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  1. #1
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    GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Numbers can be brutally honest, especially when it helps quantify which political party is better for the growth of America. Using data from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), presidentialdata.org has given us a clear view of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate for each President since 1960. The numbers are telling, and not for the squeamish.

    I won't lie to you, the Democrats come out way ahead on this one. After reviewing the data below you may wonder just what in the heck the Republicans have to offer America. Well, I guess they're good at defense, but not good enough to ignore the horrible GDP growth rates we've had to suffer through (and continue to do so after Bush). For good measure, job creation, pay growth, and deficits are also listed below, and sad to say you won't get this data from Hannity, Rush, or their ilk.

    For those unfamiliar with the importance of the GDP growth rate as an economic indicator, consider this explanation:

    "The GDP growth rate is the most important indicator of economic health. If GDP is growing, so will business, jobs and personal income. If GDP is slowing down, then businesses will hold off investing in new purchases and hiring new employees, waiting to see if the economy will improve. This, in turn, can easily further depress GDP and consumers have less money to spend on purchases. If the GDP growth rate actually turns negative, then the U.S. economy is heading towards a recession." [source]


    Aggregate data from 1960 and 1980 to present (5-05) [source]

    1) Deficit (On Budget)

    1961-present

    Total Democratic Budget Deficits: $1283.8 billion
    Total Republican Budget Deficits: $5487.4 billion
    Democratic Presidents’ deficits averaged 1.77% of GDP
    Republican Presidents’ deficits averaged 3.42% of GDP

    1981-present

    Total Democratic Budget Deficits: $1004.4 billion
    Total Republican Budget Deficits: $5280.1 billion
    Democratic Presidents’ deficits averaged 2.06% of GDP
    Republican Presidents’ deficits averaged 4.09% of GDP

    1a) Deficit (total)

    Since World War II

    Total Democratic Budget Deficits: $625.1 billion
    Total Republican Budget Deficits: $4040.7 billion
    Democratic Presidents’ deficits averaged 1.2% of GDP
    Republican Presidents’ deficits averaged 2% of GDP

    1961-present

    Total Democratic Budget Deficits: $608.2 billion
    Total Republican Budget Deficits: $4013.2 billion
    Democratic Presidents’ deficits averaged 1.21% of GDP
    Republican Presidents’ deficits averaged 2.37% of GDP

    1981-present

    Total Democratic Budget Deficits: $320.3 billion
    Total Republican Budget Deficits: $3819.3 billion
    Democratic Presidents’ deficits averaged 0.76% of GDP
    Republican Presidents’ deficits averaged 2.67% of GDP

    2) GDP Growth

    Since World War II

    Average GDP growth per year under Democratic Presidents: 4.05%
    Average GDP growth per year under Republican Presidents: 2.88%

    1961-present

    Average GDP growth per year under Democratic Presidents: 4.09%
    Average GDP growth per year under Republican Presidents: 2.81%

    1981-present

    Average GDP growth per year under Democratic Presidents: 3.7%
    Average GDP growth per year under Republican Presidents: 2.81%

    3) Business Investment Growth

    Since World War II

    Average growth per year under Democratic Presidents: 7.08%
    Average growth per year under Republican Presidents: 2.94%

    1961-present

    Average growth per year under Democratic Presidents: 7.2%
    Average growth per year under Republican Presidents: 2.95%

    1981-present

    Average growth per year under Democratic Presidents: 9.85%
    Average growth per year under Republican Presidents: 2.29%

    4) Unemployment

    Since World War II

    Average unemployment per year during Democratic Presidents: 5.03%
    Average unemployment per year during Republican Presidents: 5.93%

    1961-present

    Average unemployment per year during Democratic Presidents: 5.33%
    Average unemployment per year during Republican Presidents: 6.24%

    1981-present

    Average unemployment per year during Democratic Presidents: 5.20%
    Average unemployment per year during Republican Presidents: 6.41%

