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  • Morning Bell: The Reagan Recovery vs The Obama Recovery

    This Sunday is President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday. It’s hard to comprehend the debt of gratitude our nation owes the 40th President of these United States. As Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought Lee Edwards details, Reagan embodied many of the classical virtues that the best political leaders possess: courage, prudence, justice, and wisdom. And he used each of these virtues to create an environment where the U.S. economy could strongly recover from our last great recession. The current occupant of the White House ought to take some better notes.

    According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, our most recent recession began in December 2007, lasted 18 months, and ended in June 2009. The last recession that lasted this long began in July 1981, lasted 16 months, and ended in November 1982. In his 1983 State of the Union Address, President Reagan described an economic situation that mirrored our own today: “The problems we inherited were far worse than most inside and out of government had expected; the recession was deeper than most inside and out of government had predicted. Curing those problems has taken more time and a higher toll than any of us wanted. Unemployment is far too high.” But where President Obama responded to an economic recession with a bigger than $2 trillion expansion of government (more than $1 trillion on health care and almost $1 trillion in economic stimulus), President Reagan passed the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which cut marginal income tax rates across the board permanently. And the differences don’t end there.

    Where President Obama promised government action that was “bold and swift,” President Reagan said: “The permanent recovery in employment, production, and investment we seek won’t come in a sharp, short spurt.” Where President Obama used tax credits, subsidies, and bailouts to perpetuate industries in need of adjustment, President Reagan said: “Quick fixes and artificial stimulants repeatedly applied over decades are what brought us the inflationary disorders that we’ve now paid such a heavy price to cure.”

    It is true that no two recessions are ever the same, but as President Reagan asked in 1964: “Shouldn’t we expect government to read the score to us once in a while?” Today, the Labor Department read us the score, and the results speak for themselves. The U.S. economy added a measly 36,000 jobs in January. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, our most recent recession ended in June 2009, which means we are now in month 19 of the Obama Recovery. Today’s 9 percent unemployment rate marks the 21st consecutive month of unemployment at or above 9 percent, a post–World War II record. Unemployment is only 0.4 percentage points lower today than when the Obama Recovery began. Contrast those results with the Reagan recovery: 19 months into the Reagan recovery, in June 1984, unemployment stood at 7.2 percent. That is a full 3.6 points lower than when the Reagan Recovery began.

    It has been reported that President Obama has been reading up on President Reagan in hopes of mimicking his connection with the American people. And you can see a little of this in the President’s last State of the Union, which papered over President Obama’s usual big government ideas with appealing rhetoric about American exceptionalism. But if President Obama thinks he can copy President Reagan’s electoral success through rhetoric alone, he is dead wrong. As Peggy Noonan reminds us today, in his farewell address Reagan explained: “I never thought it was my style or the words I used that made a difference: it was the content. I wasn’t a great communicator, but I communicated great things.”

    There is a reason the Reagan Recovery was so strong and the Obama Recovery is so weak. Ronald Reagan knew what really made this country great. President Obama does not. From Reagan’s first inaugural address: “We are a nation that has a government—not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government, which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.” Until President Obama’s policies begin matching the truths Reagan understood, our nation will never reach its full potential.

    Be sure to watch our video: Celebrate Ronald Reagan’s 100th Birthday

    Quick Hits:

    • Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R–TX) explains why now is the worst time for EPA’s new federal climate regulations.
    • According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, 20 percent of all electric car tax credits were claimed erroneously.
    • Thanks to the Dodd–Frank financial regulation bill, millions of American will lose their free checking accounts.
    • Medical device manufactures visited Capitol Hill yesterday explaining how Obamacare’s taxes kill jobs.
    • Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) staff is organizing an army of lobbyists to fight conservative cuts to federal spending, writing: “One thing everyone should be able to agree on now is that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that a higher [Labor, Health & Human Services] allocation improves the chances for every stakeholder group to receive more funding.”
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    58 Responses to Morning Bell: The Reagan Recovery vs The Obama Recovery

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      I grew up in a poor family. I was in high school during Reagan's Years. My dad was a self-employed carpenter and often worked 12 hours a day. During the Reagan years, he had to turn work away and by the time, I graduated from High School my family was starting to get economically on our feet. I went from having torn winter jackets to having nice warm wither jackets just to offer just one example of a life change. Number's aside, Reagan's recovery was felt by the disadvantage as more jobs were available then people were willing to fill.

