 1985, President Reagan went on TV promoting his tax reform package. His address began, “My fellow citizens.” The response was given by my boss, Democratic Chairman Dan Rostenkowski; his message: “Mr. President. We’ve got our views but we’ll work with you.”
Eighteen months later, President Reagan signed the bill – he, the Democratic House, and the Republican Senate had all done their jobs.