Obama Administration

Mourning in America

So much for Obama's dreams of being a Democratic Ronald Reagan

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One of the best ways to survive the grotesque and empty power pageantry of Washington's annual State of the Union extravaganza is by visiting the University of California, Santa Barbara's online archive of past addresses and looking up the speeches that corresponded to where the current POTUS sits in his term. Barack Obama took the podium during a midterm election year in his second term, corresponding to the addresses of George W. Bush in 2006, Bill Clinton in 1998 all the way back to George Washington in 1794.

Some of these documents read like tales from another planet. "With the deepest regret," the father of our country said in his last midterm year, "do I announce to you that during your recess some of the citizens of the United States have been found capable of insurrection." Others contain contemporary-sounding, calorie-free promises about "creating a commission to examine the full impact of baby boom retirements on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid" (Bush '06), taking "all the necessary measures to strengthen the Social Security system for the 21st century" (Clinton '98), or achieving energy independence within six years (Nixon '74).

But every once in a while you stumble upon a commander in chief in a strikingly similar situation singing a startlingly different tune. Such is the difference between President Obama in 2014 and Ronald Reagan in 1986.

Both men took office in the teeth of bad recessions precipitated by reviled predecessors whose economic policies they successfully campaigned against. Unemployment had bounced from 6.3 percent to 7.5 percent in the 12 months before Reagan swore his oath, and jumped from 5 percent to 7.8 percent in the year before Obama took his. "These United States are confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions," Reagan said in his inaugural address. "Our economy is badly weakened," Obama said in his.

Unlike other presidents of the past half-century, Reagan and Obama were attractive, charismatic figures upon whom Americans could project their hopes and aspirations. Both vaulted to national political prominence through celebrated acts of oratory-Reagan at the 1964 Republican National Convention, Obama at the Democratic confab in 2004. It's no wonder that as the Illinois senator began smelling the prize of the White House, he was taking as inspiration not the most recent two-term Democratic president, but the politically transformational Republican that a generation of Democrats had learned to loathe.

"I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not," Obama told the Reno Gazette-Journal in January 2008. "He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think he tapped into what people were already feeling. Which is we want clarity, we want optimism."

As president, Obama has consumed Reagan biographies as vacation reading material. He penned an appreciation of the Gipper for USA Today in 2011. ("At a time when our nation was going through an extremely difficult period, with economic hardship at home and very real threats beyond our borders, it was this positive outlook, this sense of pride, that the American people needed more than anything," Obama wrote.) His aides were tasked with studying how the 40th president realigned American politics. "Our hope," former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told Time in 2011, "is the story ends the same way."

So did it? Partisans certainly hoped so in the run-up to the 2012 election. Eyeing the headline unemployment rate a month before election day, Washington Post blogger Chris Cillizza insisted that "the trend line does suggest that just as Reagan was able to argue that his policies had begun to work to improve the economy in 1984 so too can Obama in 2012."

But by 2014 State of the Union time, such comparisons felt obscene. The percentage of working-age adults who had full-time jobs at the time of Obama's latest address was 62.8; the last time that figure was lower was in the dark old days of February 1978. About the only macroeconomic statistic the president was able to brag about in the speech-"the lowest unemployment rate in over five years"-was the result of millions of Americans simply giving up looking for work.

While Obama's labor force participation rate went down almost three full percentage points during his first 59 months in the White House (from 65.7 percent to 62.8), Reagan's climbed from 63.9 to 65 percent over that same time span, on the way to a 66.5 rate by the time he left office. And it wasn't just the employment picture that was improving in the 1980s: The "Great Inflation" had been knocked down from 12 percent to 4 percent, interest rates had followed suit, and there was an unmistakable sense of economic vigor in the air.

Here's how Reagan described it in his 1986 State of the Union address: "I am pleased to report the state of our Union is stronger than a year ago and growing stronger each day. Tonight we look out on a rising America, firm of heart, united in spirit, powerful in pride and patriotism. America is on the move! The United States is the economic miracle, the model to which the world once again turns."

Even granting a discount for Reagan's famously sunny-side-up persona, it is nearly impossible to imagine Barack Obama uttering such words today. That's because his economic policies have failed.

Obama looked upon the financial crisis of 2008 and saw the fingerprints of deregulation and stingy government "investments," even though George W. Bush was the biggest regulator since Richard Nixon and the biggest spender since LBJ. The president permanently jacked up federal spending through an $833 billion stimulus that, instead of being injected and then withdrawn, merely established a new baseline for annual federal expenditure at around $3.6 trillion. This maneuver has helped increase the national debt by a staggering and dangerous $6.7 trillion during Obama's tenure to date.

The president raised taxes in the January 2013 fiscal cliff deal, and is trying impotently to raise them more. He "punished" banks by preventing them from going bankrupt, forcing them to take government money, having the Federal Reserve pay them interest on their reserves, and writing regulations that benefit the big incumbents at the expense of upstarts. And he foisted upon the country an unpopular, unwieldy, and possibly unworkable health care law that is further dampening an already lousy economic record.

In early February, the Congressional Budget Office made its first long-term economic outlook since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. Conclusion? An already shrunken labor force will contract by 2.5 million more full-time jobs over the next 10 years, in part because Obamacare's complicated subsidy regime "is an implicit tax on working." Oh, and the debt-to-GDP ratio will continue to rise from its already "very high" position, which "could have serious negative consequences, including restraining economic growth in the long term, giving policymakers less flexibility to respond to unexpected challenges, and eventually increasing the risk of a fiscal crisis."