      Today, I do not feel this recovery. If it were not for "the numbers,” I would not know we were in a recovery. I am doing far better today than I ever have, but I am having to do deep into debt just to live!

    2. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      2- 4 -11 FROM – Ken Jarvis – LVKen7@Gmail.com

      Reagan was an Optimist

      The GOP are Doom and Gloom.

      Always Have been, Always WILL be.

      How does that jive?

      ===

      Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI on February 3rd, 2011 at 11:17am said:

      Yes, Ken ,we need to know as quick as possible the outcome of the Supreme Court decision re: Obamacare. It will make a difference for my business and employees. I have been in business for forty one years and enjoy what I do. But if Obamacare stands I will close my business and bid farewell to my employees wishing them a continued good life. By all measures it will simply increase my costs beyond what my clients will be able to afford. Consumers pay for government dictated social agendas – not businesses.

      *** Ben C – You don't know what it is,

      or what it will cost,

      ALL you know is – ???

      Tell me again, WHY you would Close your business?

      Must not be much, if you can close it on what the GOP Lie about.

      So, Close – probably No great loss.

      ===

    3. ThomNJ says:

      "The current occupant of the White House ought to take some better notes." – Absolutely, but I think he has only been taking notes from FDR and Jimmah Carter.

    4. Kevin H, college par says:

      Conn, your manipulation of the numbers is a joke.

      When Reagan too office in Jan 1981, the unemployment rate was 7.5%. 24 months later, it had grown 3.3 points to 10.8% and took a total of 44 months just to get back to 7.5%.

      When Obama took over in Jan 09, the rate was 7.7%. 10 months later it hit it's peak of 10.1 (2.4 points higher) and 24 months later it rests at 9% (1.3 points higher).

      By my count, after 24 months – Reagan resided over an increase of 3.3 points and Obama resides over an increase of 1.3. To me, it's clear who has done better.

      Also, since the recovery package was passed in March of 09 (what you called the failed stimulus) – the stock markets have seen it's greatest increase in the last 70 years. So how can you say Obama and ARRA is bad for business? Biggest increase in markets in 7 decades? Only a biased perspective can criticize that.

    5. KC - New Mexico says:

      It is always nice to reflect on a real natural leader versus a professional lawyer politician that just does not get it! Even President Regan’s staff was capable and proved to be very effective. The current czars and staff in this current administration don’t get it and therefore the president does not get it! America has spoken in November 2010 and will again in 2012 for both parties that have ineffective leaders in office today.

    6. Bob S says:

      All true but what can citizens do when the administration is causing it? Please stress action not information.

    7. S Rubicon, Southcent says:

      The issue is not will the president read Reagan's policies. The issue is, will he follow them or simply try to create the persona of Reagan expecting that will solve the problem. It may solve his PR problems & even get him re-elected. It will not fix a broken economy!

    8. Suzanne, Florida says:

      I lived in California during PresidentReagan's two terms as governor. California was prestine; everything functioned and although there were problems and grousing that is just our nature.

      Having survived the four horrible years of '76-'80 our country was due for such a man. He personally reinstilled Americans love of country and as a true executive surrounded himself with capable fellow executives who could manage this huge government.

      I weep for what we have lost and am so concerned for my family and country that waking to the daily news makes me a manic depressive.

      Thank goodness for the eight years of this wonderful man. He did show the country what we can be.

    9. Eric Waxman -- Long says:

      Why no mention of President George W. Bush's response to the recession he inherited — two significant marginal tax rate cuts. Although that recession was not as severe as the 2007-09 one, the prescription for renewed economic vitality was the same as President Reagan's.

      A more general observation: conservatives today (including this Foundry item) consistently omit reference to Dubya and his achievements.

      As Peter Wehner regularly contends, history's judgment of President Bush's administration will be much more favorable than the transient and tendentious criticisms which abound today. Supply-side tax cuts, the war on terror, the freedom agenda, free trade, superb Supreme Court appointments, unheeded calls for Fannie/Freddie and Social Security reform, etc.

      Heritage should be in the forefront of the effort to correct the record and extol the efforts of the last Republican administration. Can anyone not answer "Yes" to the question "Miss me yet?"

