Obama and Reagan


It’s true that Barack Obama’s downward-sliding approval rating thus far tracks extremely closely with what happened to Ronald Reagan during the severe early eighties recession:

(click for bigger version)

(click for bigger version)

But I think Andrew Sabl draws too much solace from this fact. Look at how robustly the economy rebounded from that downturn:

FRED Graph 1

The Office of Management and Budget projected real growth rates of 4.3%, 4.3%, and 4.2% for 2011, 2012, and 2013 which is much worse. OMB’s forecast is also generally thought to be overly optimistic. The “Morning in America” year of 1984 featuring a real growth rate of over seven percent. If that happens in 2012, Obama will indeed cruise to re-election, become incredibly popular, and make fools of his rivals. But the administration’s economic policymakers don’t believe that will happen and don’t have a strategy for attempting to make it happen.