No wonder Obama, in his State of the Union address, spoke not about any economic "miracle" already in progress but about turning the corner any day now. "I believe this can be a breakthrough year for America," the president said, lamely. "After five years of grit and determined effort, the United States is better positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on Earth."

And so there we are. Fifteen years into the current century, we're almost ready to join it. Unless something truly surprising happens during his last two years in office, the only economic "transformation" Obama will preside over is the long-term diminishment of our national expectations.

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  1. Failed at being the next Reagan? The man is underperforming Carter if you ask me.

  2. As president, Obama has consumed Reagan biographies as vacation reading material.

    And like his study of Constitutional law, it’s akin to the way a pathologist studies disease.

    1. Or the way a serial killer studies forensic detective investigative procedures.

    2. From another perspective, Obama studying Reagan is not surprising. Why? During Reagan’s tenure, total government size and scope grew, with constant cheers from conservatives who unwittingly did not realize it.

      I think it is possible Obama wanted to study just exactly how to do that – Increase the size and scope of government while having conservatives love you.

    3. I always think it’s funny when I ask you to try to explain why blacks vote almost unanimously for Democrats despite, you claim, the right having their best interest at heart.

  3. Seems like this love letter to Reagan is Welch’s way of maybe getting a raise from Kennedy.

    There were no economic policies this administration was going to accept that would have helped job growth and entrepreneurship. But if Obama wants to be Reaganesque, he can always fire the air traffic controllers.

    1. I’m hoping the TSA gets fired next time.

  4. The president permanently jacked up federal spending through an $833 billion stimulus that, instead of being injected and then withdrawn, merely established a new baseline for annual federal expenditure at around $3.6 trillion.

    No such thing as “permanent” spending increases — the next Congress could undo that if they were so inclined.

    I’d be mighty surprised, even the the Rs take the Senate, but technically possible that gridlock might result in decreased spending.

    1. The president and his co-conspirator the Senate Majority Leader permanently jacked up federal spending through an $833 billion stimulus that, instead of being injected and then withdrawn,

      Is that better, prole?

    2. Also, Welch is wrong about the stimulus becoming part of the baseline budget – it was supplemental spending and contained $300 billion of FICA tax cuts which were later reversed.

      The CBO reported in Jan 2009 that Bush had set spending at $3.52 trillion (a budget Obama later signed) but the stimulus was outside that scope.

      http://www.cbo.gov/publication/41753

      ($3.52 trillion, Jan 09, 2009)

      1. So spending ramped up with the stimulus but didn’t taper down afterwards and you don’t see the point being made?

        Sure the stimulus itself went away but the level of spending continues.

        1. “Spending” in FY 2008/09 was well over $4 trillion including TARP and the Obama American Recovery Act.

          1. Palin’s Buttplug|3.14.14 @ 12:13PM|#
            “”Spending” in FY 2008/09 was well over $4 trillion including TARP and the Obama American Recovery Act.”

            Shitpile, Tony might find your lies believable, but no one else here does.

          2. I don’t think that’s right. I’m not going to read through your whole link, but other sources say the original budget Bush submitted was $3.1 trillion, then you have to add TARP to get it up to the $3.52 trillion. Then you can toss on the Obama stimulus, but only about $100 billion or so of that was actually spent in 2009. So…you end up at about $3.6 trillion, just like Welch claimed.

            1. It is on page 16 table 5 if you want to look.

              Part of TARP is included.

              Outlays. Without changes in current laws and policies,
              CBO estimates, outlays will rise from $3.0 trillion in
              2008 to $3.5 trillion in 2009 (see Table 5). Mandatory
              spending is projected to grow by almost $570 billion, or
              by 36 percent; nearly three-quarters of that growth results
              from the activities of the TARP and CBO’s treatment of
              Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as federal entities. Discretionary
              spending is projected to grow by $52 billion, or
              by 4.6 percent. In contrast, net interest is anticipated to
              decline by 22 percent as a result of lower interest rates
              and lower inflation. In total, outlays will be equal to
              24.9 percent of GDP, a level exceeded only during the
              later years of World War II

              (Page 17)

              Jan 2009

              1. So Kpres and Welch were correct, and you were wrong.

                That’s good to know, that you can link to your own post and prove yourself wrong, that’s bigger than you normally are.

                1. So Kpres and Welch were correct, and you were wrong.

                  Yeah, they were correct.

                  PB’s dishonestly citing a predictive document, not the actual spending record, and acting as if that figure actually went up from what the CBO predicted.

              2. “”Spending” in FY 2008/09 was well over $4 trillion”

                I tried being retarded enough to use your figures and make your claim work, but your own numbers prove you’re wrong, right there.

                How fucking stupid are you?

                1. Obama’s stimulus wasn’t in the $3.5 trillion number referenced by the CBO, dumbass. That report was published while Bush was still president.

                  Since then federal spending has returned to the $3.6 trillion figure.

                  1. Obama’s stimulus wasn’t in the $3.5 trillion number referenced by the CBO, dumbass

                    Outlays never went up over $4 trillion, dumbass, as I’ve shown. You have nothing to back up this figure except your own stupid say-so.

            2. I don’t think that’s right.

              It’s not right. PB cherry-picks the CBO report from January, but ignores the subsequent OMB reports. Let’s see what we have here:

              Revenue Outlays Deficit
              2009 2,104,989 3,517,677 -1,412,688
              2010 2,162,706 3,457,079 -1,294,373 2011 2,303,466 3,603,059 -1,299,593 2012 2,450,164 3,537,127 -1,086,963
              2013 2,773,978 3,454,253 -680,276

              The problem with the FY13 numbers is that Jack Lew left out $328 billion that was shell-gamed prior to the debt ceiling raise from the FY13 AND FY14 accounting. It’s as if that spending never existed anywhere other than the debt ledger. So saying that Obama maintained the 2009 baseline is correct, and PB is not.

              Keep in mind that the FY13 totals, plus the extra $328 billion, was with the sequester in place.

              1. So saying that Obama maintained the 2009 baseline is correct

                Yes, a $3.5 trillion baseline that did not include the stimulus.

                So we went to $3.7 trillion (including your Lew number)?

                Obama spending is up less than 8% then in four years.

                1. Yes, a $3.5 trillion baseline that did not include the stimulus

                  Spending went down to $3.4 trillion the next year, then up to $3.6 trillion the next.

                  Are you saying that the stimulus actually CUT spending in FY10?

                  Jesus, I knew you were bad at math, but I never expected you to demonstrate it so baldly. Nor have you provided evidence for your “over $4 trillion” claim.

                  Game over, dumbass.

                2. 8%. Where else have I heard that?

                  1. WE ARE THE 8%

  5. Reagan preached smaller government and gave us bigger government.

    Obama preached bigger government and gave us bigger government.

    Both more than doubled the debt of all their predecessors combined.

    Seems to me the only difference is that Obama is more honest.

    1. Reagan may not fully deserve his reputation, but he deserves more credit than Obama. At least he deserves credit for doing nothing during the recession in his term, resulting in the economy recovering faster than it has under our current micromanager-in-chief.

      Btw, adjusted for inflation, hasn’t Obama’s increase in debt been greater?

      1. I would not say he did ‘nothing,’ didn’t he have his own stimulus spending spree, just called ‘defense spending?’

        1. Exactly. Anyone who calls Reagan a fiscal conservative must pay their mortgage with a credit card.

      2. What “Obama’s increase in debt”? Are you referring to the fiscal consequences of massively cutting taxes, not paying for two wars, and an economic crisis that was far worse than anything Reagan had to deal with? Because Obama didn’t do that.

        You don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. As a response to the deficits caused by the Reagan recession, Reagan raised taxes–the largest tax hike since WWII. The recovery came from deficit spending and low interest rates, and he managed to get reelected with unemployment higher than it is today.

        1. Shorter Tony: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

          1. It wasn’t a nightmare, the Bush administration actually happened. Though it also was a nightmare.

            1. Tony|3.14.14 @ 12:12PM|#
              “It wasn’t a nightmare, the Bush administration actually happened. Though it also was a nightmare.”

              It’s a continuing nightmare, but worse for terms 3 and 4.

        2. Tony|3.14.14 @ 10:58AM|#
          “What “Obama’s increase in debt”?”

          Folks, he’s going to be here all week!
          I know it’s poor form to laugh at someone so stupid, but what are you going to do?

          1. Did you know Tony has his own cooking show?

            1. Do they let him turn on the burners? Handle sharp knives?
              I mean, humanity would be better off if *he* were dead, but we don’t want any humans harmed.

        3. I have tried to educate you under the assumption it was possible. Others have tried to share perspective with you apparently under the assumption that you were capable of perceiving it.

          It has become obvious that all of this is a waste of time, and that you can only cope with the world in a jingoistic, non-analytic way. In short, you are stupid.

          (Stupid, defined as ignorance that cannot be corrected)

          1. Willful ignorance is uncorrectable.

            1. “No amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie.”

          2. MJBinAL|3.14.14 @ 11:12AM|#
            “I have tried to educate you under the assumption it was possible.”

            Tony is worthy of insults and derision. Period.
            You might as well attempt to reason with a goldfish.

            1. Nice castle.

          3. Not to contradict your point because I agree with it and the label you selected but ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge, stupidity is the lack of ability to process the knowledge you possess.

            A stupid person suffers from a dullness of mind which is usually permanent. Ignorance can be corrected through the acquisition of knowledge.

            It seems that you have proceeded on the basis that Tony is merely ignorance when he is in fact simply stupid.

            1. So to be considered smart I have to, what? Acknowledge the falsehood that Obama has been fiscally reckless compared to Reagan and Bush? Pretend that he was responsible for the great recession? In short, adopt the FOX News mirror universe interpretation of everything. Is that how I get to be smart according to independent nonpartisan free-thinking libertarians?

              1. Tony|3.14.14 @ 12:14PM|#
                “So to be considered smart I have to, what?”

                Uh, somehow show greater intelligence than a goldfish; something you’ve yet to do.

                1. Sometimes I go directly to the comment section to see ‘Tony’s take’, then to watch the following onslaught.

              2. You have to make a point and argue something besides “tu qouque”

                1. I thought I was saying Reagan was worse.

              3. Tony, thanks for confirming sarcasmic’s point about you and straw men.

              4. Tony, Obama ran a $700 billion deficit in 2013, even with the Iraq war over (he supported the Afgan war, so he can’t blame that on Bush), the Bush tax cuts discontinued, and revenues and GDP above their pre-recession level. INOW, no excuses, that’s all on him.

                Bush’s largest deficit pre-recession was $400 billion, and that was largely because of the dot-com recession (not his fault if the great recession isn’t Obama’s fault).

                1. Recessions usually aren’t any one person’s fault, and certainly not presidents who aren’t in office when they start.

                  But you’re asking me to judge on a standard I find completely wrongheaded. You’re supposed to have higher deficits in recessions. Not only do recessions cause them, but deficits help end them. The standard I’m using is “fiscally reckless.” Obama, to the extent that he’s managed to get his fiscal priorities through Congress, has been far more deficit-hawkish than he could have been or than is probably wise, and did manage to stop any further damage by not letting the recession turn into an economic event on par with the Great Depression, which you guys claim, of course, could have been prevented with no spending and unicorn farts and what not.

                  Republicans are by definition fiscally reckless because they believe in such magic too–tax cuts pay for themselves, wars are free, etc.

                  1. Tony, look at the budget projections the CBO puts out. You’ll find that in no future year are Obama’s budgets expected to run deficits lower than any of Bush’s. By 2020 they’re supposed to be up around $1 trillion. I’m not sucking Bush’s cock like you said below, I’m pointing out the fact that even if you exclude the things you say he had no control over, the deficits are still higher than Bush’s. It’s just a fact man. If Bush was fiscally reckless (and he was), then Obama has been worse.

                  2. Tony:

                    Republicans are by definition fiscally reckless because they believe in such magic too–tax cuts pay for themselves, wars are free, etc.

                    Tax cuts can increase deficits, which are great for the economy, especially in recessions. That’s what you’ve told us.

                    Wars aren’t free: they’re stimulus, boosting aggregate demand. Thus, they help the economy in recessions. That’s what you’ve told us.

                    Also, Paul Krugman said so.

                    OK, let’s get this straight: deficits are great, unless we’re reducing taxes, in which case, it’s bad.

                    Government spending on massive programs is great, unless it’s a war, and then, it’s bad. Or, unless it’s the Civil War or WW2, or bombing Kosovo, Libya, Syria, whatever.

                    So many special qualifiers. I guess it goes with the territory. Government exists primarily as a great big source of power, to which none of the usual moral constraints apply. Because, maximum human benefit.

                    1. “Wars aren’t free: they’re stimulus, boosting aggregate demand. Thus, they help the economy in recessions. That’s what you’ve told us.”

                      Well done. If people like Tony were consistant, they’d love the Iraq war…pulled us out of the dot-com recession and replaced an autocratic regime with a democracy. What could be more progressive?

                    2. Do you understand what countercyclical means?

              5. “So to be considered smart I have to, what? ”

                Remaining silent is your only out.

                1. injanear|3.14.14 @ 12:34PM|#

                  You have to make a point and argue something besides “tu qouque”

                  Tony|3.14.14 @ 12:42PM|#

                  I thought I was saying Reagan was worse.”

                  Exactly.

              6. Acknowledge the falsehood that Obama has been fiscally reckless compared to Reagan and Bush?

                Adding more debt in one term than Bush did in two would be considered fiscally reckless in some some quarters.

                1. It’s not apples to apples because the GR came at the end of Bush and the beginning of Obama

                  The single biggest cause of federal budget deficits over their two terms, to date, is the Bush tax cuts (some of which, yes, Obama extended). What was your opinion on the fiscal responsibility of those tax cuts?

                  The point is you’re trying to peddle a lie, that Obama is some kind of profligate spender. What programs did he get through Congress that added to deficit spending and the debt? Name them.

                  When you actually look at who did what, Bush’s new policies cost $5.1 trillion, and Obama’s (including the ARRA) less than $1 trillion net. Obama has actually made cuts to spending, unlike Bush.

                  And you guys supported those tax cuts no questions asked, didn’t you?

                  1. Tony:

                    The single biggest cause of federal budget deficits over their two terms, to date, is the Bush tax cuts (some of which, yes, Obama extended). What was your opinion on the fiscal responsibility of those tax cuts?

                    That’s been thoroughly debunked.

                    Are you sure you don’t mean debt?

                  2. It’s not apples to apples because the GR came at the end of Bush and the beginning of Obama

                    Stop special pleading. Otherwise, you’ll have to accept that the debt Reagan racked up in his first term was due to the late 1970s recession.

                    Obama’s sucked balls on maintaining fiscal discipline, you’re just to chickenshit to admit it.

                    The single biggest cause of federal budget deficits over their two terms, to date, is the Bush tax cuts (some of which, yes, Obama extended).

                    Bullshit. The single biggest cause of federal budget deficits over their two terms was spending more than they took in–and guess what? “Mandatory” spending programs like SS and Medicare took up nearly all federal revenues in that time. EVERYTHING else–including defense–has been pure deficit spending.

                    The point is you’re trying to peddle a lie, that Obama is some kind of profligate spender.

                    The OMB historicals don’t lie, Tony–he’s maintained higher spending to GDP ratios than Bush did. Only you lie with your hysterical denials. How does it feel to be fucked by data from the very government you worship?

                  3. When you actually look at who did what, Bush’s new policies cost $5.1 trillion, and Obama’s (including the ARRA) less than $1 trillion net. Obama has actually made cuts to spending, unlike Bush.

                    Whatever “cuts” he’s made have been entirely superficial (I suppose that $328 billion in debt last October just appeared out of thin air), particularly given that he’s maintained the same level that was ramped up when he came into office–and let’s not forget the fact that Bush hadn’t even signed the FY09 budget into law yet. So Obama can’t even say that he tried to lower spending. $100 billion was a lot 30 years ago–now it doesn’t mean shit, especially when your predecessor averaged about $2.5 trillion before FY09, and was $500 billion below that in FY08.

                    And you guys supported those tax cuts no questions asked, didn’t you?

                    And you guys supported those spending increases no questions asked, didn’t you?

                    Remember Tony, FDR himself never spent more than $150 billion a year, inflation-adjusted before WW2–and that was at the height of the Depression.

        4. Are you referring to the fiscal consequences of massively cutting taxes,.

          That would be the temporary Bush tax cut that Obama made permanent?

          not paying for two wars,

  6. Obama, speaking to Ukrainians: If you like your country, you can keep your country!

  7. Are we talking about the real Reagan or the imaginary one that exists inside the heads of worshipful conservative morons who must have been taking heavy memory-erasing drugs throughout the 80s?

    I literally almost threw up reading this. Oh that Reagan, he was so presidenty!

    1. I do not worship Reagan by any means, and I bet most here do not, there certainly is a gap between how many remember him and his actual performance, but I would be willing to say Obama has fallen short of even the latter.

      1. It’s not hard to appear favorable after the shit-storm of Derp that was the Carter administration. Obama had the same advantage following Boooosh and managed to screw it up.

    2. The blind hatred that the left has for Reagan is truly amazing. I mean, the emotional reaction that he invokes is incredible. I’ve seen leftists literally froth at the mouth when ranting about him. It is downright impossible to reason with such animals.

      1. Whatever his faults, he changed the political debate, at least at the rhetorical level, to one that questioned the size and role of government, and for that the left has and can not forgive him.

        1. Why should we? Despite his near total hypocrisy in implementing his rhetoric, the rhetoric stuck with us and has been making the country into a vastly poor, sick, crumbling kleptocracy with nukes. And STILL the right thinks it’s all poor black people’s fault.

          1. Isn’t it amazing how quickly it reverts to screaming “racist” any time its talking points fail to exhibit the awesome conversation-stopping power and brilliance that the Salon echo chamber told it they did?

          2. I thought the left embraced hypocrisy, how else can you explain their actions?

          3. Tony,

            How do you feel about Harding?

            1. I’ll never forgive him for the word “normalcy.”

            2. Warren, or Tonya?

          4. You can always tell when even Tony knows he is jumping up and down on thin ice when he interjects “RACIST” into his posts for no reason.

            He must be holding “NAZI” in reserve for a last ditch effort.

        2. That and he allowed rich people to keep their own money. That’s my father’s biggest beef with the guy.

          1. “The right thinks it’s all poor black peoples fault”

            Not being right wing, perhaps I don’t get it, but I have never heard anyone, right OR left say anything like that. Maybe a few nuts (right and left), but we certainly don’t want to judge the mainstream of right or left by the nuts.

            1. Tony is a master strawman slayer.

              1. Progressives usually are.

              2. Tony is a master at screaming “racist!” and running away.

            2. we certainly don’t want to judge the mainstream of right or left by the nuts.

              This is the danger in taking Tony seriously.

              1. you know … considering the number of comments wasted on the village idiot known as Tony, why not just ignore the twerp? Just sayin

            3. Are they not still blaming the great recession on uppity brown people buying houses they couldn’t afford? Is our fiscal problem not mostly the fault of lazy brown people on welfare and their using food stamps to buy lobster? Did Reagan not bitch about welfare queens in Cadillacs and basically get the ball rolling on decades of right-wing plutocrats preying on the old, stupid, and white for votes by blaming all their problems on “those people”?

              1. They are blaming the great recession in part on the Democrat policies that created incentives for people to buy homes they could not afford.

                Not that I would expect you to understand the distinction between blaming policies and blaming the people who respond to them.

                You are, after all, distinction-challenged.

                1. So you buy into the bullshit unapologetically, I see.

                  1. There is a distinction between explaining a position and agreeing with it.

                    Not that I would expect you to comprehend that, being the distinction-challenged retard that you are.

              2. You are a dangerous rascit aren’t you? Don’t hold back Tony. Tell us all about these “uppity brown people” since you are literally the only person I’ve ever heard describe the housing collapse this way.

                1. The right has come a long way in the words they use to describe black people over the past 100 years.

                  Granted, that’s a long time to accomplish very little else than changing the words they use.

                  1. Politics is no fun when you can’t play the victim.

                    1. As the Right knows, since that’s the only card they have played in 40 years. (Except perhaps for the phony war and torture cards.)

                    2. And that’s with a capital “R”. For extra Rightiness. You know: like God.

                  2. Again, your the only person I hear/see using those words. Why do you want to spread horrible misinformation about minorities? Why would you do that Tony?

                    1. Tony is slaying straw men again.

                    2. I dislike Republican newspeak so I prefer to say what they mean. Here’s a primer:

                      “Inner city poor people” = niggers
                      “Food stamps” = nigger money
                      And so on.

                    3. I like democrat newspeak:

                      “Taxing the rich” = “Taxing you.”
                      “Environmental sustainability” = “Taxing you.”
                      “Repealing parts of the First Amendment” = “Campaign Finance Reform”
                      “Privacy” = “Abortion”
                      And so on.

                    4. More Democrat Newspeak:

                      *taking = giving less
                      *giving = taking less
                      *choice = something that just isn’t possible unless we’re talking about abortion
                      *empowerment = letting government decide everything

                    5. personal choice: abortion-just abortion absolutely NOTHING else.

                      Environmental sustainability: Don’t even think about building anything here-ever.

                      “the rich”: Evil beings that have made money selling you what you want to buy.

                      “Scientific consensus” All scientific findings, no matter how erroneous, that rationalize govt intervention

                      “junk science” all scientific findings that prove that previous policies have failed or are unnecessary and ineffective OR science that may offend people;IQ, Differences between the sexes, DDT, nuclear power etc

                      “Sensible regulation” : ban everything

                      “intentions”: the only yardstick by which we will measure policies

                      “racism”: Empiricism

                    6. I’m pretty sure “inner-city” was some PC nonsense progressive came up with in the 90s to talk about black people.

                    7. Leftists are the ones who use language to obfuscate, not the right.

                    8. Tony you forgot “urban utes”.

                      Or is that liberal speak ?