    10. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      One big difference in BHO and RWR is that RWR was not arogant, he listened to the people and was one of us. He worked as a young boy and even as POTUS he would go to his ranch and cut wood. BHO has never gotten his hands irty and looks down on the common man as a neccessary evil, he is a traitor to what my ancestors came here and fought for. His snubbing of the Memorial day cer. at Arlington show that. I am a proud member of the Mayflower society and former CAR, in every war from King Phillip's war through Veit Nam a member of my family fought including the Drummer Boy at Shiloh. K.Jarvis, if you don't LOVE this country there are planes and ships leaving everyday, we need true patriots like those of 1776.

    11. RUTH SC says:

      As long as the numbers for the people paying into the system stay high, things will work. We have too few paying in and too many taking out. What really makes me angry is the people who think they are entitled to everything. Everyone should work. Everyone should pay into the system. It was never intended for A certain amount of people to work, to keep a certain amount of people who don't. The scales of economy have tipped and until we tip them the other way, there will be no recovery. If we just remember, poor people do not employ the unemployed, those who have money start enterprises that will employ people. If you over tax those who employ to the point where there are no jobs, then the line of those who do not contribute will be so much longer with no end in site. Hate the haves all you want, they employ people, not the have nots. I keep hearing about the stupid GOP, how they are selfish, well guess who employs the people who take home a paycheck? Party affiliations do not determine who works and who does not, tax breaks for the people who start the business going will not hurt the people who already work, but will help those who are looking for jobs. Do the math. Poor people do not create jobs, rich people do, no matter how much you hate them.

    12. KB in PA says:

      You write: "There is a reason the Reagan Recovery was so strong and the Obama Recovery is so weak. Ronald Reagan knew what really made this country great. President Obama does not."

      Very true, but I think it goes quite a bit beyond that. Reagan passionately loved the United States … and his love grew stronger over time. Obama has no love for our nation; in fact, he despises it, and it can be ably argued that he seeks its destruction.

      Diametrical opposites, all the way down the line.

    13. Dennis Georgia says:

      President Regan was a great President, he had a huge mess from carter. I do remember that time and the results of that time. Carter screwed this country and people, interest rates went through the ceirling, mortgage rates hit 15% plus, employment was hight, Regan reveresed the trend. Mortgage rates stayed hight for yeras. I bought a house in 1982, the day I signed the papers interest was set at 15%. I built a house in 1987, interest rate was 11%. Then clinton came along with his executive order, everyone had a right to own a house, do not worry about repayment the federal "govmnet" was standing good for the bill. People bought house they knew they could not afford, then new furnmiture, and cars to go with the house. This continue untill the current recession and we can see where the dems got us. This crap that is coming out of DC is just smoke and mirrows, obama does not believe in restricting "guvment" but in growing "guvment". We already have to much government, to much regulations and way to much spending from "guvment". It is time that we the voters replace our words with action, we must vote to get this country runing the right way and off the path of socialism.

    14. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      It makes me physically ill to hear President Reagan's name in the same context with Obama. I sincerely respect the Office of President, am devoted to the orderly transfer of power…but Obama in the same millieu with Obama…nauseating.

    15. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      correction……but Obama in the same millieu with Reagan…nauseating.

    16. Jill-Maine says:

      Obamacare is going to cripple this country with it's cost. It is a job killer. I think ken Jarvis's mother ought to kick him out of the basement and have him go look for a job. Maybe then he'll wake up and stoop drinking kool aid.

    17. Carol,AZ says:

      To: K.J. NV:

      Yes Ken , Ben C. does know what he's talking about, he's a business man. He writes pay roll, every week, which also paysy into the social security system, that's supporting you.

      The last stats I read about NV;

      It has one of the highest unemployment rate ~17% in the nation, one of the highest illegal immirgrate populations in the United States. It also has one of the most violent crimes rates in the nation,no surprise there.

      But whose talking in NV.

      It's an open border state.

      Harry Reid and the highly financed Chamber of Commerce has been hidding the facts for years to get all those tourism dollars.

      So Ken, either change your oxygen bottle and read something besides People Magazine and get your fact straights.

      Any one with a knowledge of third grade math can figure- out that IF, Socalized medicine is passed here in America, allowing all persons, including millions of non-citizens free health care passed on to all of us that work…rationing will be the first reaction and certainly hospitals will close .

      If you mistakie my facts just look West, and download the budget for L.A. County, in your sister State, CA, also an open border state. You can smell the fear.

