When challenged by these data the President and his allies in Congress respond that the recovery would be stronger if only the Republicans would wave through another “stimulus” like the one the Democrats enacted in 2009 on the promise that it would, in the President’s words “immediately jumpstart job creation and long term growth.”
Most of the Left’s so-called “economists” now claim to have known all along that the $830 billion stimulus of 2009 was way too small, that much more deficit spending would have restored prosperity and full employment. The problem they say is that the breath taking increase in the national debt over the last four years, from $10 to $16 trillion hasn’t been nearly enough.
So how do they know that even more spending would have bought more, not less prosperity? Is there any historical experience to validate their theory? The next chart shows how much federal spending increased in each of the nine previous recessions, all of which led to broader, more rapid recoveries. [continued below the chart]
Based on this experience there is no reason to believe even more spending would have improved results.
President Obama continuously reminds us that he began his term with an inherited recession, which came to an end. Job losses eventually stopped and job growth began, albeit very slowly.
But there is no historic example of a recession that did not end, no matter who was President, no matter which party was in power, no matter what policies the government pursued. All recessions, defined as periods of shrinking GDP, come to an end periods of job loss have always resolved to new periods of job creation.
The President’s aggressive, big government interventions into the private sector economy should be judged a success only if they produced a more robust recovery than America experienced after previous recessions, especially those that reduced government’s footprint, as the Reagan Administration did in the eighties.
But, as the first chart shows, after 13 quarters the current recovery ranks dead last. In fact, the recovery is so weak, millions of Americans believe the economy is still in recession.