A Tale of Two Presidents
In 1982, Ronald Reagan found himself in political trouble over his economic policies, which aimed to end a decade of stagnation and runaway inflation while improving America’s military position against the Soviets in the Cold War. While his regulatory policies had brought rapid declines in energy costs to consumers, the US economy tipped back into a double-digit inflation.
Democrats spent the midterms of Reagan’s second year as President arguing that voters needed to correct his extreme “Reaganomics,” and threatened to unravel all of the efforts Reagan had already made. In response, Reagan went on the campaign trail, telling voters that they should “stay the course” and allow his policies enough time to work.
Reagan ended up losing 27 seats in the House, which Democrats had controlled anyway. He fought to a draw in the Senate and protected GOP control in the upper chamber. More importantly, Reagan had won breathing space in terms of public opinion, while betting the final two years and his re-election prospects in 1984 on economic success.
The bet paid off with a massive economic expansion that added almost 7.2 million jobs in the two years between the midterms and Reagan’s re-election in 1984. By the time Reagan left office in January 1989, the American economy would add 16 million jobs and raise the percentage of the population in the workforce from 63.9 percent to 66.5 percent.
Fast forward thirty-two years, and the contrast is striking. Once again, we have a President asking America to stay the course, only this time we have almost five years of failure already on the record. And yet, rather than offer any hint of recognition of the failure of his policies, Barack Obama offered a laundry list of policies recycled from a litany of failures.
As its defenders are noting in an effort to put lipstick on the Obamacare pig, the president's signature plan to socialize medical insurance will cause millions to spend more time with their families. Ideally, many of Mr. Obama political enablers will be spending more times with theirs next year.
Meanwhile at Reason, David Harsanyi spots a pair of MSM outlets likely being gently, ever-so-gently nudged, either by the White House or by their supporters, or both, to revise their headlines on this topic:
Magically, liberals argue it is a good thing that Americans will drop out of the labor market and a "lie" to claim that Obamacare is the impetus for impeding job growth.
Yes, for an estimated $1.2 trillion over the next decade, we can subsidize your freedom. In ordinary times, if a projection found particular legislation to be the impetus for more than two million people dropping out of the labor force during serious economic stagnation, newspapers might have reported it in a negative light. And maybe that was their initial intent here. But within a few hours, many were changing headlines. Here are a few, according to the Post's Erik Wemple:
Politico at first: "CBO: Lower enrollment, bigger job losses with Obamacare."
Politico now: "Report reignites debate over Obamacare and jobs."
UPI at first: "CBO: Obamacare to cost 2.3 million jobs over 10 years."
UPI now: "WH disputes media claims on CBO Obamacare study."
What was once a story about Obamacare's discouraging work and impeding job creation is now a dispute about semantics. Mission accomplished.
Related: From a tale of two presidents to a tale of two blog posts: "The Derp. It Hurts… Wonkette Asks if Obama 'High as ****'; Attacks Gateway Pundit for Reporting Same."