Home > Politico, Uncategorized > Behind the Unemployment numbers; for real!

Behind the Unemployment numbers; for real!

Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States (1981-89)

40th President of the United States (1981-89)

Barack Hussein Obama II: the 44th and current President of the United States

44th and current President of the United States

I have been listening to the pundits talk about the unemployment numbers of Obama and their possible effect on his potential re-election without pointing out that these numbers were made possible after 8 years of Republicon rule. I found it amazing that pundits and Republicons constantly yammer out about the numbers being horrible and that this is why he will not get re-elected.

I think that it is fair to take a look at Obama’s situation and progress in comparison to the president (Ronald Reagan) that is held in high esteem by conservatives (loosely used) everywhere.

Reagan was elected in 1981 and was up for re-election in 1984. President Obama elected in 2009, and is up for re-election this year. Unemployment throughout 1981 may be attributed to the policies of Reagan’s predecessor, Carter. The unemployment throughout 2009 may be attributed to Obama predecessor, Bush. With that fact established, we can look at what they did after they survived their predecessor’s last budget year. I will only include the last 3 years of Obama’s and Reagan’s first term. I neglected to note that federal budgets end every October of the following year, so every president is stuck with the previous president’s budget for their first year (Civics son!).

I hear Republicon pundits argue that Reagan had the highest unemployment rate of any president seeking re-election which was at 7.2%. Pundits insist that unemployment under President Obama exceeds Reagan’s unemployment rate, and puts a damper on a possible second term for Obama. Now let’s take a look at the numbers in order to get a true gauge of what they had to work with and how they performed overall. Now I will admit that these are just raw numbers that do not do true justice to the given situations, but they are something to work with.

How do they compare and is anyone looking at these numbers?

Ronald Reagan

Barack Obama















Increased Debt/GDP




Increased Debt/GDP




Compiled by VeracityStew.com

I would contend that the above data (in its raw form) demonstrates the performance of both presidents after their first term. I would also note that when Reagan left office the unemployment rate was more than 8.8%.  Under Ronald Reagan and in response to his policies unemployment reached a maximum rate of over 11% while Obama inherited a 10% rate which had nothing to do with his policies and he has lowered it (despite high level of opposition). Let’s get real people, look at the numbers and make your case.

The pundits are using historical information like the table shown below to say that if unemployment rate exceeds seven percent, the incumbent president usually loses his bid for reelection.  This is their magical number and in this instance they are incorrect.  In November 2012, the unemployment rate is projected to exceed 7.7 percent.

With a high unemployment rate, can President Obama get reelected? I contend that he can and will even if it is for no other reason than the Republicon presidential nominee “Millard Romney” is such a horribly flawed candidate and the Republicon party as a whole is so socially and fiscally primitive.

Unemployment Rate Incumbent President Election year Election Outcome
7.7 percent Gerald Ford (R) 1976 Democratic victory
7.5 percent Jimmy Carter (D) 1980 Republican victory
7.2 percent Ronald Reagan (R) 1984 Republican victory
7.4 percent George H.W. Bush (R) 1992 Democratic victory
5.4 percent Bill Clinton (D) 1996 Democratic victory
5.5 percent George W. Bush (R) 2004 Republican victory
7.7 percent (projected) Barack Obama 2012 Democratic victory

Note: the 1988, 2000, and 2008 presidential elections were not included on the incumbent president was term-limited.

  1. June 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    I like it because I wrote it. You didn’t see this coming; did you?

  2. Wonkman
    June 28, 2012 at 2:58 am

    Right on although you should check your numbers. I think that Reagan’s unemployment numbers when he left office was at 7.7 percent.

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