Obama Outperforming Reagan on Jobs, Growth, and Investing!

Here it is, from Forbes no less:

”President Reagan has long been considered the best modern economic President. So we compared his performance dealing with the oil-induced recession of the 1980s with that of President Obama and his performance during this ‘Great Recession.’

“As this unemployment chart shows, President Obama’s job creation kept unemployment from peaking at as high a level as President Reagan, and promoted people into the workforce faster than President Reagan.

“President Obama has achieved a 6.1% unemployment rate in his sixth year, fully one year faster than President Reagan did. At this point in his presidency, President Reagan was still struggling with 7.1% unemployment, and he did not reach into the mid-low 6% range for another full year. So, despite today’s number, the Obama administration has still done considerably better at job creating and reducing unemployment than did the Reagan administration.

“We forecast unemployment will fall to around 5.4% by summer, 2015. A rate President Reagan was unable to achieve during his two terms.”


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Whether Reagan, Obama or any president in between, the unemployment rate has always been the most flawed gauge for measuring an administration's success. It doesn't account for the numbers of full-time and part-time jobs, doesn't account for average wages being paid per workforce sector and, perhaps most importantly, completely ignores the number of discouraged adults who have given up looking for work. The dynamics of the American capitalist system, moreso than a president's policies, accounted for the rebounds from the 1982 and 2008 recessions. But I don't think anyone would say the recovery from the Great Recession has been anywhere near robust.

Patience is a great virtue.

every year. Therefore, the statistics are fully comparable. And I have heard the same criticisms about the unemployment statistics and what they really mean since the 1950s!

Second: No group was better at spinning a positive story than were the people in the Reagan Administrations. Things did get better under Reagan, but the improvement was greatly exaggerated! And the so-called liberal, mainstream media were culpable in accepting the Reagan spin, with some dissent. Reagan was a trained actor, after all. How could there be a better standard bearer for the misleading message? Are you old enough to remember Reagan running on a balanced budget platform, then, as POTUS, stating that deficits and the national debt don't really matter?

Third: Reagan ran on a platform to cut taxes drastically, increase military spending dramatically, and grow the budget into balance. Instead, the U.S. debt nearly TRIPLED in the 8 years of Reaganomics! And, remember, the person who first called Reagan's hair-brained scheme to balance the budget "Voodoo Economics" was none other than his fellow Republican, George H.W. Bush, during the 1980 primary season. Then, Bush signed up to be the assistant voodoo master for 8 years, became the next POTUS, and increased the debt by more than another factor. This means that the total U.S. debt MORE THAN QUADRUPLED under Reagan and Bush #41 in 12 years!

Finally, you conveniently forget that during the Presidential campaign just 2 years ago, those who oppose Obama and his policies were nearly unanimous in predicting that the U.S. would go into another recession if Obama were to be re-elected, thus INCREASING the unemployment rate. Instead the economy has continued to improve albeit more slowly than we might like.

Remember the facts stated are from Forbes. This is not exactly a source which normally favors Democrats over Republicans. But, never allow facts to get in the way of your perceptions, erroneous though they may be!

Obama took us to 1980's level wages faster than Reagan!


Since 2012 is the latest year I could find for this data, and 1984 would be the equivalent year of Reagan's 2 terms, here goes. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Sorry for using statistics. I know how much ideologues HATE factual information. Facts so often get in the way of opinions.)

Median income in 1984: $22,415.
Median income in 2012: $51,017.

Even factoring for inflation, 2012 leads 1984: $51,017 to $47,181 (in 2012 dollars).

And, Mikey, weren't the 1980s the "Golden Years" for America when Reagan was POTUS? Shouldn't workers aspire to have the same buying power for their hard earned wages as they had in the glorious Reagan years?

Dale my comment was in jest so I should have put LOL or something else on it.

However, it was a reflection of the Presidents using a metric not the unemployment rate, which if you'd like to know why it's a flawed metric I can explain further for you.

This graph shows markedly different impact of the two presidencies. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Median_US_household_i...

A large reason for the lack of growth from 2009-2013 is people leaving the job market and settleing on living on smaller means by way of disability, retirement, gov't assistance, etc. I think we can both agree that self sufficience is a much healthier trend to see the country take and currently the country is not taking it.


Gee I wonder why people left the job market DURING THE RECESSION CAUSED BY DUBYA AND HIS LACK OF REGULATING AND REINING IN THE BANKS. It couldn't be in part due to a pile of Baby Boomers and such who should already have started leaving the job market except they don't have pensions or other retirement plans in place because they bought tons of shit on easy credit and whatever they did have tucked away in 401(k)s got flushed with the stock market, could it?

Just because they left doesn't mean they can't come back to the job market. The fact that they haven't is telling on how the economy is really doing.


Congrats, MikeyA-hole, you just said people have to come out of retirement back to the job market.

No I didn't. I said there's nothing stopping them but the job market.

I'd rather have the choice than retirement forced upon me for lack of options. I think most people would agree with me.


First, I heard the same "song and dance" criticizing EVERY POTUS about the unemployment rates, e.g. discouraged workers leaving the workforce.

Second, although I, personally, try to avoid wikipedia and related sites as sources, the graph shows INFLATION ADJUSTED median household income as markedly higher during the Obama years than during the Reagan years.

I agree with your planning for retirement. I remember well, when I was growing up in the 1950s, actually hearing many adults say something like, "I spend everything I make. I don't need to save for retirement. I have Social Security!" I'm sure you know that Social Security was NEVER meant to be a stand alone retirement plan. It was meant to be a base upon which individuals were to build a secure retirement. Like you, Mikey, I had additional retirement investments beyond my retirement plan. And, like you, I suggest that for EVERYONE!

Dale it shocks me how so many are quick to put their trust and future into the hands of others.

Failure to plan is planning to fail. My father taught me just to start at a young age. I chose to have multiple retirement accounts because one or more could always fail. My military pension will be "guaranteed" but that's not really guaranteed because a number of things could happen that could have it taken away even after I retire. There is no one single point of failure that could keep me in abject poverty. It could still happen but it would take a series of catastrophic events for that to occur.

Social security isn't even a part of the plan. It's too risky to rely on. They keep raising the age (I'm already past middle age for the life span of men in my family), the COLA becomes a political football, the "lockbox" has already been raided, as we saw in the last gov't shutdown it's not guaranteed. I'm a gambling man and my money is on that when I retire SS won't be there for me to draw out of. If it is, that will become the money I use for gambling in my yearly trip to Las Vegas.


I had a father who lied to me, my brothers, and, really, himself about his preparing for retirement. That was my lesson in reverse. I was determined to NOT be a burden upon my children. One of my brothers and I supplemented our parents throughout much of their retirement. My father often said that the best investment he ever made was in my brother's education. My brother recently retired from his radiology practice in Denver, CO.

I have my teachers' pension, (as does my wife), but I also have my 40+ quarters in Social Security. I worked A LOT! Even though, at age 67, I could draw some SS money, it would be reduced because I have a separate government pension. I'll just wait until I get to 70 and max out at my reduced rate. And, if I don't make it to 70, I'll have had enough money to last me the rest of my life...right?
Like you, any SS I get will be extra. I do love Vegas. I call it "Disneyland for adults."

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