James Pethokoukis and Joe Weisenthal have been arguing over who presided over the more impressive recovery: Barack Obama or Ronald Reagan?
This is, I think, a mostly useless exercise. Obama and Reagan presided over different kinds of recessions that began at different times and ended in different ways. Imagine you had two doctors, one who had treated a patient for a drug overdose, and another who was treating a patient who recently suffered a heart attack. Would flatly comparing the speed of the two patients’ recoveries tell you anything about the doctors? Of course not. So too with Obama and Reagan. But if you do want to compare the two presidents, here are some things to keep in mind:
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