      In just baby border births, the deficit is $500, million .But don't stop there…the school system ,in the state of chaos, police and fire depts slated to be cut …

      Yes Ken, you can smell the fear because even Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi can't stop this run away train reck. Have a nice day!

    18. Robert, North Richla says:

      No doubt, Reagan saved this country from the depths of Carter's failures. However, since 1988 government expenditures have more than tripled and the self-employment tax has almost doubled (since 1980). Since 1980, government spending has increased seven fold! Since 1980, republicans have held the White House for 20 years and the democrats for 10 years – yet government continues to grow. Boehner and Paul Ryan are now talking about only $32 billion in spending cuts – when they promised $100 billion (and we need $300 billion). The republican party is dead, and the sooner we bury it (and move on) the better off we will be. We can call it whatever you like, but all working, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens need to join together and vote for Constitution-loving candidates. If millions of current "democrats" do not join us we do not have a chance. Stop voting for your daddy's party and vote for Tea Party or Constitution candidates.

    19. toledofan says:

      Reagan was and optimist but a realist as well. He was a leader who said what he meant and did what he said. I guess that no matter how many books or articles that Obama reads, he'll never be like Reagan or be able to mimick his actions simply because he doesn't believe in the same things Reagan stood for, believed in, or supported. What is sad is that because of todays politics and all the checks, counter checks and media lie's, the real leaders may not emerge or want to face all the scrutinity. Nobody can convince me that McCain and Obama were the two best people to run the country. So, maybe R. Reagan was our last real leader.

    20. Jim-MN says:

      Hey Javis, your last comment to Ben C. is now over the line. You used to be someone for an early morning laugh.

      Either be a man and apologize to Ben, or remove yourself from the site permenantly.

      And the Dems don't lie? Only the GOP eh?

    21. Howard, Kansas says:

      Obama is weak, inexperienced and does not understand, nor does he have the ability to lead the US. It is unfortunate when unbridled enthuiasm trumps critical thinking and common sense and we elect a fool president. He takes advantage of the privileges of the office, but does not understand the responsibilities that accompany it. Here is a man whose foreign policy experience is limited to ordering Chinese take out as we observe is fumbling with the crisis in Egypt and the entire Middle East. Left unchecked, he will destroy America.

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    23. Karen, WA state says:

      { … true that no two recessions are ever the same, but as President Reagan asked in 1964: “Shouldn’t we expect government to read the score to us once in a while?” }

      Do you not mean 1984? I was born in 64 and I remember Reagan when I was quite a bit older.

      • Brandon Stewart Brandon Stewart says:

        @Karen: Thanks for the question, Karen. We do actually mean 1964. That was a speech, "A Time for Choosing" or "The Speech" which Reagan gave in 1964 on behalf of Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign. It's a terrific speech — you can watch it in full here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXBswFfh6AY

    24. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Ken Jarvis: I know this – my health care costs increased $2600.00 a year the day I turned 65 years old. This is a FACT. I am an older Dad and to provide for my family and child I need to carry conventional insurance for them but because I am dropped from their health care plan due to my age I must purchase additional insurnace to cover me.

      Everything I have read and simple common sense suggests that health care costs will skyrocket when the additional uninsured are covered. There isn't any free lunch. Someone has to pay for it. As stated, my business will not nor cann not absob the cost. I am one of 118 people in the world with my level of certification. I am booked out months in advance and have a waiting list. When I close my doors there will be one less for what I do. Yes Ken, it will be a loss.

    25. Bruce J. Kolinski says:

      I was pleased to learn that the recession ended in 2009. Thank you so much. Does that mean my clients are building again and I'm getting my defunct civil engineering consulting firm back? You know – the one that didn't get a bail out. The one that's gone and now I'm a proud B 2 B telemarketer loved by everyone.

      I must have missed something in 2010. I should pay better attention.

    26. Sandy, UT says:

      As far as qualifications to be POTUS…Obama couldn't carry Reagan's hat.

    27. Lynn Lovell, Fort Wo says:

      Everyone needs to read the editorial in today's Dallas Morning News by T. Boone Pickens—"How to Mark 100 Years" dallasnews.com

      Basic idea: Honor Reagan's legacy by promoting free enterprise and innovation.

    28. Ervin Ackman, Austin says:

      Besides the marginal tax cut, Reagan also developed and deployed Project Socrates which "automated innovation", the 1st and only system of its kind. This system was responsible for our reclaiming, among other things, leadership in micro-electronics fueling literally millions of computer jobs. Before Reagan left office he issued an executive order to create and house the system reporting directly to the White House. But unfortunately for political reasons, his successor, George H., blocked the order and defunded the program. Now we have a real problem. The technology is out of the bottle. It is going to happen soon. It is very powerful, ask Mr. Gorbachev. We have the lead, but not for long. We must have it to bring back all of our industries including manufacturing. Reagan believed it and If we do not do this 1st, China will. If that happens, there might not be any income left to tax no who is president.

    29. Nancy, Georgia says:

      I don't know if we should continue to respond to KJ.

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    32. Henry ,Illinois says:

      In elementary psychology one learns one important thing when dealing with people.When one is being taunted, the individual doing the taunting wants to evoke a response from you and if you succumb,the taunter has accomplished his goal but on the other hand if you ignore him, he has failed to evoke a response from you and he goes away

      What really amazes me here is how this IGNORANT clown from Nevada is able to evoke responses from so many, apparently intelligent readers of this medium.

    33. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      The Reagan Recovery was one where there were jobs by the end of 1983. The Obama Recovery is one where there aren't any jobs.

    34. Clifton Egle says:

      Kevin H, college park made an interesting point about the rate of unemployment under Obama v. Reagan, but did not point out that Obama's has ran deficit of $4 trillion ($2.7 through 2010 plus 1.3 estimate for 2011) and had not solved the problem Yes, Reagan ran a deficit, but it totaled $1.7 trillion over 8 years. In addition, under Reagan, the DJIA went from 820 to 2200 (168% gain). Now, under Obama, the DJIA went from 8600 to 12000 today which is actually a 40% recovery of prior losses, paid for with "stimulus" spending and bailout money. Under the Reagan years and effects that continued after his presidency, we had unprecedented economic expansion; under Obama we have "Rob Peter to pay Paul."

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    36. Bobbie says:

      Your opinion is a little bias Kevin. Obama had to steal money to get to where he's at. And continues to put hardships on livelihoods without a cause. And records were kept at an accuracy without question. It's alot different today. Not all in government are held accountable or will even take accountability.

    37. Bobbie says:

      President Reagan didn't need a hundred czars.

    38. Harley Spoon, Austin says:

      This current recession began Dec 7, 2007 and was still in effect when Obama took office in late January 2009….In other words, it officially began began 1 year and 1 month before Obama was inaugurated. It takes how many quarters of economic decline for a recession to be declared in effect? The Bush Great Recession actually ended more than a year ago. Heritage, you can't manipulate the standards and figures to make your false conclusions and regain your intellectual and journalistic integrity…which has never actually existed!!!

    39. Harley Spoon, Austin says:

      Heritage Foundation members…Read and learn the truth…You cannot depend on The Foundry propagandists to provide fact, just more propaganda….

      When Did the Great Recession End?

      — By Kevin Drum

      | Mon Apr. 12, 2010 3:06 PM PDT

      Is the Great Recession over? NBER is the official dater of recessions, and last week they declined to say that this one was officially done. Bruce Bartlett comments:

      I'm rather astounded at all the ill-informed commentary I have read today in normally responsible places such as the Financial Times to the effect that the National Bureau of Economic Research is not sure that the recession is over. That is not at all the case. I am 100% certain that every member of the Business Cycle Dating Committee knows perfectly well that the recession ended some time ago. What the committee is unsure about is precisely when the recession ended.

      By coincidence, I happened be over at the NBER site yesterday because I was wondering how long it usually took to officially call the end of a recession, and the answer is right on the main business cycle dating page for the last four downturns:

      * The November 2001 trough was announced July 17, 2003.

      * The March 1991 trough was announced December 22, 1992.

      * The November 1982 trough was announced July 8, 1983.

      * The July 1980 trough was announced July 8, 1981.

      So that's 20 months, 22 months, 8 months, and 13 months. And since the current recession is sort of broadly U-shaped, not V-shaped, it would hardly be surprising if the waiting time for NBER's official call is toward the high end of this range. In any case, if the recession did officially end in mid-2009, as most analysts think, that was only 11 months ago and it would be perfectly normal for NBER to take another few months to get its numerical ducks in a row regardless of its shape. More here from Robert Gordon, a member of the NBER recession dating committee.

