Michael Hodges sums it up concisely. Check link for a battery of statistics:
"1. The first era in 50 years that the private sector share of the economy was not reduced by government expanding its share of the economic pie faster than economic growth. In fact, government's share was reduced for the first time." (And this in spite of obvious increases in national defense spending.)
"2. Federal social(ist) spending ratios stopped rising, and fell, for the first time in over 3 decades." (Entitlements remained a problem, but were a smaller problem in those days).
"3. The early 1980s was the first interruption in the rapid up-swing of federal regulatory activity spending in 2 decades. In fact, during the 1980s, said spending declined in real terms - - only to resume its fast upward pace in the early 1990s."
"4. Taxes were reduced by large amounts, and the economy expanded together with a new climate of competition and regulatory burden reductions."
"5. A decade of declining real median family income was reversed to the upside."
"6. Double digit inflation and interest rates were eliminated."
"7. Debt increased due to lack of congressional spending cuts following tax cut approval, but debt ratios were higher 9 years later."
"8. International terrorism was faced head-on."
"9. The Evil Empire was brought to its knees, without increasing the defense spending ratio, ending a 40-year cold war."
"10. A 2-decade slide in voter turnout and citizen trust in government was reversed, only to collapse to new lows in the 1990s."