Twenty-First-Century Reaganomics

The president took the oath of office facing an “economic Dunkirk,” as his top advisors warned. The unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, up from 5.6 percent 18 months earlier. In his inaugural address, the president acknowledged that America was “confronted with an economic affliction of great proportions,” and he resolved to “begin an era of national renewal.” The job would take time, he said: “The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in days, weeks, or months.” But more than a year later, Americans were still waiting. Critics, including some from his own party, complained “all over the airwaves with proposals which are impossible to realize,” the president wrote privately. Unemployment rose to double digits, hitting 10.8 percent on the eve of the president’s second anniversary in office. Midterm election returns—a referendum on his first two years—were disastrous. Time reported that the president’s “economic advisers have been emptying out their desks and leaving,” underscoring “an impression of disarray within the Administration’s top economic ranks.”

President Barack Obama in early 2011? Nope: President Ronald Reagan in late 1982.


About Well of Knowledge Tour Guide

I am a public policy thinker and amateur historian. My interests are seeking knowledge in all areas of life.
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