Thursday, August 30, 2012

How Do You Judge a Record?

Phil Gramm published some figures in the WSJ this morning which present a pretty stark comparison between the recovery during the Reagan and Obama Administrations.

For six comparisons the results of the first 55 months after the recession are presented.  In each, the Reagan results are significantly better - job creation (almost 8 million versus 4 million more jobs lost), welfare and support payments - in all but Medicaid during the Reagan recovery dependency went down - in all of the categories during Obama - the dependency rate went up (by 71% for what was once called Food Stamps).   Between the beginning of the recession and June of this year median income went down by almost 10%.

None of those numbers gives one much comfort about the next four years.  What Gramm did not add in was the conclusion offered by Ryan last night - we grew the size of government significantly and much of it with borrowed money.   So even if the results were positive we would still have an almost $16 trillion dollar debt to deal with.   (Note for my buddies on the left - that deficit is 16 with 12 zeros after it - as in $16,000,000,000,000.   Put another way our current total Gross Domestic Product is $15,009,000,000,000 - or less than our total debt.)

One other comparison.  The different between the current baseline budget and the Ryan proposed budget is 1.2% - The baseline would grow by 4.3% and the Ryan would grow by 3.1% - that is hardly what anyone would call penurious.

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