                      I can’t keep up with all the supposed code words the enemy uses.

                    9. Nice bit of projection here. Someone talks about the problems of “inner city poor people” or the problems with “food stamps,” and Tony assumes it refers to all black people.

                    10. you’re*

                      gd public education

              3. “And STILL the right thinks it’s all poor black people’s fault.”

                “Are they not still blaming the great recession on uppity brown people”

                Can’t make up your mind Tony ?

                1. I always think it’s funny when the left accuses the right of being racist because the right would rather poor blacks have jobs than welfare checks.

                  1. I always think it’s funny when I ask you to try to explain why blacks vote almost unanimously for Democrats despite, you claim, the right having their best interest at heart.

                    Is it that blacks are more prone than average to liking free money? Or is welfare a blacks-only program and I missed it?

              4. the justice dept under clinton was threatening bankers with legal action if they wouldn’t make loans matching their preconceived statistics. There was no “Deregulation” in fact deregulated banks would have rejected the applicants because they knew they wouldn’t be able to pay it back. Which is exactly what happened, 2008 was the result of affirmative action banking.

      2. What’s even more amazing is the blind hatred that the left has for GWB, when so much of his domestic policy was their wish list.

        1. Principals trump principles.

          It’s not what a person does that matters, it’s who the person is that matters.

          The leftist version of Lady Justice wears no blindfold.

          1. They want to change her name from “Lady Liberty to “Lady Social Justice”.

        2. in 20 years bush might be seen as a progressive hero second only to Obama in his transformation of the country.

        3. Not so amazing as the massive rush to suck Bush’s cock that happens every single time someone says anything remotely critical about him here.

          1. Remember H&R logic – all the Big Gov programs Bush started are really Obama’s fault since he hasn’t repealed them!

            1. Palin’s Buttplug:

              Remember H&R logic – all the Big Gov programs Bush started are really Obama’s fault since he hasn’t repealed them!

              Action and inaction are equivalent.

              /Tony

            2. Palin’s Buttplug|3.14.14 @ 12:21PM|#
              “Remember H&R logic – all the Big Gov programs Bush started are really Obama’s fault since he hasn’t repealed them!”

              Remember shitpile’s logic: Obo can do no wrong!

            3. Why hasn’t he repealed them ?

              Maybe he is waiting until his last day in office because he likes to be the one spying on “others”.

          2. (singing) And you wouldn’t use that straw man if you only had a brain.

          3. Tony:

            Not so amazing as the massive rush to suck Bush’s cock that happens every single time someone says anything remotely critical about him here.

            Don’t be homophobic, Tony. Sucking cock is awesome.

            1. Did I say otherwise?

              1. You used it as an insult, so yes, you did.

                Unless your claiming that their “sucking Bush’s cock” is a good thing?

                1. I presume he would think so.

                  1. That is not the point you were trying to make Tony.

    3. He was so sexy with his Alzheimer’s and speeches about starting a nuclear war with the eviiilll Soviets.

      1. american socialist|3.14.14 @ 10:56AM|#
        “He was so sexy with his Alzheimer’s and speeches about starting a nuclear war with the eviiilll Soviets.”

        And retards like you wish you could be quite as sexy with your mental disabilities.
        oh, and fuck you.

    4. Tony|3.14.14 @ 10:48AM|#
      “Are we talking about the real Reagan or the imaginary one…”

      Shitpile, the only one imagining things here is you.

  8. I can’t see Obama as the next Reagan, especially since he’s already doing a fabulous job of being the next GWB.

    1. Yeah, he’s pretty much blown any chance of being as successful as Jimmy Carter, so I think GWB is probably the best he can do at this point.

      1. I think he is going to under perform even against that yard stick.

  9. Yes, the other relevant comparison to make is that Obama isn’t shipping TOW missiles to Islamic militants and illegally funneling that money to death squads in Central America, or deionizing homosexuals and allying himself with religious radicals who thought AIDS was God’s curse for hot man-on-man butt sex, or increasing the deficit so he could place MX missiles in West Germany.

    1. “isn’t shipping TOW missiles to Islamic militants”

      Er, Libya?

      1. I wasn’t for getting involved in Libya’s internal politics, but distinctions should be made. Have you heard of Moammar Gaddhafi? Let me know. Didn’t Saint Reagan try to kill him once?

        1. american socialist|3.14.14 @ 11:00AM|#
          “I wasn’t for getting involved in Libya’s internal politics, but distinctions should be made”

          No, you slimy excuse for humanity, you’re just quite proud of those who purposely murdered more than 100,000,000 people.

        2. Regardless if you personally wasn’t for Libyan intervention, the one who you are defending WAS and DID.

    2. Obama isn’t shipping TOW missiles to Islamic militants

      Actually, he is, masha’Allah!

    3. Hi Mary. How’s it going?

    4. or deionizing homosexuals and allying himself with religious radicals who thought AIDS was God’s curse for hot man-on-man butt sex

      You mean the way he and his administration did until they noticed how important the LGBT vote was to them, at which time his position suddenly “evolved”?

      1. deionizing homosexuals

        Oh, that’s what causes someone to be attracted to the same sex, a differing number of electrons!

      2. P.S. I hereby declare “deionizing homosexuals” to be the next Reasonoid meme. I normally don’t engage in typo flames, but that one is too good to pass up.

        1. I want to know what happens then, Doc. Do they become more or less gay?

          1. depends on what other compound they are interacting with.

        2. Would Deionizing mean making homosexuals wear awful suits, a la deion sanders?

        3. “P.S. I hereby declare “deionizing homosexuals” to be the next Reasonoid meme”

          It far more cromulent than ‘towing the lion’.

