Under ObamaCare, the Democrats placed the entire health care system under the command and control of the federal government. Through a nearly $1 billion "stimulus" package, Democrats spent money on "shovel-ready" projects with a promise to "save or create" 3.5 million jobs. To rein in "greed" and to fight "climate change," the Obama administration imposed billions of dollars' worth of new regulations on businesses. Through "quantitative easting," the Federal Reserve effectively printed money to keep interest rates low, a widely disputed policy designed to encourage banks to lend and businesses to borrow.
So where is it? When do we see the massive bounce-back from this "deeply depressed" economy, at minimum the kind of bounce-back that occurred in the '80s in spite of the allegedly harmful policies of Reagan?
Krugman's analysis of the Reagan recovery -- a deep recession equals sharp recovery -- tells us that the economy should be storming ahead, especially given Obama's enlightened leadership. But in the seven quarters following the end of this recession, gross domestic product growth has averaged 2.8 percent. In the seven quarters following the Reagan recession, GDP growth averaged 7.1 percent.
Forecasters are now lowering expectations for economic growth. Ominously, "core inflation," which excludes "volatile" categories of food and fuel, is up. Unemployment, after dipping below 9 percent, is now back to 9.1 percent.
So how does the left explain this?
"This was a (SET ITAL) financial (END ITAL) (emphasis added) crisis," explains Robert Shapiro, a Clinton administration economist, "and these take longer to recover from." Does this explain why last spring the Obama administration confidently predicted a "Recovery Summer"? Does this explain why the Obama economic team predicted that the 2009 passage of "stimulus" would prevent unemployment, then at 7 percent, from reaching 8 percent? Krugman, of course, in refusing to credit Reagan policies for the Reagan Recovery, made no distinction between a "financial" and a regular old crisis.
It's flat-out tough to explain how anti-Reagan policies are supposed to produce Reagan-like growth.
Here's the real explanation. The top priority of the left isn't "jobs, jobs, jobs." Andy Stern, the former head of the Service Employees International Union and hero to the left, makes this clear: "Western Europe, as much as we used to make fun of it, has made different trade-offs which may have ended with a little more unemployment but a lot more equality."
The goal of the leftist is social justice -- using government to close the gap between the have and the have-nots, to secure the "right" to health care. Obama's policies are therefore an acceptable trade-off even though they kill jobs -- as long as it's somebody else's job that gets killed.