Aside from my immediate reaction, which is to say: Credit -- like the $2.6T surplus that was turned into a $3T deficit in just 6 years -- will be certainly be given, and, unfortunately for us, the interest is already due!
But that did made me wonder if I was short-changing the Gipper, so I did a little digging and found some interesting statistics:
Here is a long-term S&P Chart:
Since it goes further back, here's the long-term Dow Chart:
I am going to be very kind and give the Republicans a pass on the Great Depression (even though they caused it) and just say they were in the wrong place (the White House) running the wrong country into the ground at the wrong time (1920-1933).
The S&P graph only goes back to 1950, but you can't have a serious conversation about the markets using the Dow, so we'll just say there was a depression and a war and start from there:
1950-1953: Truman -- D (two assassination attempts) inherited a post-war economy in charge of building the country back up from a very difficult period. The 1948 election was the first time the Republicans attempted to steal an election by miscounting ballots: S&P 16-26
1953-1961: Roosevelt's Great republican general, Eisenhower -- R got us through the Korean War and got the 60s off to with a bang by starting the cold war that set the stage for the an immense peacetime expansion of the military -- one might say he invented the Fear Factor! S&P 26-58
1978-1982: Carter -- D A better ex-President than President, but a better President than he gets credit for during a really tough time. S&P 96-150
1982-1989: Reagan -- R Even I love him as a person, but he mortgaged the country to make the economy look good and effectively created our national debt as we went from a credit balance to a $3T deficit under his regime. Bush I's CIA sold arms to Iran! S&P 150-339
1994-2001: Clinton -- D balanced the budget and attempted to nationalize health care before costs got out of control. Turned the actual (not fantasy) economy around and generated a surplus. His big mistake was to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1.2% of the taxpayers to balance a cut for 15M low-income families and 90% of American small businesses. This drove record funds into the 1994 Republican election where the Democrats lost the House and the Senate. S&P 445-1350
2002-???: Bush II -- Took a $2.6T budget surplus and turned it into a $1.5T deficit within 6 months of taking (literally) office by giving the average American family $3,000 (for gas) and above average American families millions. Holds the presidential record for cabinet resignations (14), and is the first President to suspend the release of presidential papers. The S&P was already down to 1,073 on 9/10/01 and, in fact, "only" dropped to a low of 944 on 9/17 before rebounding to 1,091 by early October. The rest of the drop -- to 794 over the next 12 months, was just the result of terrible economic policies. Last week was the first time the S&P got back to Clinton levels.
So how does that all stack up on the overall economic scorecard of Democrats vs. Republicans?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis:
- Personal income grew 20% faster under Democratic Administrations.
- Employment averaged 30% more under Democratic Administrations.
... I'm not going to keep saying under Democratic Administrations unless the Republicans win a category...
- Unemployment was 30% less (makes sense).
- GDP grew 33% more from 1962 on (see lag factors too!)
- GDP growth since 1930 was a stunning 5.4% vs 1.6%
- Inflation was 15% less, 27% less with lag factors.
- Growth in Federal spending (now hold onto your hat) 7% under Democrats, 7.5% under Republicans through 2001 (Bush will blow this number up a mile).
- Growth in Defense spending 8.3% Dems, 10% Reps
- Rise in Federal employees -- Republicans hired 310,000 new ones vs. Dems just 59,000.
- Average annual budget deficit 1962-2001: Dems $36B, Reps $190B (another number Bush will increase substantially)
- Total debt increase 1962-2001: Dems $720B, Reps $6.3T (again, Bush will lead you to the $7T promised land -- 10x what the Dems have done!)
- Average annual stock market returns since since 1900: Dems 12%, Reps 8%
- With a Democratic Senate: 10.5%
- With a Republican Senate: 9.4%
- With a Democratic House: 10.9%
- With a Republican House: 8.1%
Feel free to vote with your wallet in November!
Read all of Phil Davis's articles on Seeking Alpha.