    40. Harley Spoon, Austin says:

      There are pertinent reasons why this "Greatest of all Recessions" took longer to deal with than less pervasive and more shallow recessions…It was the deepest and broadest recession since the Great Depression…and it was exacerbated by (1) Bush fiscal policy, (2) Greenspan monetary policy, (3) unpaid for Bush wars, (4) unpaid for Bush tax cut during wartime and (5) an unpaid for Bush prescription drug program which has actually created a $19.5 trillion liability for American taxpayers…

      Anyone who thinks any president could walk in one year and one month after such a recession began and immediately throw the brakes on a debt line (on all charts) that was on a straight up trajectory and an unemployment line (on all the charts) that was also on a straight up trajectory…is someone who has a severe case of tertiary syphilis of the brain….

      http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2010/

    41. Bill, Panama City, F says:

      L.V. Ken,

      Yes, Reagan was an optimist and so are Republicans when they don't see the country destroyed by fools like Obama and Carter!

      The moment Reagan was elected, the military morale improved drastically! Carter was so embarrassed by the military he demanded we wear civilian clothes while working in D.C. He also destroyed the military so badly that it took billions more to recover from his idiocy.

      One more thing. Why don't you post on Daily Kos or Huffington Post where they will appreciate your lunacy!

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    43. and2therepublic, ill says:

      In this essay you mention some of Reagan's virtues, but left out the most important one, and the one from which all the others came: faith! Good job anyway. Keep it up.

    44. Hank, New Jersey says:

      Thank God that every 4 or 8 years grown-ups come back into power and save our collective butt's! My state is FINALLY moving in the right direction but, even with CC in charge, it will take years… The key to it all is to pound corruption into the ground and start holding people accountable for their crimes, whoever they might be, in either party. If you are a cop, politician, lawyer, judge or anyone else "in the public trust" you should be able to be prosecuted at DOUBLE the typical sentence. We need truth to survive as a nation NOT spin and fraud!

    45. Sandra C, TN says:

      I firmly believe Obama is doing exactly what he told "Joe, the plumber" during his campaign…spreading the wealth. He doesn't believe in American exceptionalism, or he's ashamed of it, so he's doing what it takes to bring America to its knees. I don't think he really wants to see the economy recover…as long as people are out of work and on government assistance they're "wards of the state" with Obama calling the shots, which is what he wants, along with Nancy Pelosi who thinks big government is the answer to everything. Best thing we can do is get rid of both of them, and their cronies, in 2012. Ronald Reagan truly loved this country; I don't think Obama does at all.

    46. Kevin H, College Par says:

      it's amazing to see people taking offense to Ken Jarvi's comment, while thre are so many comments slamming our current president – some even saying eh hates this country.

      It baffles me how there are so many americans, whi call themselves patriots, who never have the inteliigence or passion themselves to enter public office, all the while standing on the sidelines screaming about what is wrong. Yet, then never do anythign about it but scream louder. They watch silly programs and are manipulted by hypocrits like Glenn Beck, who makes money hand over fist but feeding lies to people, and these people eat it all up. They actually think our President hates America and is trying to ruin it.

      A person who has studied his ass off, lived a commendable life, married and never divorced (as so many conservatives have like Reagan, Beck, Gingrinch, Rudy – yet all those act holier than thou), served in the state legislature, served in the federal legislature and now currently serves as the President and Commander in Chief – and these people who do nothign but sit on their couch and eat up all the misinformation has the gall to question his love of America – makes me sick. If only these people actually did something themselves, our country woudl be so much better off.

      They are no different than those who will watch the Superbowl and slam the mistakes made by the athletes, as if any of these people could ever be in that position.

      We have far to many 'patriots' who do nothing but complain, go to silly rallies that they are told to go to by FreedomWorks and Koch and the like, who have no grasp of reality.

      For people to say it's nauseating to see Obama and Reagan in the same sentence – these are the people who have no grasp of reaility. The hand dealt to our current president was far, far worse than had dealt to Reagan. There is no question at all about that. Zero. Ask any economist. Ask any real expert, not someone like Beck.

      And to read comments about peopel complaining Obamacare will shoot rates and premiums up – is mindbaffling. In the last decade, insurance premiums have increased an average of more than 130%. Look it up. Look up how much your very own premiums (whether you are self employed, get covered through work, or buy your own coverage) – do the match and calculate how much your premiums have increased over the last decade….and you'll soon realize it was far past time to change the status quo.

