Ronald Wilson Reagan asked the best question a candidate ever posed to voters.
“Are you better off than you were four years ago?” the Republican standard bearer urged them to ponder as he closed the Oct. 28, 1980, debate between the final White House contenders.
One week later, the American people answered Reagan’s query by overwhelmingly electing him president of the United States. California’s former governor beat incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter 50.7 percent to 41.0 percent. Where it counts, Reagan buried Carter beneath an Electoral College avalanche: 489 to 49.
If Donald J. Trump asked Reagan’s question today, he surely would secure the Oval Office anew.
Last Thursday in Largo, Maryland, President Joe Biden mocked his predecessor’s domestic record as “MAGAnomics” and called it “more extreme than anything America has ever seen before.” Biden meant this as an insult. Pity for him, this catchy word captures so much that the previous management got right.
MAGAnomics trumps Bidenomics. By most every measure, Americans were better off four years ago than they are now.
Mid-September 2019 was six months before Trump declared the COVID-19 state of emergency on March 13, 2020. As social scientists would say, the CCP-virus was the most confounding variable in memory.
Rather than judge Trump’s performance by November 2020’s statistics — four years before Election Day 2024, but during a once-per-century global pandemic beyond his control — it is fairer to compare things between today and where they stood four years before COVID escaped the Wuhan Institute of Virology, from whence FBI Director Christopher Wray and the U.S. Department of Energy believe it most likely slithered.
As my nearby chart demonstrates, Trump trounces Biden on one meaningful measure after another.
Biden could praise the financial markets, which have appreciated during this interval. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has grown 27.2 percent in the last four years. The S&P 500 Index is 48.0 percent higher, and the NASDAQ has advanced 67.7 percent. These impressive figures are less a tribute to Biden’s economic prowess than they are a testament to the continuing benefits of the Trump/GOP tax cuts and regulatory-relief initiative, which Biden has yet to suffocate completely.
These figures otherwise are grim:
- Most troubling, inflation-adjusted annual household income has shrunk 4.7 percent.
- A gallon of regular gasoline is up 46.6 percent.
- A dozen eggs cost an additional 47.8 percent.
- A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has risen 100 percent.
- The year-on-year inflation rate (from 1.7 percent to 3.7 percent) has soared 117.6 percent.
This snapshot contrasts material conditions as of Sept. 15, 2023, versus those observed on Sept. 15, 2019. The most recent data available, such as the financial-market indices, would have been set on the latter day. However, the levels of unemployment, hourly earnings, inflation, and other metrics that then prevailed would have been unveiled earlier. (READ MORE from Deroy Murdock: Competing Slates of Electors Have Happened Before)
These numbers will turn smiles upside down. Joe Biden sure makes his people frown.
“Here is the truth. Americans were better off financially under President Trump,” the Trump campaign stated last week. “They see Bidenomics for what it is: inflation, taxation, submission, and failure.”
“Biden spent an unprecedented $11.5 trillion at a time when there was neither a war nor a national emergency,” Team Trump added. “This included over $4 trillion on three massive socialist spending bills crammed with every ridiculous and dangerous idea that the most fringe far-left lunatics in Congress ever dreamed up.”
All told, MAGAnomics is no slander. It’s a slogan. President Trump and his supporters should start printing it in bold colors on banners, buttons, and bumper stickers.
Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor.