2.10.2009

WSJ: Reaganomics vs. Obamanomics

Reaganomics vs. Obamanomics

Excerpt:

In his inaugural address, President Barack Obama said, "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified." Or as administration spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said in January, the touchstone is, "What will have the biggest and most immediate impact on creating private sector jobs and strengthening the middle class? We're guided by what works, not by any ideology or special interests."

Unfortunately, this rhetoric is not true. Mr. Obama's economic policy is following not what has been proven to work but liberal ideology.

The best way to understand this is to compare what's being proposed now with what Ronald Reagan accomplished. In 1980, amid a seriously dysfunctional economy, Reagan campaigned for president on an economic recovery program with four specific components.

The first was across-the-board reductions in tax rates to provide incentives for saving, investment, entrepreneurship and work. The second component was deregulation to remove unnecessary costs on the economy. In today's world, that would especially mean removing the onerous restrictions on energy production -- allowing drilling offshore and onshore for oil and natural gas, revival of the nuclear power industry, and construction of more electric power plants.

Third was the control of government spending. In 1981, Reagan forced through Congress not only his famed, historic tax cuts, but also a package of budget cuts close to 5% of the federal budget -- equivalent to roughly $150 billion today. In constant dollars, nondefense discretionary spending declined by 14.4% from 1981 to 1982, and by 16.8% from 1981 to 1983. Moreover, in constant dollars, this nondefense discretionary spending never returned to its 1981 level for the rest of Reagan's two terms. By 1988, this spending was still down 14.4% from its 1981 level in constant dollars.


Comment: A worthwhile read. I pray that a new generation of Reaganites will revive the Republican party!

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