Contrary to Michael Dana’s assertion that the recession President Reagan faced was a “garden variety” compared with the one Obama faced, the disparity between the alleged Obama recovery and the Reagan Revolution could not be starker.
The misery index — inflation plus unemployment rate — was 19.5 percent (inflation 12 percent plus 7.5 percent unemployment) when Reagan’s presidency commenced, versus 7.8 percent unemployment (with 0 percent inflation) when the Imperial Presidency of Obama started.
Under Reagan, the economy grew an average of more than 5.6 percent for the first three years; unemployment dropped 3.8 points, with inflation cut by two-thirds.
The cumulative Reagan gross domestic product growth for his first 36 months was 18.5 percent, compared with 8.9 percent for Obama.
Under Obama, economic growth only averaged 2.2 percent, unemployment dropped only 1.8 percent and inflation increased by 2 full percentage points.
Since Obama took office, we have endured 43 straight months of 8 percent unemployment. From 1948 until Obama’s inauguration, we had never experienced a combined total of 43 months of 8 percent unemployment.
The Joint Economic Committee of Congress confirms that this is the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.
President Reagan cut tax rates, thereby reducing high marginal tax rates on labor and capital — inputs necessary for economic growth. Conversely, the Obama approach has been to increase taxes on capital — income, capital gains and dividends — dragging us further toward socialism and government redistribution.
The contrast between Reagan’s capitalism and Obama’s socialism is obvious.
Mr. Dana is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.
Just do it
The answer? Massive government spending. I say this because we have historical precedent.
In the 1930s and early ’40s, FDR tried, piecemeal, with various government programs to bring the Great Depression to an end, but could not do it.
How did it end? The Japanese did it when they bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. And all of a sudden we had billions of dollars to build guns, battleships and aircraft carriers, employ millions of soldiers and send them all over the world for four years.
And where did the money come from? We made it somehow and it worked, and it will work again. Just do it.