Chart of the Day
Contra Sullivan, I don’t think Mark J. Perry is indicating that Obama is somehow a “liberal Reagan” but this is an interesting comparison to the economic mess we were in about the time I entered this crazy world of ours:
We are not even yet anywhere close to the economic conditions of that period. For example, the prime rate was more than six times higher in 1980 compared to today, core inflation in 1980 was six times higher than today, the unemployment rate in November and December of 1982 was more than a percentage point higher than the August 2009 rate, the 30-year mortgage rate in 1981 was almost four times higher than today’s 5 percent, the car loan rate in 1981 was 2.5 times higher than today, and real gas prices were 32 percent more expensive in 1981 than today. So before we start talking about the “worst economy since the 1930s” couldn’t we first look at the early 1980s as a benchmark of how bad economic conditions can get, using a more recent period?
And consider that as bad as the economic conditions were back in the early 1980s, the U.S. economy started on an economic expansion in November of 1982 that didn’t end until July 1990, 92 months later, and marked the third longest expansion in U.S. history. Given the current environment with historically low interest rates and inflation, today’s economic and financial conditions are much more favorable for economic growth than the conditions of the early 1980s. If the economy of the early 1980s recovered even when handicapped with historically high interest rates and inflation, today’s economy is much better positioned for what Larry Kudlow calls the pending “barnburning economic recovery.”
I suppose somewhere in there he must have implied that all this was due to Obama being the second coming of Reagan, and that all of these not-as-bad-as-it-could-have-been numbers are thanks to our current administration’s policies. I just missed it.
Then again, Perry could also be indicating that the criticisms of the Bush administration for the worst economic downturn “since the 1930’s” are a tad bit exaggerated as well. Or he could just be saying that Chicken Little is overreacting, and that the sky is perched firmly where it’s always been, presidents past and present be damned.