Finally some actual facts! That’s what I was hoping to find when I opened Rod Livdahl’s letter about the “tickle up effect”. Alas, it was not so. It was simply more “theory,” not supported by actual facts in an attempt to disparage President Reagan’s implementation of supply side economics. So I took one statistic, the unemployment rate, and did some research. These facts paint an interesting picture:
December 1982 was the height of a recession associated with the continuation of terrible economic conditions of the Carter administration. Unemployment stood at 10.8 percent.
President Reagan took office 1981. From its peak in 1982, the unemployment rate steadily declined to 5 percent in 1989.
This drop in unemployment was one of the most pronounced in modern times and is associated with Reagan’s supply side economics, despairingly call “trickle down” by the left.
In 1991 a short recession ensued where unemployment peaked at 7.8 percent in 1992, followed by a steady decline to 3.9 percent in 2000.
A recession associated with 9/11 brought unemployment to 6.3 percent in 2003, followed by a recovery which saw the rate bottom out at 4.4 percent in 2007.
Unemployment steadily increased from there. When President Obama took office in 2009 it stood at 7.8 percent.
During Obama’s Presidency, unemployment peaked at 10 percent and has never been lower than 7.7 percent. He has presided over the longest period of unemployment over 7 percent since the Great Depression.
Real facts don’t lie and the story they are telling me is that we could use a bit more of Reagan’s supply side economics today.