U.S. economy under Democrats and Republicans

By almost every measure, the U.S. economy has fared better under Democratic Presidents than under Republicans. Some of this may be due to chance.  A President, after all, does not control the timing of the economic cycle.

But I think a lot of it is due to the fact that Democrats historically have been more oriented to wage-owners, and Republicans to holders of financial assets.  When there is a full-employment, high-wage economy, everybody does well.  A policy of “percolate up” beats one of “trickle down.”

Here are links that show what I mean.

Politicians Lie, Numbers Don’t by Michael Kinsley

Presidents and Congress, Democrats and Republicans, Spending, Taxation, Debt and GDP on the Angry Bear web site.

The Laffer Curve in real life by Jay Bookman, a blogger for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution [added 9/20/10]

Here are charts if you don’t want to plow through the links.  I admit I didn’t get sources for all the information in the charts, but you can get confirmation of the basic information in the links.

Also. keep in mind that, as they say on Wall Street, past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Chart added 9/26/2015.  Source: Mark Thoma

Jeb Bush’s Claims and Reality by Mark Thoma for Economist’s View.  [added 9/26/2015]

this chart added 2/8/11

this chart added 2/8/11

this chart added 2/8/11

this chart added 2/8/11


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6 Responses to “U.S. economy under Democrats and Republicans”

  1. codecrackx15 Says:

    You have to look at it from who controlled congress, that is more telling. Clinton got high marks on the Economy because Republicans forced the balanced budget and the contract with America while controlling congress so going by President is misleading.


    • JK Says:

      Then why did the debt and deficits go up when the same GOP Congress worked with GW Bush? Sorry, but Clinton deserves as much credit as Congress.
      And, some of the credit goes to HW Bush, as well. He signed the tax hikes that he pledged not to raise. He lost a lot of GOP support for that, but it helped balance the budget.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. philebersole Says:

    Dear codecrackx15:

    Click on the Angry Bear link for a discussion of this issue.

    Angry Bear compares spending, taxation, debt and GDP growth based on which political party controls the White House, which the Senate and House and various combination thereof.

    As to Clinton, he wasn’t as good a budget-balancer as he gets credit for because the positive balance includes the buildup of Treasury bonds in the Social Security trust fund. Just because these bonds represent an obligation to American retirees rather than German or Chinese bankers doesn’t make them any less an oligation for future payments.

    Still, at the end of Clinton’s term, U.S. government civilian spending and civilian employment was lower than at the start, and agencies such as FEMA were under competent professional management.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Democrats vs. Republicans - In Graphic Form | Says:

    […] Source […]


  4. Scott jacobs Says:

    The US economy is far larger than the American President and does not grow or decline in four year chunks. The President has only marginal effects on the economy – due to spending, tax and monetary policy. He does not control monetary policy, and spending and tax policies have long lag periods before they affect the real economy. What a four year chunk probably shows is the marginal effects of policies adopted by the former president, due to time lags. This whole kind of analysis – popular in the public fantasy of how economies work – is bogus, with apologies.


    • philebersole Says:

      The charts prove a negative—that there is no reason to think that a Republican administration will result in better job growth, better returns on investments, lower federal budget deficits or superior performance by any other economic measure.


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