    5. Hmmm, Libya, Afganistan, and the attempt (prevented by the American people getting PISSED) in Syria?

      Just a question though, how do you deionize a homosexual? I mean, I know how to deionize water … but homosexuals? Must be special knowledge only homosexual socialists have!

    6. Yes, the other relevant comparison to make is that Obama isn’t shipping TOW missiles to Islamic militants \

      No, he was shipping anti-aircraft missiles to Islamic militants instead. You realize that Obama sent the Muslim Brotherhood dozens, if not hundreds, of Stingers, right?

      1. Bullshit.

        Egypt =/= Muslim Brotherhood.

        1. Bullshit yourself.

          Egypt was the Muslim Brotherhood when he shipped the missiles.

    7. my god! nobody deserves to be deionized!

    1. Which is a hell of an improvement over watching each other starve to death.

    2. That was so disturbing I had to watch it twice.

  10. This article makes the common error of equating 1980 with 2008 when the latter was more like 1929.

    1980 was inflationary and a garden variety recession. 2008/1929 were both deflationary financial disasters with millions of bankruptcies and falling asset valuations.

    Paul Volcker had the cure for inflation in the 80s. All Reagan had to do was fire the ATC to tamp down wage inflation and appear sanguine to the public.

    1. Palin’s Buttplug|3.14.14 @ 11:07AM|#
      “This article makes the common error of equating 1980 with 2008 when the latter was more like 1929.”

      This article points out your fave liar in chief is a worthless hack and of course, you’ll spend all day trying to come up with excuses.

    2. yes a “garden variety recession” that was so different economists invented a new term for it, stagflation.

    3. This article makes the common error of equating 1980 with 2008 when the latter was more like 1929.

      Good point, Plugs. In both 2009 and 1932, inept big gov Keynesian responses turned a routine recession into something worse.

      1. But, but, but the stimulus would have worked if it was bigger!

        1. Nothing was going to prevent millions of bankruptcies 2008-2010.

          Well, TARP prevented a few corporate bankruptcies for a $700 billion loan but massive deflation is far worse than stagflation mentioned above.

          1. When I want your opinion I’ll go take a shit.

          2. Palin’s Buttplug|3.14.14 @ 11:33AM|#
            “Nothing was going to prevent millions of bankruptcies 2008-2010.”

            Fucking liar.
            Keep the fed from distorting the market and we wouldn’t have had those bk’s.

            1. Greetings SEVO,

              I just posted a comment/opinion on this article. I’m sure you will see it, and have something to say about it. Your site audience awaits your literary brilliance. Don’t disappoint them, and be sure to lace your comments with the usual profanity. Have a lovely day.

          3. Palin’s Buttplug:

            Nothing was going to prevent millions of bankruptcies 2008-2010.

            Perhaps different policies between 1990-2008 could have.

            1. Wasn’t it the Boooosh tax cuts?

          4. massive deflation is far worse than stagflation mentioned above

            The only people that massive deflation hurts are those who overleverage and live beyond their means.

            For people who keep their debts low to non-existent, and have savings in place, massive deflation provides them with the means to purchase quality goods at rock-bottom prices.

            There’s a reason that debt has gone through the roof since the mid-1970s, and it isn’t because inflation helps the economy.

            1. Not true. Massive deflation hurts everyone with bank accounts or assets. Remember, all money is debt, and debt deflation destroys money. While the FDIC covers 250K per person per bank, any amount above that and lots of other financial assets (like annuities) are not covered. If AIG had not been bailed out, a trillion worth of annuities would have gone to money heaven.

              It is a mistake to conflate 2008 with 1979, since they are at opposite ends of the interest rate curve. It is also a mistake to deny that Obama tried to take advantage of a deflationary panic to impose socialism.

    4. millions of bankruptcies

      In 2008? Really?

    5. Correction for Shrike: The 1980 recession was a financial crisis (Savings and Loan crisis). There was deflation during the crisis since Volker raised interest rates dramatically to stop inflation. It was therefore deflationary and financial as were 2008/1929.

      1. The biggest distinction between the Reagan and Obama recessions is that the Reagan recovery was a hell of a lot faster and stronger.

        1. To be fair, a shitload of new regulatory and legislative impediments to productive economic activity have been created in between recoveries, and that it’s Obama’s fault.

          1. *isn’t* not it’s

        1. It was indeed at its peak in 1989, so I’ll concede that. However, in 1982 there were 117 failures and assists from the FDIC compared with 154 in 2010 (the peak). To be fair, there were many more failures in 2010 than 1982 (the majority of the figure from 1982 were assists rather than failures).

          To say that the early 80’s recession was not characterized by financial trouble is, I think, is misleading.

          On another note, what’s really astounding is that there were 531 failures in 1989. Just food for thought.

          http://www2.fdic.gov/hsob/Sele…..ntryTyp=30

    6. I hate to interrupt your attempt at disinformation but a 21% prime rate that we had in the 80s is not a garden variety recession.

      Do you know that since Obama and the Dems passed and signed Dodd-Frank, the numbers of boat dealers in Texas has shrunk by over 2/3rds ? Before Dodd-Frank Texas had over 2,300 registered and licensed boat dealers. The current number is a little over 700.

      Obama should be truly grateful for fracking. if it were not for the oil field jobs across the country the Obama administration would have to once again redefined the equation used to calculate the “unemployment rate” to keep the true numbers of unemployed from panicking the Nation.

      1. Recessions are measured by change in GDP.

        And what did Dodd-Frank have to do with boat dealers?

