The thing is, the economy is going to improve in the next four years no matter who is in the white house. History, and all the data suggest that. If it is “our guy” then we will give him credit, if it is “the other guy” we will assume it would have been even better with “our guy”; if we don’t have a guy, and don’t pay much attention, we will assume that whoever it is, he must be doing something right. And that third group will help keep the winner or his party in office. Meanwhile, the things of lasting impact like Supreme Court nominations, legal and human rights policies, foreign policy, environmental policies, etc., will go forward for good or ill. I was just looking at the unemployment figures for Ronald Reagan’s FIRST term: they start and end at 7.3%, remained flat for six months, them soared for 18 months to a peak of 10.8%, and had 27 consecutive months above 8%. Obama inherited an economy in freefall, but unemployment topped out at 10% only nine months in, hovered for a year a little below that, and has been falling since then. (Economists predicted a long slow slow recovery no matter what the government did: Obama and McCain both made overly optimistic predictions, of course; but does anybody seriously think this situation would have been better with McCain?) Both Reagan’s and Obama’s first term employment figures are pretty bad, but neither Reagan nor Obama deserve to be blamed for them. The president does not control the economy, as much as we would like to give him credit or blame. Reagan greatly increased the deficit and the debt, too, and the size of government grew under his administration. Inflation rates were rather higher under Reagan, too. Better times came in Reagan’s second term. Better times will come in Obama’s second term, or Romney’s first: that’s the reality of it. If people generally vote on the performance of economy, they’re following a red herring.
Apr 12, 2017