Even if [Friday's] GDP report—for the fourth quarter of 2011—shows 3 percent growth or better [Ed: it did not, coming in at 2.8, worse than expected], it would be just the fourth time that has happened since the economy began turning up in June 2009: 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, 3.9 percent in the first quarter of 2010, and 3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2010. But no 3 percent-plus quarters since then.
The first nine quarters of the Reagan Recovery, by contrast, looked like this: 5.1 percent, 9.3 percent, 8.1 percent, 8.5 percent, 8.0 percent, 7.1 percent, 3.9 percent, 3.3 percent, 3.8, percent, 3.4 percent. In fact, the Reagan Boom went from the first quarter of 1983 until the second quarter of 1986 without notching a sub-3 percent GDP quarter.
So, while the Reagan Recovery quickly made up for lost years of growth, not so much for the Obama Recovery, as this chart in today’s Wall Street Journal makes clear:
Over at Business Insider, a surprisingly left-wing rag given its ostensible focus on the private sector economy, some ludicrous hack named Joe Weisenthal insists that all of this data is irrelevant. His latest piece, basically a troll's post with a larger-than-usual website, is entitled "Why The Obama Recovery Has Been Much More Impressive Than Reagan's" (no link, you can find it if you want to).
Another thing about Reagan was that he was a deficit-lover.
Reagan presided over the largest (still) one-year annual jump in the size of the national debt. (And PS: that just happened to be right after the recession, when the economy started growing like crazy as Pethokoukis notes)... The conditions behind the Great Recession were far worse than anything Reagan inherited, and Obama has pulled off a recovery with less of a sustained growth in Federal Government spending.
Hey, Joe - I wonder who was in control of the House during the Reagan years? Oh, yeah -- that's right. The Democrats, who insisted every one of Reagan's austerity budgets was "Dead On Arrival". Reagan wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, for instance. Sound like a big spender to you, Joe?
Reagan inherited double-digit unemployment, double-digit inflation, an oil crisis, a resurgent Soviet Union, and he'd turned America around in three years with a Democrat-controlled Congress. As a commenter observes:
A recap of Hope and Change since President Obama took office in Jan 2009. Comparing economic indicators starting in Jan 2009 to present day:
1. Federal debt has increased by 43% from $10.6 trillion to $15 trillion.
2. Americans living in poverty have increased by 16% from 39.8 million to 46.2 million.
3. Total unemployment (U6) has increased by 68% from 13.7 million to 23 million.
4. Price of gasoline has increased by 80% from $1.86/gal to $3.35/gal
5. Americans on food stamps have increased 42% from 31.8 million to 45.2 million
6. Home foreclosures per year have increased by 34% from 850,000 to 1,140,000
7. Total bankruptcy filings per year have increased by 42% from 1,117,641 to 1,593,081.
8. Median Household incomes have declined by 4%.
9. Average selling price of new homes has declined by 10%.
10. US dollar compared to foreign currencies has declined by 8.7%. [US dollar index of 85.9 in Jan 2009 to 78.5 in Dec 2011.]
11. US dollar compared to gold has declined 105%. [$855/oz. to $1750/oz.]
Not to mention adding a new, wildly unpopular and massive new entitlement program (Obamacare) when our existing entitlements are circling the drain.
Hey, Joe: you gonna put some ice on that, brother?