    5) Growth in Jobs

    Since World War II

    Average yearly growth in jobs under Democratic Presidents: 2,082,000
    Average yearly growth in jobs under Republican Presidents: 1,167,000
    Average yearly percent growth in jobs under Democratic Presidents: 2.67%
    Average yearly percent growth in jobs under Republican Presidents: 1.36%

    1961-present

    Average yearly growth in jobs under Democratic Presidents: 2,391,000
    Average yearly growth in jobs under Republican Presidents: 1,307,000
    Average yearly percent growth in jobs under Democratic Presidents: 2.69%
    Average yearly percent growth in jobs under Republican Presidents: 1.39%

    1981-present

    Average yearly growth in jobs under Democratic Presidents: 2,884,000
    Average yearly growth in jobs under Republican Presidents: 1,253,000
    Average yearly percent growth in jobs under Democratic Presidents: 2.37%
    Average yearly percent growth in jobs under Republican Presidents: 1.17%

    6) Growth in Pay

    Since World War II

    Average yearly growth in weekly earnings under Democratic Presidents: 0.83%
    Average yearly growth in weekly earnings under Republican Presidents: 0.408%

    1961-present

    Average yearly growth in weekly earnings under Democratic Presidents: 0.48%
    Average yearly growth in weekly earnings under Republican Presidents: -0.30%

    1981-present

    Average yearly growth in weekly earnings under Democratic Presidents: 0.84%
    Average yearly growth in weekly earnings under Republican Presidents: -0.34%

    Last edited by Wolf Myth; July 22nd, 2009 at 09:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    The underlying premise is that if the economy is doing well, then the government's economic policies are good, and if the economy is doing poorly, then the government's economic policies are bad.

    The problem with this premise is that it overlooks what actually makes an economy function well or poorly--namely, the efficient allocation of capital and the generation of wealth through risk-taking, coupled with relatively free trade and competition.

    In other words, how can we be sure that if the Republicans had been in power, the economy would not have done even better? Or if the Democrats had been in power, the economy would not have been even worse?

    This is, I think, the central point of disagreement; the question is not about the nominal or real values of GDP growth under various administrations, the question is how we should interpret this data.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    The problem with this premise is that it overlooks what actually makes an economy function well or poorly--namely, the efficient allocation of capital and the generation of wealth through risk-taking, coupled with relatively free trade and competition.

    In other words, how can we be sure that if the Republicans had been in power, the economy would not have done even better? Or if the Democrats had been in power, the economy would not have been even worse?
    So what you are saying is that sometimes you just get the luck of the draw, and sometimes the economy just happens to be more properous at a particular time, and it would have been that way regardless of who was in power?

    I would agree with this if the statistics were limitied in scope, but the statistics provided by the OP covering the last 65 years are overwhelmingly in favor of the notion that the Democrats are better for America's economy.
    "I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in President, during I arrived in President."
    Dubya

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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    The data also fails to take into account massive time delays not only for implementation of policy, but for reporting. The first year of Regan's presidency was largely economic results of Carter's actions.
    It is also unclear from the data exactly what policies we are talking about. President's can have strong effects on an economy, though more often than not they have virtually no real effect. I think it might be more interesting to attach this data to republican/democrat controlled legislatures which have a much more direct control over the economy in the form of legal restrictions, trade pacts and taxes.

    In essence all WM has shown is that there is a correlation. However, there is also a correlation of Republican presidents to Democtrat legislatures. In the end correlation is not causation, if you are unable to show why Republican presidents are harmful to the economy, then there really isn't anything to debate.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  5. #5
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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Very interesting post, but I think it oversimplifies the issue of GDP and monetary policy and grossly misrepresents what drives GDP growth and distraction...

    Here are some interesting facts...

    Since 1961 Democrats have completely controlled congress 71% of the time.

    Since 1961 Democrats were in complete control of congress during Republican presidencies 57% of the time, and the houses were split 35% of the time.

    The biggest GDP gains for a Democrat President were in the 1990s under Clinton. Republicans controlled congress for 6 of 8 years.

    The biggest Democratic Presidential failure in terms of the economy was Carter. Democrats were in complete control of congress during his administration.

