Obama Fiddles While Economy Burns
In January 2009, Obama inherited an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent. Average inflation for the previous year was 3.8 percent. The rate for a 30-year fixed-rate home mortgage was 6 percent.
In 1981, Ronald Reagan inherited an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent and on a steep uptick. The inflation rate was 13.5 percent. And the rate for a new home mortgage was 13.7 percent. The purchasing power of those on fixed incomes had fallen by 30 percent under Carter, throwing millions of seniors and others below the poverty line. There were gasoline shortages and long, long lines at filling stations. Carter himself described the mess the country was in as a “malaise.” Economists had to coin a new word for it, “stagflation”– a supposedly impossible combination of very high inflation with even higher unemployment. Carter based his presidential campaign on raising taxes on millionaires, crusading against “the three-martini lunch” (more likely among TV stars, agents, journalists, and others in the Manhattan crowd than among businessmen; it was a small and petty campaign based on resentment).Sound familiar?
Romney = Reagan? We'll have to see if the voters gives him the chance.