Light that fuse under liberals

Stephen Moore compares Obamanomics and Reaganomics. It ain’t pretty:

If you really want to light the fuse of a liberal Democrat, compare Barack Obama’s economic performance after 30 months in office with that of Ronald Reagan. It’s not at all flattering for Mr. Obama.

The two presidents have a lot in common. Both inherited an American economy in collapse. And both applied daring, expensive remedies. Mr. Reagan passed the biggest tax cut ever, combined with an agenda of deregulation, monetary restraint and spending controls. Mr. Obama, of course, has given us a $1 trillion spending stimulus.

By the end of the summer of Reagan’s third year in office, the economy was soaring. The GDP growth rate was 5% and racing toward 7%, even 8% growth. In 1983 and ’84 output was growing so fast the biggest worry was that the economy would “overheat.” In the summer of 2011 we have an economy limping along at barely 1% growth and by some indications headed toward a “double-dip” recession. By the end of Reagan’s first term, it was Morning in America. Today there is gloomy talk of America in its twilight.

My purpose here is not more Reagan idolatry, but to point out an incontrovertible truth: One program for recovery worked, and the other hasn’t.

Read the rest. The Keynesian naysayers currently in charge said the economy couldn’t recover then:

The Godfather of the neo-Keynesians, Paul Samuelson, was the lead critic of the supposed follies of Reaganomics. He wrote in a 1980 Newsweek column that to slay the inflation monster would take “five to ten years of austerity,” with unemployment of 8% or 9% and real output of “barely 1 or 2 percent.” Reaganomics was routinely ridiculed in the media, especially in the 1982 recession. That was the year MIT economist Lester Thurow famously said, “The engines of economic growth have shut down here and across the globe, and they are likely to stay that way for years to come.”

Of course they took credit when all was said and done:

The economy would soon take flight for more than 80 consecutive months. Then the Reagan critics declared what they once thought couldn’t work was actually a textbook Keynesian expansion fueled by budget deficits of $200 billion a year, or about 4%-5% of GDP.

I’d like to think that maybe the Obama administration has been a blessing in disguise for our nation. While they have wrought economic pain, international embarrassment, or as one commenter on Obama’s Facebook wall the other day noted, they have forced humility on our nation. This dude thanked Obama for the humbling of a once-great nation. He was sincere, and it angered me. But the silver lining in this is the rise of the Tea Party and the conservative stars along with it–Rubio, West, Christie, Walker. And Perry, too, who would not have been a viable candidate 4 years ago running on the record of a prosperous state economy.

That’s my glass-half-full take, and I’m sticking to it as my IRAs tank and my house loses more value. Obama’s Hope and Change will be judged on the failure that it is, and the serious discussion of entitlements begins. People want the freedom to make and do for themselves, not to sit idle as the government does for them.

H/t: memeorandum.


One Response

  1. These past three years should be the death of Keynesian economics. Stephan Moore is great.

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