      To me, the only ones who are opposed to health reform are those who have always been covered by their parents and never knew what the costs were, never had to deal with finding insurance, never had to go without insurance.

      All small business owners are jumping at the tax credits they are getting by the health reform law. Look up the numbers of how many small businesses are taking advantage and plan to take advantage (http://www.smallbusinessmajority.org/) You hear a lot of people who say they will have to close up shop, but that is only because they don't know the fatcs, or like Beck and Armey and others, are simply lying.

    47. John says:

      People in Iowa need to check the voter registration lists against lists of deceased people and licensed pets. Guys like Harkin who still don't get it should not be able to win election by any measure of common sense and decency. This guy and his party want to continue spending the money of children not yet grown up or even born, even the one's his party wants to be able to murder. Maybe Harkin was actually born in Russia.

    48. John says:

      Health care is too expensive for three reasons, government requiring those who don't have insurance to be cared for at everyone else's expense, Medicare, and government-industry collusion and corruption to prevent highly effective treatments for chronic and acute illnesses. Read the 1979 book "Racketeering in Medicine", or the 1974 book, "World Without Cancer". Vitamin C therapy has been used to eliminate disease of microbial origin. Specific radiofrequency radiation can do it, too. Any attempt to reduce healthcare costs has to address these three or will only lead to a police state bureaucracy on the way to or after a complete economic collapse. All manner of news is made of the 'obesity epidemic' and its costs, yet nothing is ever said of high fructose corn syrup having replaced sugar due to trade barriers against cheap sugar, or the epidemic of micronutrient deficiency in hybrid crop varieties and soils, or GM food poisons, all allowed, ignored, or promoted by government for the benefit of a few at the expense of everyone.

    49. Denver, Oklahoma says:

      I clearly recall the Secular Regressives constant ridicule and devaluation of Pres. Reagan's administration and Clinton and other's later reference to it as the "disastrous Reagan years". Ironic how they revert to honesty when reality overtakes their fantacies. The Elitists have been given a fair warning by "we the people" and their sleasy labor and industry relations won't carry the next election. Their future hangs in the balance.They've had control 40 of the 50 yrs. I've been of voting age,and DISASTROUS would be a compliment. If "we the people" had given them an anual appraisal they wouldn't be making half that they are or enjoying a fourth of the benefits and perks that they do. Eliminating the retirements and benefit packages of former congressional members would be a good place to start saving toward solvency…it's as legitimate as any reductions the current congress could come up with.

    50. George, St. Louis says:

      Someone commented: "Even President Regan’s staff was capable and proved to be very effective." No "even" — Reagan WAS his staff. He was an actor playing the part of a lifetime while his mind was decaying from early Alzheimers. The staff pulled the strings to the Reagan marionette. With Obama, we see the real deal.

      And people say things like: "Obama has no love for our nation; in fact, he despises it, and it can be ably argued that he seeks its destruction." Have they read his books? Do they have a shred of evidence for this assertion? Seeks to destroy the US? C'mon, get a grip.

      Kevin H's analysis of numbers shows how hollow most of this "conservative" parroting of Rush and Fox is.

    51. Floyd B- Missouri says:

      @ Kevin H. Your argument might have some substance if you hadn't left out one little detail. Reagan didn't spend north of $2TTTTrillion in his first 20 months trying to create or safe jobs and take over 1/6th of the US economy. Dems have spent more $ since Jan '07 then the entire Gov. structure in the history of the USA. Sadly Bush had the pen in his hand for two of those years but, Dems had the majority in both houses since '07. Until the statists (R&D) are out of power this country will not recover!

    52. Chicago says:

      It’s all good that we are honoring Ronald Reagan’s legacy and the “recovery plan” it is a beautiful thing to have a gift of gab, one thing that I like to add is a question of the description for the down turn. Was it a fluke or overharvesting during the weak Carter Presidency? The reason I’m asking is that, the set up President Bush created allowing for the Market to collapse, seems like, that was a plan all along. The President took his toys home after his term ended, everybody have taken a bite out of the proverbial pie, and when they baked one, they took it home with them. Now President Obama gets to be the hero and save the Nation. We will not know, is he or isn’t he, until the end of his term in the Office. Will he leave us some honey or we get sugar water again? Well, there is always the next time, hope is a good thing.

