Who is better for the economy – Republican or Democratic Presidents? (Hint – it’s not the big talkers)

by Pitt Griffin on October 12, 2012 · 0 comments

in Economics

This just in from the Economist magazine – under Democratic Presidents the real rate of increase in the stock market is 300%, under Republican Presidents it is 0%. Consider that, if you feel like voting for the “businessman”.

Maybe there are more important things than the stock market? Republicans are always warning of raging inflation, right around the corner – but how have the various administrations done with tackling it? (Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics).

In the post war period – starting with Truman and ending with Ford – inflation, during Democratic administrations, averaged 2.3%, under  Republicans it  averaged 7.6% In the “trickle-down” era starting with Reagan and through the current administration, Democrats have averaged 2.3%. Republicans 4.7%. Why didn’t you include Carter, the astute among you will ask? If you don’t include him, and his 11.3% rate, you are cherry-picking the data Republican apologists will claim. Fair enough – let’s include him. With him in the mix, from 1948 to 2011, under Democrats inflation averaged 3.6%, under Republicans it averaged 6.0%

A central tenet of “supply-side”, “trickle-down” or “voodoo’ economics, is the positive effect it will have on job creation. Give the rich more money, and they will run amok creating jobs, is how the prevailing conservative philosophy has it. Is this good science, or is it a fairy tale, told to convince the have-nots to vote for economic policies, which give a greater share of the nation’s wealth to the haves – while doing nothing to create jobs? Let’s look at the stats.

Since 1948 Democratic administrations have presided over, on average, a decline of 49% in the unemployment rate while Republican administrations have seen an average increase of 82%. No Democratic period in office has seen a net increase in unemployment, whereas unemployment decreased only once during Republican control – during Reagan/Bush Sr – and then by only 1%, which was worse than Carter. Want a job? Pray for a Democratic in the White House.

Okay, if the case for job-creation is on shaky grounds, what about the overall economy? Even if the poor see their share of the economic pie shrinking they can gain some ground, if the pie is increasing in size. How much better have Republican presidential policies done to increase the size of the economy – especially when compared with Democratic policies?

Not well. From 1948, GDP increased at an annual average rate of 2.6% during Republican presidencies, Democratic White Houses have presided over an average annual increase of 4.7%. Want wealth, vote Democratic.

Actually the whole argument is facetious, there is far more driving the economy than the party affiliation of the President. What the President can do to change the economy is open to debate. The statistics do not take into account the party in control of the House and Senate; nor do they take into account how much time it might take for a President’s policies take effect.

But what is undeniable is that there is no prima facie case for Republican policies being better for the economy than Democratic ones.


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