Reagan Trounces Obama In 3 Simple Steps

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WASHINGTON, February 8, 2014 — Ronald Reagan inherited an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent; Barack Obama inherited one of 7.8 percent. Both men were elected on platforms that were essentially, “It is time to do something different.”

Their policies, their “something different,” were completely opposite in methodology and philosophy.

Reagan said in his 1980 acceptance speech:

Well my view of government places trust not in one person or one Party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The — The trust is where it belongs — in the people.

Obama said in his 2008 acceptance speech:

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but also for every American who’s willing to work.


One vision sees trust in the people of the country as more important than the government.  The other sees the government as the insurer of opportunity.

Over their first five years, with very similar economic starting points, how did they do?

Economic Growth

As the primary indicator of all economic activity within the country, GDP growth is the single best gauge of the nation’s health.

The average GDP growth for Reagan’s first five years was 8.8 percent. The average GDP growth for Obama’s first five years was 2.7 percent.

This one goes to Reagan, in a landslide.

Income growth

The median household income growth for Reagan’s first five years was 7.7 percent. The median household income growth for Obama’s first five years was -4.8 percent (yes, it was negative).

This one goes to Reagan, in another landslide

Job Creation

The total number of jobs created in Reagan’s first five years was 5,700,000. The total in Obama’s first five years was 1,200,000.

It is completely understandable why the president and other Democratic leaders have added the phrase “or saved” when they say “jobs created.” The impossible-to-measure concept of “jobs saved” is a sleight of hand used to cover what is an abysmal figure.

Most interestingly, given the growth of size in the country from 1986 to 2013 (from 240 million to 317 million), for Obama’s job creation to have matched Reagan’s, the country would have had to add almost 8 million jobs over the last five years. From this statistic, it is factually correct to say that Obama is one-eighth the President that Reagan was.

This one goes to Reagan, in yet another landslide.

Conclusion: it depends on your vision.

For the leftist/liberal/progressive, tomorrow is going to be great because all the bad stuff will be fixed and the really good stuff will work. History is neither informative nor predictive, and having the right people leading us will result in the fulfillment of our hopes and dreams.

For the conservative, let’s again implement the policies that have worked in the past. That means recognizing the arrogance and ineffectiveness of the government’s attempts to fine-tune the economy and manage commerce, unleashing the powerful forces inherent in an unconstrained and free marketplace, and restoring individual liberty and self-reliance.

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  • Tanya Grimsley

    Love that you had two different conclusions at the end Michael. Implement again what works is my choice. Great article.

  • Dominic Milan

    Under Reagan the US still had a strong manufacturing base. That has now been outsourced and moved over seas. The same with call centers and most computer software jobs. Reagan also had a Congress that would work with him trying to get people back to work. The article points out that income has gone down under Obama while Congress still has not passed tax reform or a jobs bill, both which would have a positive effect on income. Now companies coerce cities to give huge tax breaks to the company, or the company will move to a right to work state with a lower wage base. No wonder income for most of the country has dropped or stayed stagnent.

    • Stephen Zeigler

      Wow…Dominic…you just woke up ..right ? Reagan worked with a democratic Congress to get things done. It’s a compatibility factor obama does not have. obama had a democratic congress which as Nancy put it ” we will give him anything he wants” and still obama’s a failure. You want tax reform, how about making the lower 40% pay some freaking taxes for a change. How about you clear the country of some 13 million plus illegals….buda bang…13 million new jobs…who knew ! They will pay taxes, reduce the deficit, be removed from the welfare rolls which frees up more money….Are you could refuse to permit the Canadian Pipe Line, just 40,000 jobs but what difference does it make to Jim Carney. They now claim it’s better to be unemployed so one can spend time with the family…and that family will be under the thumb of gov. control and socialist rule.
      You could stop the war on the Coal mines, close the borders, expel the illegals, stop funding foreign enemies (Egypt is one example ). Bring our troops home from around the world, billions saved. …..As to the “wonder”….it’s a wonder that obama can spend trillions of your dollars and idiots still defend him, leave four Americans to die in Benghazi and a Congress and Secretary of State which declares “what difference does it make now”, invade American’s privacy via NSA. IRS violations and those responsible retire and get promoted ( they should be in jail ). Stagnant is going to turn to depression and then a revolt and the left will be defenseless as they have all turned in their assault weapons. As for me…I’ll keep all my weapons and the rounds needed to defend my family from enemies foreign and domestic.

