Obama’s re-election would lead to ‘continued economic stagnation’

To the editor:

As we all know, the economy tanked under George W. Bush.

When President Barack Obama assumed office, the misery index — the sum of unemployment, inflation and prime rate — was 11.55. Almost 30 years before, Ronald Reagan inherited a bad economy from Jimmy Carter with a misery index of 35.08.

Both presidents set about to right our economic house.

President Reagan worked with a divided Congress in which Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled the House. Tax cuts were enacted, regulations reduced — the Federal Register shrank by more than 10,000 pages — and growth of the money supply was slowed to attack runaway inflation.

In addition, President Reagan led the way to a bipartisan entitlement reform of the Social Security system, which was bankrupt at the time and being supported by money from general revenue.

The economy added more than 5 million jobs above the number employed when he took office in his first term and more than 10 million more in the second term.

The gross domestic product grew 41 percent in his first term and 83 percent in eight years. Interest rates fell markedly.

The downside was that the national debt increased by $1.7 trillion in Reagan’s eight years in office.

Soon after assuming office, President Obama informed Republicans the Democrats had won the election and they would control the agenda.

Working with Democrats who controlled both the Senate and the House, the economic stimulus was enacted in early 2009.

Income taxes were not cut. Federal regulations were expanded in many areas — by more than 13,000 pages in the Federal Register so far. The money supply has grown exponentially through the use of quantitative easing policies. And, so far, President Obama has avoided entitlement reform.

The economy is functioning just above recessionary levels three-and-one-half years later.

Today there are about 400,000 fewer people employed than when Obama took office. This lags Reagan’s gain by more than 4.5 million. The gross domestic product has grown by less than 10 percent up to now. The national debt will have grown by $6.4 trillion by the end of his first term.

That is more than its growth under all of the previous presidents from Washington through Clinton.

President Obama promises more of the same economic program in a second term when he tells us that we just need to give him more time. He is not offering anything new on the campaign trail. His re-election would be a pathway to continued economic stagnation. We cannot afford that.