The goal of this inquiry is help students understand the central debate about the government’s role in fostering economic opportunity over the past half century. As this is a historical inquiry, it focuses on the motivations, actions, and impacts of two particular US presidents: Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. Their economic programs stand in for the larger argument that persists today between liberal and conservative approaches to federal economic policy. Thus, the compelling question “How should the president foster economic opportunity?” is intentionally timeless to emphasize its relevance today. Students look at Johnson’s and Reagan’s visions for the economy, the policies they advanced to achieve their visions, and modern interpretations of each president’s legacy.