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Joe Biden, Softie
We are on the verge of an absolutely remarkable economic soft landing. The president is no bystander.
This is a handy chart showing economic “soft landings”and “hard landings” since 1965, compiled by Sam Boocker and David Wessel of the Brookings Institution, and based on a 2023 journal article by Princeton economist Alan Blinder. As you can see, unambiguously soft landings (after interest-rate hikes to reduce or prevent inflation) are exceedingly rare, and yet economic experts are shedding their previous inhibitions about declaring a soft landing imminent. The Federal Reserve, of course, deserves credit for bringing inflation under control. But President Joe Biden deserves credit for keeping the economy in decent shape while the Fed performed the necessary demolition work. Unfortunately, Biden isn’t getting any credit; the public still thinks he’s done a crap job running the economy. Interestingly, President Bill Clinton didn’t get any credit either during what Blinder calls the “perfect” soft landing of 1993-1995. That’s the subject of my latest New Republic piece. You can read it here.
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