What is striking is that the president and his advisers still seem to be clueless about which economic policies work and which don’t work. Despite his (at least for this week) emphasis on the economy, he persists in being the anti-Reagan, with anti-growth policies. In his speech in Illinois, the president came up with no new pro-growth proposals, just more of what has not worked.
President Reagan reduced the maximum tax rate on job creators by 60 percent; Mr. Obama increased the maximum tax rate on job creators by 17 percent.
Reagan cut non-defense, discretionary, federal government spending by a third as a percentage of gross domestic product; Mr. Obama has increased it.
Reagan cut government regulations while Mr. Obama has greatly increased them.
The results are:
Under Reagan, adult black unemployment fell by 20 percent, but under Mr. Obama, it has increased by 42 percent.
Black teenage unemployment fell by 16 percent under Reagan, but has risen by 56 percent under Mr. Obama.
The increase in unemployment rates has been far worse for blacks under Mr. Obama than for whites and Hispanics.
Inflation-adjusted real incomes are slightly higher for Hispanics and whites than they were in 2008, but are lower for blacks.
The labor force participation rate has fallen for all groups, but remains far lower for blacks than for whites and Hispanics.
Most people, when confronted with the evidence presented above, probably would realize that they had been mistaken and then try a set of policies that were successful in the past. Not Mr. Obama. Given the tenor of his most recent talks, he seems to be intent on doubling down on his own failed policies.
Read More: The Washington Times
Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.