Writing for Forbes.com in September, Adam Hartung uncovered the remarkable fact that, by most metrics, Pres. Obama has been more successful on the economic front than was Republican patron saint Ronald Reagan. Hartung interviewed Bob Deitrick, CEO of Polaris Financial Partners, who had this to say:
”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 [above] 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 percent unemployment rate in his sixth year, fully one year faster than President Reagan did. At this point in his presidency, President Reagan was still struggling with 7.1 percent unemployment, and he did not reach into the mid-low 6 percent range for another full year. So, despite today’s number, the Obama administration has still done considerably better at job creating and reducing unemployment than did the Reagan administration.
“We forecast unemployment will fall to around 5.4 percent by summer, 2015. A rate President Reagan was unable to achieve during his two terms.”
In early October, Hartung added an update to the article noting that “the August jobs report was revised upward to 180,000 as September jobs creation returns to 248,000 lowering unemployment rate to 5.9 percent – lowest unemployment number in 6 years.” In a second update on Oct. 16, he wrote that “Initial claims for unemployment [have dropped] to the lowest level in 14 years – all the way back to 2000 – indicating an improved economy, additional jobs and fewer people looking for work.”
Another sector that has benefited from Obama administration policies and stewardship is manufacturing. Hartung reports that:
When President Obama took office America was gripped in an offshoring boom, started years earlier, pushing jobs to the developing world. Manufacturing was declining in America, and plants were closing across the nation.
This week the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) released its manufacturing report, and it surprised nearly everyone. The latest Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) scored 59, two points higher than July and about that much higher than prognosticators expected. This represents 63 straight months of economic expansion, and 25 consecutive months of manufacturing expansion.
As has widely been reported, the stock market has also boomed in the past few years, which affects everyone who has a 401k:
The stock market has converted the long-term growth in jobs and GDP into additional gains for investors. Recently the S&P has crested 2,000 – reaching new all time highs. Gains made by investors earlier in the Obama administration have further grown, helping businesses raise capital and improving the nest eggs of almost all Americans. And laying the foundation for recent, and prolonged job growth.
Hartung sums up:
Economically, President Obama’s administration has outperformed President Reagan’s in all commonly watched categories. Simultaneously the current administration has reduced the deficit, which skyrocketed under Reagan. Additionally, Obama has reduced federal employment, which grew under Reagan (especially when including military personnel,) and truly delivered a “smaller government.” Additionally, the current administration has kept inflation low, even during extreme international upheaval, failure of foreign economies (Greece) and a dramatic slowdown in the European economy.