  • Mary Brown Vaughan

    Great article Michael. Simple and right to the point. It amazes me how any liberals could argue these straightforward facts….oh but they will. And I ask myself, to what end? They seem to be so vehemently wishing to simply opposing the right when all the right wants to do is maintain the foundation of our nation; FREEDOM, and offer opportunity to for American citizens to pull America back up. To run on the notion that government can do a better job of making day to day decisions and that we “need” government to “take care” of the American people is going against the very ideals and structure that made the United States the greatest nation…..

    • Johnson Kevin

      The purpose of ANY government is to take care of it’s people. And what is a government? It’s people like me and you who decide to SERVE the public as a whole. So how does a government take care of its people? We certainly didn’t send those individuals who represent us so we could take care of them…did we? Well we need to start with the things necessary to maintain life. Clean water: Check. Plenty of Food: Check (more some than others). Shelter: Check (some without). Safety: Check (we have the world on lockdown). Health: Some of us don’t deserve health do we. But do get right in there with speed limits. Yes, Because there is an entire country that can drive as fast as they want and on the nightly news you hear about the scores of people that die every day in Germany…..if they would only slow down….they’re dying like flies over there aren’t they.

  • Seth Gordon

    Perhaps, Mr. Obama, you could tell us why 7 of the 8 most prosperous states, with significant budget surpluses and low unemployment are led by Republican Governors exercising conservative policies to improve the lives of their states citizens? The budget surplus of the one state on the list led by a Democrat, West Virginia, will expend its budget surplus on cleaning up the toxic chemical spill caused by the now bankrupt Freedom Industries. It is becoming apparent that Freedom Industries has been a major contributor to candidates’ political campaigns and in return West Virginia’s regulatory agencies’ blind eye has overlooked all of Freedom Industries environmental and safety violations. In fairness, Freedom Industries contributed just as much to Republican and Tea Party candidates simply as a hedge to have influence with whoever happened to be elected.

    The continuing debate over voter ID vs. Photo ID vs No ID requirement is absurd. The only
    ID that should be required to vote in any election should be the voter’s most recent prior year’s tax return. If you don’t pay to support our government, then you should have no voice in how the
    government is run. Certain exceptions would apply; military, retired receiving SS benefits, disabled, etc. Even those receiving EIC would qualify. The amount of taxes paid would have no
    effect, just as race, creed, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc. would have no effect on the voter’s qualification to vote. Only evidence that the voter had made the effort to support our government would be required to vote. This is legislation that should be enacted now and return our country to the principles upon which it was founded instead of the plutocracy that you, Barry Obama, are striving to make it become. This would most likely put you out of a job, but don’t you have enough money already?

  • cavman35

    Regan raised the US debt limit 18 times while in office. The first year he did the biggest tax cut in history but then raised it every year except his last one. Corporate taxes were at 18% of the US tax base. It’s now around 12%. I worked in the exploding communications industry during that time frame and the personal computer and on line data came into being and more companies flourished during that time frame and jobs were easy to get with unlimited overtime. Putting people to work in the US and growing companies was the big push. Anything defense related was booming because Regan pushed to run the Soviets into the ground. We activated many old warships including two battleships. All of that money spent put a lot od workers to work to supply all the material for the defense industry. That was before the big tax breaks and loop holes that allowed companies to off shore all their workers and outsource much of their work and get a fat tax write off for overseas investment. It was also before companies were allowed to off shore their offices so that they did the “double Dutch” and avoid paying US taxes. That’s why GE could make 12.4 billion in profits and pay zero in US taxes because many profit centers have their corporate office in Burmuda as a subsidiuary of a Dutch company. On that 12.4 billion in profits the actual effect tax rate for GE was just under 7%. US companies now dump workers whenever they want as long as their managers get a bonus and their shareholders see a jump in profit. Under Reagan we had more banking regulations freed up and the end result was after he left office the Keating bank scandle happened and millions of people lost all their money at their savings and loan banks. We also had the Black Monday wall street crash in 1987 were again milllions lost all their investments. Also during the Regan administration Inflation was running high , I know because we got tiny raises because corporate said we cost them to much. The history of any US president is more than just single set of numbers.

