Why was Reagan successful?
Bipartisanship. Reagan actively courted Democrats, who controlled the House of Representatives, by emphasizing shared goals, such as fewer loopholes for the wealthy, and increasing the standard deduction to benefit low-income families. Reagan also agreed to increase the capital gains tax rate from 20 percent to 28 percent, a key compromise. The president’s 60 percent public approval rating undoubtedly helped as well. Nevertheless, the bill faced fierce pushback from industry lobbyists seeking to protect their favorite tax breaks. The legislation heavily targeted real estate tax shelters, for example, which enraged New York developer Donald Trump, who told Congress in 1991 that Reagan’s tax reforms had been “an absolute catastrophe for the country.”