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August 02, 2011

I inherited a mess from Bush, just like Reagan from Carter [ArthurK]

In his regular NRO feature "Today’s Questions for the President" Peter Kirsanow looks at Obama's "blame Bush" and "I'm like Reagan" theme.

Here are the best parts - read the whole thing.

Reagan "inherited" a GDP rate of -3.2 percent. You inherited a GDP rate of -4.9 percent. Two and a half years after Reagan took office, however, GDP was at 5.1 percent (and exploded to 9.3 percent the next quarter). Two and a half years after you took office GDP growth is at 1.3 percent (and as likely to implode as explode next quarter).

Reagan inherited an inflation rate of 11.8 percent. You inherited an inflation rate of 0.3 percent. Two and a half years after Reagan took office inflation shrank to 2.46 percent. Two and a half years after you took office inflation has risen to 3.56 percent.

He forgot to add the Volcker factor. Reagan relied upon him as head of the Fed. Obama used Volcker's name and ignored him otherwise.

... Reagan inherited a national debt (adjusted for inflation) of $908 billion. You inherited a national debt of $10.1 trillion. Two and a half years after Reagan took office, $390 billion more had been added to the national debt. Two and a half years after you took office $4.4 trillion more has been added to the national debt.

Percentage-wise, that's about the same increase. But Reagan's additional debt was 6.4% of GDP, Obama's extra debt is 33.1% of GDP. Today's debt is a bigger problem than 1980s era debt because there's so much more of it.

(inflation adj. gdp numbers
1983 Q2 $6,072
2011 Q2 $13,270)

Reagan inherited an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent. You inherited an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent. Two and a half years after Reagan took office the unemployment rate was 9.4 percent, but fell to 7.6 percent within a few months and declined steadily thereafter to 5.3 percent. Two and a half years after you took office the unemployment rate is 9.2 percent. To fall to 7.6 percent by the end of this year, however, more than 1,000,000 jobs per month would need to be created. Only 18,000 were created in June; 25,000 in May.

Reagan slashed tax rates, encouraged American entrepreneurship, and didn’t complain incessantly about the mess he inherited. Will you ever do the same?

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posted by Open Blogger at 08:53 PM

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