The truth hurts – and right now, it is inflicting exquisite pain upon the GOP. Here is the truth: the national unemployment rate is now lower under President Obama than at any time under the Reagan Administration. Furthermore, despite all the whining and complaining from the Tea Baggers, the fact is that federal taxes have been reduced more under Obama than by any Administration since Eisenhower in the mid-1950s.

The US unemployment rate at the beginning of August of this year was 5.1%. That’s 0.2% lower than it was at the end of Reagan’s second term – and that takes into consideration the reduced number of workers in the labor market due to retirements, an aging population and lower birthrate.

When it comes to tax relief, the Obama Administration has done better on that score as well.  A 2011 article in The Orange County Register – a newspaper published in Ronald Reagan’s home turf in Southern California – acknowledged a report from the Tax Foundation, indicating that the highest income bracket is 30% below what it had been under Reagan. Overall, taxes for virtually everyone are at substantially lower levels than they were during most of the 1980s. Not surprisingly (considering the bias of the broadcast corporate media), only 12% of Americans are even aware today that their taxes are lower.

Professor Rapharl Sonenshein, who teaches political science at California State University in Fullerton, told the Register: “There’s this impression that there’s a colossal tax burden and that’s not really the case…but if you’re really angry at the government, you’re going to think taxes are too high.”

That pretty much sums up the Tea Party and other mindless GOP disciples of St. Ronald Reagan.

The sad fact for them – about which right-wingers are in complete denial or totally ignorant – is that Obama’s Administration outperforms that of Reagan in several key areas. You can see more evidence in a side-by-side comparison by visiting

K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues. In addition to writing for The Ring of Fire, he is the author of two published novels: Tamanous Cooley, a darkly comic environmental twist on Dante's Inferno, and The Missionary's Wife, a story of the conflict between human nature and fundamentalist religious dogma. When not engaged in journalistic or literary pursuits, K.J. works as an entertainer and film composer.