Explaining why he's a Reagan conservative, Hannity regurgitates Reagan falsehoods

››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

Sean Hannity, purporting to explain what a "Reagan conservative" is, claimed that President Reagan created 21 million new jobs and doubled federal revenues. Neither of those claims are true.

Hannity pushes falsehoods about federal revenues, job creation under Reagan

From the March 30 edition of On The Record with Greta Van Susteren:

SEAN HANNITY: You know, Conservative Victory, I identify myself as a Reagan conservative...

GRETA VAN SUSTERN: What is that?

HANNITY: Reagan conservative? It's simple. You know, Reagan was magical in terms of... He inherited... Wanna talk about the worst economy since the Great Depression? You know, interest rates were twenty-one and a half percent, double-digit unemployment, inflation was out of control, and Reagan came into office and he said "we can reverse this." And all the Democrats at the time said "you know what, it's not going to work, Reaganomics is going to fail." He drops the top marginal rates from seventy to twenty-eight percent... Lo and behold revenues in eight years doubled to the federal government... Twenty-one million new jobs are created and it ends up, at that point in time, being the longest period of peacetime economic growth in American history. It worked.

Revenues to the federal government did not "double" under Reagan

OMB: Revenue in inflation-adjusted dollars increased by less than 15 percent. According to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), when adjusted for inflation to constant fiscal year 2000 dollars, receipts (revenues) increased from $1.077 trillion to $1.236 trillion during Reagan's tenure in office. In current dollars, receipts went from $599 billion to $909 billion, an increase of roughly 50 percent.

From the OMB:

FISCAL YEAR

REVENUE IN CURRENT DOLLARS (billions)

REVENUE IN CONSTANT FY2000 DOLLARS (billions)

1981

599.3

1,077.4

1982

617.8

1,036.9

1983

600.6

961.7

1984

666.5

1,016.8

1985

734.1

1,082.6

1986

769.2

1,107.3

1987

854.4

1,196.1

1988

909.3

1,235.6

Hannity overstates job creation under Reagan

Hannity credits Reagan with 5 million additional jobs created. The Bureau of Labor Statistics database shows that between Reagan's inauguration (January 1981) and the time he left office (January 1989), nonfarm payroll jobs (seasonally adjusted) went from 91,031,000 to 107,133,000, an increase of about 16.1 million, 5 million less than Hannity's claim.

Using a measurement that includes farm jobs, there were 99,955,000 total civilian employment jobs (seasonally adjusted) in January 1981, according to the BLS statistical database. In January 1989, there were 116,708,000 total civilian employment jobs (seasonally adjusted), a difference of roughly 16.75 million jobs.

Hannity modifies language on economic expansion to correct prior falsehood

In previous discussions (see here, here, here, and here), Hannity has falsely claimed that Reagan oversaw the longest peacetime economic expansion in history. In fact, the longest such expansion was from March 1991 - March 2001, falling mostly within President Clinton's tenure. Hannity now accurately indicates that the expansion under Reagan was "at that time" the longest period of peacetime economic expansion.

Posted In
Economy
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Sean Hannity
Show/Publication
On The Record with Greta Van Susteren
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