REAGAN vs. OBAMA ON THE ECONOMY

President Obama often asks the voters to understand that he inherited a very bad economy, and he did. But in many ways it was not as bad as the economy Reagan inherited from Carter.

On Reagan’s Election Day in 1980, unemployment was at 7.5 percent and headed for 10.8 percent; inflation was at 12.5 percent, headed for 13.6 percent, and interest rates were at 15.5 percent, headed for 21.5 percent by Christmas, well before Reagan was sworn in.

Obama inherited an unemployment rate of 6.8 percent and no inflation problem. Inflation was only 1.1 percent in comparison to the crushing 21.5 percent left by Carter. By the time Reagan was sworn in in January business men, farmers and home buyers (if you could find one) were paying 23 to 24 percent interest rates on loans.

Reagan wasted no energy on blaming Jimmy Carter. He approached the problem by lowering marginal tax rates in gradual steps over three years. He eased the regulatory burden on businesses, making it simpler to open or expand a business. His infectious optimism reminded people “the best is yet to come.” America was still “the shining city on the hill,” and Reagan reversed the country’s mood from a Carter-induced “malaise” to a can-do spirit.

In stark contrast, Obama did just the opposite with predictable results. He increased the regulatory environment increasing the cost and difficulty of opening or expanding a business. He introduced new law burdening business with new costs that are significant and beyond measurability at the same time. He fought for a return to higher taxes before acquiescing. Obama made his belief clear that America never was a shining city on a hill; it was a country in need of complete transformation. For America’s leader to wear a flag pin on his lapel was to honor a nation that was undeserving of such respect, a country that was in no way exceptional.

Reagan’s policies worked. By the end of his first term, inflation was down, employment was up, the economy was in good shape again and the mood of the nation had gone from morose to bright and cheery. In the bid for a second term, Reagan won every state with the sole exception of Minnesota.

Today we are where we are because of the president we picked in 2008, not because of what he inherited.

This post was adapted on an article by Peter Hegseth.

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