Obama’s Recession Recovery: Reagan and Bush

I’m very excited to see the economy continue to strengthen.  I’m happy when folks spend money.  I like seeing my local restaurants have waiting lines of an hour or more.  I enjoy it when people feel optimistic.

However, Obama isn’t driving the recovery; he’s dampening it.  Reagan trounced him and I’m not even normalizing for a smaller work force.  Bush beat him by 40% or so, and again, the economy was smaller then.

6 responses to “Obama’s Recession Recovery: Reagan and Bush

  1. Pino,

    Reagan’s real accomplishment was taming inflation . Obama and Bush did not have that problem, although energy prices were high for all of them .

  2. Obama isn’t dampening anything, I don’t know of any economist who thinks that! He isn’t driving the recovery either, the President doesn’t have that much power.

    In 1981-2 oil prices dropped dramatically. That started a global recovery that created millions of jobs from Europe to the US. Moreover Reagan and the Congress in the US instituted a massive economic stimulus, running up debt. A massive stimulus (debt to GDP ratios would almost double in Reagan’s tenure — he’s expanded the debt at an unbelievable pace) during a dramatic decrease in oil prices made the economy grow. It was a fake economy, driven primarily by debt, and those policies set up the crisis we’re experiencing now. Private debt started rising dramatically in 1980 as well, and the US moved from being a creditor state to being a debtor state. Reagan, in short, was an economic disaster.

    Reagan also did nothing to stop inflation. Paul Volcker did — and he started in 1980. His policies pushed the US into recession (for which Carter got blamed) but it worked, it stopped inflation. The Fed runs monetary policy, not the President!

  3. Scott,

    ” Reagan also did nothing to stop inflation. Paul Volcker did — and he started in 1980. His policies pushed the US into recession (for which Carter got blamed) but it worked, it stopped inflation. The Fed runs monetary policy, not the President! ”

    Not so fast . Carter appointed Volcker, but Reagan stood by Volcker when his own people were pressuring him to stop . If you think the Federal Reserve Chairman does not need the support of the President, you are sorely mistaken . Theoretically he is independent . In reality , not so much . Reagan reappointed him in 1983 .

    Right now, Uncle Ben is doing everything he can to counteract the sheer lunacy of the Obama team .

    ” In 1981-2 oil prices dropped dramatically. That started a global recovery that created millions of jobs from Europe to the US. ”

    Maybe you possibly could splain that to your fellow Obama supporters . That was when supply was finally catching up to demand . Reagan encouraged increased supply . Obama discourages supply. Reagan hero, Obama not so much . Supply good, shortages bad. Sounds simple, but not to liberals .

    If I could do it , I would make a graph of how green a President was and how economic growth corresponded . Carter and Obama are proudly our greenest Presidents . Both presided over the greatest turmoil in the economy . Carter’s problem was, that the trouble started on his watch . It wasn’t so easy, as it is for Obama, to blame the guy who came before .

    I predict that under President Romney things will be better . I also predict that Obama will try to take credit, saying that the Romney recovery was really his policies finally working .

    I wonder if any future presidents will use the Obama excuse. Things are still bad from my predecessor . How many years do you get to fix things? I guess, as long as it takes .

    Right now Obama is complaining that change is blocked by the Constitution . Does that mean Democrats won’t use the Constitution to block Romney, when he tries to change things again ? I mean change them back .

  4. Pino, I hope you do not mind if I were to ask you or one of your contributers to explain to me how the classic graph of employment-and-or-GDP-growth super-imposed over American administrations somehow proves the relative quality of economic management by the administrations in question?

    A good amount of economic success under any President’s watch seems, to me at least, to be the product of good blind luck dependent only on the times. Prolonged economic troubles tend to have their roots and causes that stretch far back, across many administrations, so ill or good conditions should rarely be attributed to the actions of a single contemporary administration.

    It is one of those mysteries of American politics that always manages to throw me off.

    • explain to me how the classic graph of employment-and-or-GDP-growth super-imposed over American administrations somehow proves the relative quality of economic management by the administrations in question?

      There is no explanation.

      A good amount of economic success under any President’s watch seems, to me at least, to be the product of good blind luck dependent only on the times. Prolonged economic troubles tend to have their roots and causes that stretch far back, across many administrations, so ill or good conditions should rarely be attributed to the actions of a single contemporary administration.

      Perhaps “luck” is the wrong word. But yes, there are many conditions that contribute to the economic success of America. Alas, I am simply playing the game. And, perhaps, that is what makes the game so ugly; the feeling that we have to play it.

      With that said, the role of the President is not without its impact. THe office can drive behavior, it can drive policy. There is little doubt that a Republican President would not have passed Obamacare. There is little doubt that allowing emissions standards would have not have occurred under a conservative President.

      It’s not wholly fair, but neither is it wholly wrong.

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