Over the past several months, President Obama has spent much time pleading for patience on the sluggish economy and ongoing high unemployment, arguing that the economic hole was so deep and the crisis so monumental that a slow recovery — now in its 30th month — was inevitable.RTWT at the link.
But in making his case, Obama appears to be perpetuating several myths about the recession he inherited and the slow recovery over which he's presided. Among them....
2) The country had to dig out of a historically deep hole. Obama often explains the length of the recovery by noting how deep the recession had been.
But while the so-called Great Recession lasted 18 months and sent unemployment to 10.1%, the 1981-82 recession was comparable in length and severity. That one lasted 16 months, and pushed unemployment even higher, to 10.8%.
The difference is that today unemployment is still at an historically high 8.6%, and it's only that low because the labor force has declined. Real GDP is a mere 0.04% above its pre-recession peak. At the comparable point in the Reagan recovery, unemployment had plunged to 7.3%, while the economy had grown 12% above its pre-recession peak, and was still climbing fast.
PHOTO CREDIT: The White House, "President Barack Obama talks with a patron at Reid's House Restaurant in Reidsville, N.C., during a lunch stop on the American Jobs Act bus tour, Oct. 18, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza).