In 1980 rampant inflation, rising unemployment and the Iranian hostage crisis crushed America's confidence. So voters chose Reagan to transform the country into a "shining city on a hill." Reagan moved the U.S. to the right a lasting legacy. The Great Communicator lowered taxes, shrank the welfare state and raised defense spending. The economy grew, inflation slowed, and the deficit ballooned. After heating up the Cold War by calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire," Reagan engaged Mikhail Gorbachev, presaging the end of the standoff. His lasting words: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"