    53. Jackie, NYC says:

      Someone ought to do a political cartoon of Barack Obama wearing a Ronald Reagan mask…

    54. Judee, Milwaukee, WI says:

      Yes, but where do we someone so dedicated to the same principals as Reagan for our next election? I'm not impressed with most of the possible candidates. Reagan stuck to his principles but also knew how to handle the media. When they bated, he would shrug nonchalantly and answer their questions with brilliance rather than rising to the bate.

    55. Don, Denver says:

      @ Kevin H,

      Well, you have so many false statements, I don’t know where to begin. But, I will try to make these as concise as possible.

      1)When you call TV programs “silly” and “manipulative”, are you referring to the ones that have information that actually backs them up? Unlike MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS where they seem to hardly every fact check their “statements”. You must take all that information as Fact don’t you? Funny how that they all sound alike? Weird huh?

      2)There ARE people that can see through the “facade” of one’s character, words, and don’t have a college education or psychological career. To use a sports analogy, even a regular athlete can spot a “big talker”/”BS’er” and see that a person can’t back it up. It’s not really that hard… for some people.

      3)“In the last decade, insurance premiums have increased an average of more than 130%.” Don’t you think this may be caused by the more and more government regulations, not by industry greediness? Maybe the litigious society increased and therefore caused rates to increase?

      4)Obamacare; if you think that this is such a great idea, you should move to Canada or even Great Briton.

      a.There’s a trade off, all covered with less quality care VS some covered with best quality care.

      b.Insurance is for big health care costs, un-expected issues, not to pay for everything.

      c.You are going to have fewer doctors. IF you don’t understand supply and demand, then you are economically challenged.

      d.Why is there 700 plus exemptions for O-care? Yeah, businesses love this deal! /sarc

    56. Bill, Reality says:

      @Kevin H, College Park, MD

      I am someone who has partaken of the political field. I have also served as combat troop member in the US Army. And I have owned a business. I have been without insurance for extended periods of time due to high premiums. I paid for two of my kids' birth completely on my own due to that. So let me serve up some cognitive dissonance.

      You, sir, are wrong.

      Yes, premiums have risen over a decade, by a frigging lot. But that pales in comparison to what will happen under the Obamacare provisions. Are some cutting premiums? Yes, but read the fine print. A lot of previously covered benefits are going away. They are also doing it by dropping plans, i.e. eliminating choice. Yes, a lot of small businesses are going to close up shop as a result. But clearly you think "so what" since you assert they don't matter.

      If you paid attention you would know that the supposed benefits still don't kick in for a couple of years. These are the more expensive options. Often, those who are realizing the costs they will bear are those who look at the entire picture, not just a small piece.

      Obamacare does nothing to "solve" rising health care costs. And while it should be obvious, it is the rise of health care costs that leads to higher premiums. Higher health care costs are a direct result of "insurance" covering "everything".

      Preventative medicine should not be covered under "insurance", in the same way that Allstate doesn't cover changing the oil in your car, or cleaning out the water heater in your house. In fact, if you actually did some research you would find that in areas of medicine *not* covered by "health insurance", the costs have been decreasing. They are virtually the only aspect of modern medicine with a consistent decrease in costs. Virtually all "covered" aspects have been increasing in price.

      Expanding "health insurance" is assuredly a great way to increase the costs as it subsidizes an industry that quite frankly doesn't need it and has grown fat at said trough. The similarities between it and the baking industry of the last couple decades is astonishing. In any endeavor when you separate people from the costs, you will encourage lesser quality and higher costs.

      We are not yet done, or even begun, to pay the true cost of the recession. By bailing out various people we insulate them from the cost of their, and our collective, mistakes. Which means they will repeat them. Recessions teach people to save, to keep overspending down, etc.. The more we insulate people from that, the deeper future recessions will be. The more we insulate people from the costs of health related decisions, be it going to the doctor for the common cold or smoking, or overeating, the less *learning* will happen an the worse off we will all be, and the higher the costs.

      For decades we subsidized Europe's defense by using our own troops and money for that. That gave them the opportunity to do what we are doing now. They have since found that despite our heavy effective subsidization of their health care programs it is still unworkable as it leads to perpetually increasing costs. If we go down that path we will find the same thing. Though our price will be much higher.

    57. Bobbie says:

      Glen Beck encourages people to find the truth, Kevin. Not once have I heard anyone on your side suggest that. Chris Mathews wants you to believe what he says and you do, without seeking the truth. Liars don't suggest you seek the truth. You are being fed the lies and living them.

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