    • Johnson Kevin

      You’re smarter than most. Good to know there’s more of us out there.

  • Guest

    I believe it’s very narrow view and it’s based on very few and poorly
    selected factors. Reagan and Obama inherited and faced/face completely
    different fundamental economic conditions.
    Reagan – 1) strong
    domestic manufacturing and domination of internally produced goods in US
    market, 2) collapse of the Soviet Union (i.e. expansion opportunities
    for US corporations) and absence of European Union which provided US
    unipolar economic dominance and lower global economic competition for US
    corporations, 3) fewer large scale ongoing military operations abroad,
    4) low national debt level, 5) major US corporations paid some federal
    taxes.
    Obama – 1) most US manufacturing not just abandoned US soil
    for China and other countries where production is cheaper but US market
    is now heavily dominated by foreign products domestic financial bubbles,
    2) enormous US involvement in conflicts and funding “democratic
    revolutions” around the world and concomitant rise of military and
    administrative spending, 3) multipolar economic world and new strong
    global economic players – rise of Russia and some of the former Soviet
    Republics, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, etc., establishment of
    European economic zone, 4) highest in US history debt level, 5) major US
    corporations don’t pay federal taxes.
    One should blame Reagan, Bush
    (both), Kissinger, Brzezinski and alike
    for this course, being hawkish and trying to conquer the world by all
    means instead
    of taking care of US national economy. BTW, the irony of their
    “political achievements” in war with communism is that now every Western
    consumer is fueling Chinese communist regime.

  • Mukhtar

    I believe it’s very narrow view and it’s based on very few and poorly selected factors. Reagan and Obama inherited and faced/face completely different fundamental economic conditions.
    Reagan – 1) strong domestic manufacturing and domination of internally produced goods in US market, 2) collapse of the Soviet Union (i.e. expansion pportunities for US corporations) and absence of European Union which in general, provided US unipolar economic dominance and lower global economic competition for US corporations, 3) fewer large scale ongoing military operations abroad, 4) low national debt level, 5) major US corporations paid some federal taxes.
    Obama – 1) majority of US manufacturing not just abandoned US soil for China and other countries where production is cheaper but US market is now heavily dominated by foreign products and domestic financial bubbles, 2) enormous US involvement in internal sovereign conflicts and funding “democratic revolutions” around the world and concomitant rise of military and administrative spending, 3) multipolar economic world and new strong global economic players – rise of Russia and some of the former Soviet Republics, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, etc., establishment of European economic zone, 4) highest in US history debt level, 5) major US corporations don’t pay any federal taxes.
    In other words, while other nations were trying to build something, the US was destroying outside and inside. No surprise, there was time to sow the wind, and now it’s time reap the tornado. One should blame Reagan, Bush (both), Kissinger, Brzezinski and alike for being hawkish and trying to conquer the world by all means instead of taking care of US national economy. BTW, the irony of their “political achievements” in war with communism is that now every Western consumer is fueling Chinese communist regime.

  • Johnson Kevin

    There
    is an entire generation that’s real proud of themselves for voting in
    an actor to the presidency. If there ever was a puppet right in front
    of everyone’s faces….it was ACTOR Ronald Regan. You get that? He was
    an ACTOR. He played the part. Very well I might add. He got
    everybody who is not rich to vote for him. “Trickle down economics”.
    Look at those words. “Trickle”. What does that
    mean? It means “We’re going to give all this money to the wealthy and
    then it will ‘trickle’ down to the little people. but not too
    much….they can’t handle it. Rich people can handle an influx of cash,
    so they will trickle it to the little people….they wouldn’t know what
    to do with it.

    How do most people who are self made ‘rich’ do
    it? First of all they start by not spending it. But when they do it’s
    to make more for themselves. They aren’t advocating the raising of
    minimum wage. One could ‘trickle’ by doing that. Secondly, the rich
    don’t want to trickle anything. If there are leftovers, it’s going to
    their own kids, family, wants, desires, cars, planes, and anything else
    that’s not needed to sustain life. Jesus Herald Christ. Right in front
    of your face. ‘Yes’ you said, don’t give it directly to me government.
    Give it to the rich and they will let me pick up the crumbs because
    their plate is overflowing.