Jim Burt:  “You may want to keep this on hand for reference. It is a scholarly paper setting out with elaborate documentation and minute calculation what we’ve both been saying for years:  The US economy does much better under Democratic presidents than under Republican ones . . .”

. . . During the 64 years that make up the core 16 terms, real GDP growth averaged 3.33% at an annual rate. But the average growth rates under Democratic and Republican presidents were starkly different: 4.33% and 2.54% respectively. This 1.79 percentage point gap (henceforth, the “D-R gap”) is astoundingly large relative to the sample mean.4, It implies that over a typical four year presidency the U.S. economy grew by 18.5% when the president was a Democrat, but only by 10.6% when he was a Republican. And since the standard deviations of quarterly growth rates are roughly equal (3.8% for Democrats, 3.9% for Republicans, annualized), Democratic presidents have presided over growth that was faster but not more volatile. . . .

☞ In fairness, “it appears that the Democratic edge stems mainly from more benign oil shocks, superior [productivity], and perhaps greater defense spending and faster growth abroad.” But it sure seems to me — in the broadest strokes — as though Democrats are inclined to drive toward the future while post-Eisenhower Republicans yearn for the past, throwing all but non-military government investment into reverse.

Trump may be a different kind of Republican, but even if he should want to build anything other than the military and his wall, he won’t be able to do anything a Republican Congress opposes; and the Republican Congress seems more focused than ever on blocking investing in the future.

Trump: So Wrong . . . In So Many Ways

Meanwhile, how old is this presidential historian — two?



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