Posted 5 years ago on Oct. 20, 2012, 1:33 p.m. EST by ThomasKent
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Barack Obama inherited the worst economic disaster of any president since FDR acquired the debacle from Hoover as he entered the White House in 1933. One of Obama’s first acts as President was to sign the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The ‘Stimulus,’ as it is called, established a floor for the financial markets so they wouldn’t decline further. Many forget that in the last 17 months of George W’s tenure, the stock market saw an historical loss of 58% from peak to trough. This was worse than any rolling 17-month period during the Great Depression. Under President Obama’s tenure, to date, we have seen an impressive recovery in the equity markets,making up most of the losses accrued under Bush. Today we stand only 877 points from the highpoint of the DOW of 14,156.53 set on October 9th, 2007. Barack Obama surpasses his 13 predecessors, including Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, relative to the stewardship of our financial markets and most economic indicators. The average annual compound returns for the Dow, S&P500, and NASDAQ have been 17.2%, 25.3% and 31.7% respectively in Obama’s first 3.3 years. This compares to Reagan’s first term results (for the same indices and time period) of 6.86%, 6.16%, and 7.02% respectively.
As for months of recession in their corresponding first terms, Reagan presided over one of the longest recessions (16 months) in our history. In contrast, the recession under Obama lasted five months in 2009. We have seen positive job growth for 26 consecutive months under President Obama, and although it has been painful, one needs to realize we are crawling out of a very deep hole. For ten of the 16 months in the Reagan recession, the unemployment rate exceeded 10%, reaching a high of 10.8% for two months in late fall of 1982. The highest unemployment rate under Obama was one month of 10% in late 2009.
[Last month] our unemployment rate stood at 8.2%; Reagan at this same point had a rate of 7.8% in April of 1984. Today the rates of employment are equal. By Election Day that year, unemployment had fallen to 7.4% and he won by a landslide because there was a sense things were improving, and they were. Even after Reagan was reelected, it took two more years, until November of 1986, for the unemployment rate to finally fall below 7%.
If one looks at returns in the stock market, months of recession, average unemployment, inflation, income inequality, industrial production and after-tax corporate profits, Obama outperforms in all of these categories compared to Reagan’s first term.
Reagan vs Obama