One item that the GOP has constantly attacked President Obama on is jobs. They have blamed him for the unemployment rate from the day he was sworn in for his first term. As it turns out, the employment picture under his administration has not been nearly as bleak as they would have us believe.
Another topic that is near and dear to the conservative heart is the “admirable” performance of Ronald Reagan, who also dealt with the fallout from a major recession. Although an oil “shortage” of the 70s was the main driver of the Reagan recession, both came into office with comparable unemployment rates.
While the right slams Obama for the sluggish recovery of jobs during his tenure, they praise Reagan for the incredible job he did in combating unemployment. A recent analysis by the CEO of Polaris Financial Partners, Bob Deitrick found the Republican narrative somewhat inaccurate.
Polaris’ newsletters have consistently proven more reliable in their predictions of economic performance than any of the major investment houses. Deitrick makes some interesting observations comparing the jobs record of the two administrations.
Deitrick says that the Obama administration has the best economic record since the Kennedy administration with unemployment falling faster on his watch than it did during the Reagan administration.
“President Reagan has long been considered the best modern economic President. So we compared his performance dealing with the oil-induced recession of the 1980s with that of President Obama and his performance during this ‘Great Recession.’
As this unemployment chart shows, President Obama’s job creation kept unemployment from peaking at as high a level as President Reagan, and promoted people into the workforce faster than President Reagan.
President Obama has achieved a 6.1% unemployment rate in his 6th year, fully one year faster than President Reagan did.”
He went on to say that at this point in Reagan’s presidency, he was still dealing with 7.1 percent unemployment. He then went on to shoot down the criticism over the rate of labor participation in the job market.
In regards to the number of people who have simply stopped looking for work, Deitrick says that we can attribute much of this to retiring Baby Boomers who have not stopped looking for jobs because of frustration but because they are ready to retire.
He says that Obama’s greatest success stories are the bailout of the auto industry and Wall Street reforms, both of which have drawn criticism by the right.
Deitrick also said that he doesn’t understand why Democrats are not crowing about the economic successes of this administration — neither do we.