A Tale of Two Presidents
This year is the 202nd anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. The beginning of his classic book, “A Tale of Two Cities” is relevant to the recent history of our country.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
Barack Obama is fond of saying that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. But how accurate is that? Considering the source, I’m sure you will not be surprised to find out that it’s pure baloney. (Which the FDA plans to ban next week) The unemployment rate when Obama took office was 7.2%. The unemployment rate when Reagan took office was 7.5%. The inflation rate when Obama took office was zero. The inflation rate when Reagan took over was 13.5%. The prime interest rate Obama inherited was just about 1%. Reagan inherited a prime interest rate of 21.5%.
Obama’s sheeple then try to make the case that Obama got the worst end of the stick because he inherited so many foreclosures. What they don’t tell you is that mortgage loans with adjustable interest rates are based on the Prime Lending Rate. In this past recession, only the irresponsible who borrowed more money than they could afford or used the equity in their house like an ATM were hurt. Under Reagan, no matter how frugal you were, or how responsible you were didn’t matter. People all across the spectrum were hurting. As you can see, Reagan was faced with even greater problems than Obama, by far.
There are other stark contrasts between the Obama and Reagan presidencies. Mostly in how they planned to bring the country back to prosperity. Reagan set to work strengthening the dollar, which would hurt imports but would curb inflation. Obama through mountainous bailouts and the fed’s QE1 and QE2, devalued the dollar by 17%. Obama declared war on the small businesses with increased taxes and regulations that cost business 86.1 billion a year to comply with. Reagan praised businesses and called them the driving force of our economy. He worked to get the government out of their way and let them go about making money.
Obama raises taxes, 16 times on the poor and middle class and 31 times overall, with 23 of those taxes from the Obamacare bill. Reagan cut taxes, although his detractors try to say he was a tax raiser extrordinaire. The truth is Reagan never ever raised the tax tables. Over the years, democrats had written generous deductions into the tax system. Reagan merely did away with them. The words “Tax Shelter” were an every day term used in America before Reagan. He practically ended that. Who doesn’t remember Sam Donaldson reaping nearly 6 figure tax refunds over two years, using his status as a sheep farmer?
Reagan spoke of the shining city upon the hill, while Obama was busy telling Americans that they were not exceptional and apologizing to every two bit dictator for America being the root of all evil. Obama has invoked the name of Bush thousands of times to make excuses for his failed policies. Reagan paid no attention to Carter and rolled up his sleeves and went to work. Obama appointed every leftwing radical he could find, whereas Reagan assembled a mix of experienced leaders in their field.
Considering the vast difference in their approaches, is it any wonder that their results varied just as much? Not to me. At the end of his first term, Obama’s unemployment rate was 8.3% and climbing. Reagan’s was 7.3 and falling. Inflation has risen under Obama from zero to last years 3.6%. Reagan’s fell from 13.5% to 4.1%.
Reagan inherited a GDP rate of -1.10 By this time into Reagan’s recovery, the GDP was +7.4%. Obama inherited -.7 and today it is a mighty +1.5%.
Now tell me, was Dickens a prophet or just lucky?
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