Thursday, February 12, 2009

Question for President Obama

Larry Elder suggested seven questions for reporters to ask President Obama in his article at today. The full article is worth a read but his point is particularly salient about the current recession and its similarity to the one faced by President Reagan in the 1980s.

"2) Mr. President, this is a two-part question. In your opening statement, you called today's economic situation 'the most profound economic emergency since the Great Depression' and later 'the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.' But in the 1981-82 recession, unemployment reached 10.8 percent in 1982 versus 7.6 today. Reagan inherited an annual inflation rate of 13.5 percent, while you, sir, came in with a 0.1 percent inflation rate. Prime interest rates reached 21.5 percent at the end of 1980, compared with 3.25 percent at the end of 2008. Reagan did not ask for a 'rescue' or 'bailout' package. He cut taxes and slowed the rate of domestic spending. Unemployment, inflation and interest rates went down. The Treasury collected more revenue than ever. First, how then -- at least so far -- is this the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression? And second, given Reagan's success, why not cut taxes, reduce domestic spending, and leave taxpayers and consumers with more money to save, spend and invest?"