It’s not often that a Democrat channels Ronald Reagan, but President Joe Biden did just that recently as he likened today’s recovery to the economic boom experienced under the conservative Republican president.
Biden kicked off the Fourth of July weekend by celebrating the latest jobs report, saying, “The last time the economy grew at this rate was in 1984 and Ronald Reagan was telling us ‘It’s morning in America.’ Well, it’s getting close to afternoon here, the sun is coming out.”
Biden being Biden, he probably didn’t understand that “afternoon in America” sounds like a country in decline. Reagan’s evocation of “morning” suggested that the best was yet to come. Reagan, the optimist, got it right.
Biden evoking Regan takes chutzpah. The reality is: Biden has had nothing to do with the economic resurgence the country is currently experiencing, while it was Reagan’s tax cuts and deregulation that propelled tremendous growth and job gains in the 1980s.
Too harsh? No. Consider the facts.
The economy is not rebounding because of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), as Biden would have you believe. If anything, elements of that $1.9 trillion pork fest that passed with only Democrat votes in March are holding us back.
The economy is recovering because President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed delivered vaccines that drove COVID-19 into the ground and allowed businesses to reopen. That’s it – that’s what happened.
Remember that in the first quarter, long before any of the ARP $1,400 checks went out, the economy grew at over 6%; in fact, the economy grew at 4.3 % in last year’s fourth quarter, before Biden even took office and prior to the $900 billion bipartisan stimulus bill signed into law at the end of last year. The gains came from mayors and governors taking advantage of the slowdown in new virus cases to allow restaurants and shops to reopen, and people gaining confidence that it was safe to go out of their homes.
On Jan. 6, 2021, there were 132,474 people hospitalized in our country with COVID-19; that proved to be the all-time high. By March 1, the number had fallen to 46,738. A combination of vaccines being delivered to the aged and other vulnerable groups and some degree of herd immunity meant that by early this year the disease was winding down. Today, the number of cases is down by over 90% from the highs.
Americans responded to the improving numbers by getting out and resuming their lives, as authorities lifted restrictions. We know that from various indicators, such as the Apple Mobility Index, which shows a 99% rise in inquiries about walking directions today compared to a baseline of January 2020, and a 66% rise in inquiries about driving instructions. Importantly, those numbers turned around and began to rise in January of this year; they never backed down.
Reagan lightened the regulatory grip on the economy while Biden wants to insert the feds into every nook and cranny of our nation’s activities.