As the economy system began to struggle and recent publications of how major money making corporations were escaping the tax system by the many "loopholes", president Ronald Regan was facing the problem of America's unfair system of taxation by pursuing a tax "relief" policy that called for a 1.6 percent rate hike for taxpayers among the lowest ten percent of wage earners and a six percent decrease for those one percent with the nation's highest incomes. The tax system in America had become so filled with loopholes and so obviously biased against the lower and middle classes that true reform was reduced to mere campaign rhetoric. In Showdown at Gucci Gulch, the authors Jeffrey Birnbaum and Alan Murray describe in full detail how despite the Tax Relief Bill of 1981, an unlikely bunch of politicians were able to overcome differences and interest group pressures to pas the Tax Reform Act of 1986.
The efforts of Tax Reform took many years of struggles and changes to finally become law, the authors of Gucci Gulch found this triumph was possible due to the politicians being able to put aside party labels and shunning special interests in order to ultimately accomplish a meaningful goal for the American people. They also found that the radical reform act was possible because of the lack of cohesion among the individual lobbyists. The theories accompanying this book surround the belief that the Tax Reform was greatly influenced by sheer luck and chance. .
According to Birnbaum and Murray, "the most important player in tax reform was Ronald Reagan himself" (286). The president was fearful that his likely Democratic opponent, Walter Mondale, would use his support of the 1981 Relief Bill to show that he was opposed to tax reform. Searching for a plan that would demonstrate to Mondale and the rest of the electorate that Reagan was in fact interested in lowering taxes for all citizens, he adopted a plan offered by a Democratic Senator, Bill Bradley, that Mondale had rejected.