  11. Let’s not forget that the Libertarian Party’s most successful presidential candidate (in terms of vote %) ran against Reagan and that some would say the LP’s heyday was when they opposed the
    Reagan administration.

    1. I always thought of Ed Clark as running against Carter more than Reagan.

      -jcr

    2. “Reagan wants to expand government’s role in every phase of life. He supports a constitutional amendment banning abortions. This would interfere with the individuals right to make a choice,” Clark told a crowd of more than 300 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

      Clark also condemned Reagan’s positions on equal rights for women and foreign policy, maintaining that government should be “out of our pocketbooks, out of our bedrooms and out of our lives.” Clark contended that Reagan’s support for military superiority over the Russians will put the country into an endless inflationary race and continue to expand government.

      http://www.thecrimson.com/arti…..an-carter/

      Not exactly Nostradamus

      1. “Not exactly Nostradamus”

        What cost Clark $1.00 in 1980 will cost
        $2.84 today. 184% inflation.

        1. And what cost Clark $1.00 in 1950 would cost him $3.42 in 1980. 342% inflation.

          1. $2 rather

          2. hmmm…242%

  12. 2008/1929 were both deflationary financial disasters with millions of bankruptcies and falling asset valuations.

    If the narrative fits…

  13. “Reagan and Obama were attractive, charismatic figures”

    Am I the only person in America who never found Obama “charismatic” — he’s always seemed like a thin-skinned, ivory-tower, lying, race-baiting, affirmative action hire to me.

    1. I think he can be at times. Right up to the point that someone ask him a question that relates to the actual job of being president.

    2. I think you are going too easy on him.

    3. I was impressed by his “race speech” back in 2007 or 2008 at first, but he quickly showed hims3lf.to.be all talk 9n everything. The man has accomplished nothing.in terms of.bringing Americans together . He spends all his.effort making pretty speeches and vast promises that he (and no President, really) cannot keep.

      1. Go back and read that speech again and tell me what you think now. It’s patronizing, divisive garbage.

        1. Like everything else Obama says, the.content is.utterly forgettable. I have the text saved.somewhere, I’ll have to.refresh.my memory.

  14. How did the military vote for Reagan vs Obama? That tells all I need to know.

    1. Why is that?

      1. The military will vote for a President who respects them. That’s why Gore didn’t want the votes of overseas servicemembers to be counted.

  15. I’m surprised Reagan has not been canonized by the Catholic Church by now. Ha! He is certainly a saint in the world of Republican politics. In any event, he (Reagan) was a far better actor in the White House than he ever was in Hollywood. However, if you want to “worship” a Republican U.S. President in the 20th Century, I would certainly consider Theodore Roosevelt. He (Roosevelt) did far more to make this country great than Reagan ever did.

    As for Obama, he is far smarter than any Republican or Democrat candidate for the Presidency in 2016 (real or imagined), SO FAR. (Rand Paul certainly does not come to mind as a “mental giant” or a “champion of the people.” ) In any event, the majority of the American people will probably put another Republican back in the West Wing come January 2017. I dare say the next Chief Executive will probably be White (meaning European-American) and not “intellectually threatening” to the general populace like say Woodrow Wilson.

    One thing for sure, there will be no room on Mount Rushmore for whoever becomes our next President.

    1. You clearly did not experience first hand the ‘malaise’ of the 1970’s and Nixon/Ford/Carter. Compared to that trio of twits Reagan is indeed someone to be lauded, for his optimism and ability to change the mood of the country, if nothing else.

    2. I certainly hope that the next President won’t be so horrifically racist as Wilson.

    3. “I would certainly consider Theodore Roosevelt. He (Roosevelt) did far more to make this country great than Reagan ever did.”

      Yep, wars are just yummy, right, road guy?

  16. Them are indeed some cool beans. I like it.

    http://www.Anon-Works.com

    1. Rrrroll ’em!

  17. I am old enough to remember a time when no one would admit to liking, never mind wanting to be the next, Ronald Reagan.

  18. We’ve entered a period of prolonged spiritual and economic malaise. If you want to see the direction in which we’re headed, albeit slowly, simply go look at Detroit.

  19. This is Grade A Troll material against Obammabots. 8%, and Tony must be freaking out.

  20. The most important figure wasn’t mentioned in the article. The economy grew at around 8% throughout most of 1983 and 1984. It’s been averaging about 2% for the last 5 years.

  21. it was supplemental spending and contained $300 billion of FICA tax cuts which were later reversed.

  22. Get your history right. It is actually Bush who did these things. Obama merely continued the Bush TARP policy, and extended it by bailing out GM and Chrysler – although Bush started that one too.

    “He “punished” banks by preventing them from going bankrupt, forcing them to take government money, having the Federal Reserve pay them interest on their reserves,”

  23. I can’t find anything in this article close to accurate, so I will confine my comment to one of the first statements.
    “Both men took office in the teeth of bad recessions ” lol Not so much. 1st quarter 81 GDP – 8.6, average for 1st 3 quarters of 81 GDP – 3.4 % 4th qtr 09 GDP – MINUS 4.9 and 4 straight quarters of recession caused by Reagans policies. Unemployment jumped from 7.2 in the middle of 81 to over 11% by the beginning of 83.
    1st qtr of 09 GDP – MINUS 6.5 up to MINUS 8.3% Obama has increased spending less than any POTUS since Eisenhower, and the deficit is now down over 60%. How do you like them apples. I could provide NUMEROUS links to back up these stone cold facts, but must of you could care less what the facts are.

  24. Security, Medicare, and Medicaid” (Bush ’06), taking

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