Happy Birthday, Ronnie! You were a crappy Governor and you were a crappy President...but you are the best the republicans have.
That's right. Sarah Palin is trying to cast herself as Reagan. Republicans continually point to Reagan as a great President. We hear, from republicans, that Reaganomics was the greatest thing for our economy since sliced bread.
Well, let's take a little closer look at Reagan and how the economy did under him. There is a great post over at Angry Bear from which I am going to pull some facts and figures. I will give a little detail, but they have more.
I said that Reagan is the best they have. It's true. He leads the republicans when you look at the annualized growth in GDP per capita. He grew the economy better than all other republicans since 1929, that's in the last 80 years. Way to go, Ronnie.
Notice I did not say he was the best President in growing the economy in the last 80 years. Notice that I did not say he was the second best, nor the third best. Why, I didn't even say he was the fourth best. Why? Because he wasn't!
Ronald Reagan was number 5. There are four Democrats ahead of him.
Oh, and who is number 6? Carter. So Reagan is number 5 out of the top six as shown in the figure below.
There is one other point I would like to make. When faced with this data, republicans often say that GDP is not a good measure because it includes government spending. They say the Democrats are "tax and spend", so big government spending distorts GDP. Well, let's look at the definition of GDP.
GDP = Private Consumption + Private Investment + Gov't Consumption & Investment + Net Exports
OK, there's government spending -- Gov't Consumption & Investment
To quote from the article:
if the government borrows a lot and spends what it borrows, it will boost GDP, and that in turn causes real GDP per capita growth to increase. And that is precisely what happened under ReaganIn fact, here is a figure.
Reagan's right up there with Bush Sr as a leader in growing the debt as a percent of GDP. In fact, Reagan just about tripled the debt going from about 1 Trillion dollars to about 3 Trillion dollars. So, if you remove the governement portion of Reagan's GDP, he will look even worse. A lot of his growth came from government spending.
If you are interested, there are some other interesting facts about Reagan in the article, like
- He's number 4 in annualized growth in real net disposable income -- behind 3 democrats
- He leads everyone in the transfer of local and state spending to the federal government. I call that growing the federal government.
A FIFTH RATE PRESIDENT!
Happy Birthday, Ronnie! You are the best the republicans have!