One week out from the 1980 presidential election, then-President Jimmy Carter and then-candidate Ronald Reagan participated in the only debate of the election cycle.
Carter was trailing by a few percentage points at the time, but most pundits were calling the race “too close to call.” During the debate, Reagan famously asked voters a pivotal question: “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”
The following week, Reagan won the election by a landslide.
Former President Donald Trump appears to be asking voters the same question today. On Sunday, he posted two comparison charts on his social media platform, Truth Social. The first graphic compared the performance of the tech-heavy Nasdaq index under President Joe Biden’s governance with the equivalent period of Trump’s presidency.
The second chart showed the gains and losses in numerical form. It also includes data for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 for those periods.
The statistics were generated by the data website Facts First. So far, the Nasdaq has lost 17.65 percent of its value under Biden. At the same point in Trump’s presidency, the Nasdaq had gained 44.17 percent.
Trump obviously cherry-picked the Nasdaq index because it had outperformed both the Dow and the S&P 500 indices. Although the results were less dramatic, they were still impressive.
The Dow has lost 4.33 percent under Biden. It had climbed 35.53 percent at this point under Trump.
The S&P 500 index has fallen by 2.78 percent under Biden. It gained 29.42 percent by this time in Trump’s presidency, a difference of 32.2 percent.
The Nasdaq index soared over 130 percent by the time Trump left office. Don’t forget this period includes the stock market’s death plunge caused by the pandemic in March 2020.
Stock market performance is just one of the metrics Facts First tracks. The others include GDP and job growth.
The GDP has grown 3.21 percent under Biden compared to 3.77 percent during the equivalent period for Trump, a difference of 0.55 percent.
Facts First uses non-farm payroll statistics to determine job growth in the economy. Biden is at a whopping 7.06 percent while Trump was at 2.50 percent. There is an explanation for the 4.56 percent gap.
Trump was presiding over the most robust economy that the U.S. had enjoyed in decades, and he was widely expected to cruise to re-election. Then the pandemic hit. The lockdowns followed and millions of jobs were lost. Democrats fought attempts to end the lockdowns and to reopen businesses.
The most stunning non-farm payroll results in modern memory came in the spring of 2020. According to data website YCharts, the Labor Department reported that 20.49 million Americans lost their jobs in April, followed by 2.462 million in May and 4.505 more in June. In April, CNBC reported the unemployment rate had spiked to 14.7 percent.
By the end of 2020, helped by the announcement the Monday after Election Day that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine would be rolled out in December, COVID hysteria began to recede and businesses started hiring again. Biden was the beneficiary of these developments.
Although Biden takes credit for all the job creation that followed, these jobs would have returned if Genghis Khan himself occupied the White House.
Although it’s not one of the metrics Facts First tracks, inflation under Biden has soared to levels not seen since the Carter years. Inflation was at 1.4 percent when Trump left office. Today it stands at 8.3 percent. The prices of many necessities such as food and gas have far outpaced even that lofty rate. And it was caused by the foolish policies of the current administration such as their war on fossil fuels and out-of-control spending.
Reagan’s simple question to voters seems more relevant than ever: Are you better off today than you were 20 months ago?
I think we all know the answer to that.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.