  6. #6
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    Wink Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    In other words, how can we be sure that if the Republicans had been in power, the economy would not have done even better? Or if the Democrats had been in power, the economy would not have been even worse?
    Ummmm, if what you are trying to argue was actually true, then there would be no way that the data would be the way that it is. The data, in your hypothetical case, would be much, much, much more randomized, but it isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by cdubs View Post
    So what you are saying is that sometimes you just get the luck of the draw, and sometimes the economy just happens to be more properous at a particular time, and it would have been that way regardless of who was in power?

    I would agree with this if the statistics were limitied in scope, but the statistics provided by the OP covering the last 65 years are overwhelmingly in favor of the notion that the Democrats are better for America's economy.
    Exactly. I've argued this before as well. The data is very, very clear and very, very inconvenient for the GOP & their backers.

    Quote Originally Posted by cds69 View Post
    Since 1961 Democrats have completely controlled congress 71% of the time.
    As in they had a majority, not as it every single member of Congress was a Dem.

    The biggest GDP gains for a Democrat President were in the 1990s under Clinton. Republicans controlled congress for 6 of 8 years
    ...and what did they do for the economy??

    The biggest Democratic Presidential failure in terms of the economy was Carter. Democrats were in complete control of congress during his administration.
    Well, in terms of GDP growth, he beat out GWB...that's for sure...

  7. #7
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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Guy View Post
    Ummmm, if what you are trying to argue was actually true, then there would be no way that the data would be the way that it is. The data, in your hypothetical case, would be much, much, much more randomized, but it isn't.
    My only argument is that your data does not support your conclusion; correlation does not equal causation. You are making assumptions that are neither explicit nor supported.

    Note that I am not arguing that your conclusion is wrong; I might actually agree with it (or I might not). My argument is confined solely to whether your data supports your conclusion.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Smile Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    My only argument is that your data does not support your conclusion; correlation does not equal causation. You are making assumptions that are neither explicit nor supported.

    Note that I am not arguing that your conclusion is wrong; I might actually agree with it (or I might not). My argument is confined solely to whether your data supports your conclusion.
    I dunno what to make of this reply, other than that you don't seem to willing to take a firm stand on this issue, which is fine with me. The data is very, very clear BTW...

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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Guy View Post
    I dunno what to make of this reply, other than that you don't seem to willing to take a firm stand on this issue, which is fine with me. The data is very, very clear BTW...
    Yes, the data is clear. But how does it support your conclusion?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

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    Thumbs down Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    But how does it support your conclusion?
    Haven't we been over this already? I know that we have...ugh... Let's try this again, if who was President had absolutely, positively nothing to due with whether the U.S. economy grew fast or slow or whatever, then the data would waaaaaaaaaaay more random than it is, but it isn't random at all. This really isn't rocket science...

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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Guy View Post
    Haven't we been over this already? I know that we have...ugh... Let's try this again, if who was President had absolutely, positively nothing to due with whether the U.S. economy grew fast or slow or whatever, then the data would waaaaaaaaaaay more random than it is, but it isn't random at all. This really isn't rocket science...
    I didn't say it had nothing to do with it. I just think your assumptions are plentiful--the policies of a president have their effects known during that administration's time in office, the economy tends to do well or poorly based on the president's policies, etc., etc.

    Not only are you not discussing the mechanisms that produce GDP and deficits, and how "Republican" Presidents contribute to these amounts vs. "Democrat" Presidents...you're not even interested in having that discussion.

    You don't bother proving your assumptions--assumptions that are required to reach your conclusion, by the way--and blindly assert that you must be right, because you must be right. Color me unpersuaded.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Guy View Post
    Haven't we been over this already? I know that we have...ugh... Let's try this again, if who was President had absolutely, positively nothing to due with whether the U.S. economy grew fast or slow or whatever, then the data would waaaaaaaaaaay more random than it is, but it isn't random at all. This really isn't rocket science...
    Please support why you hold the view that the data would be random? It would only be random if no other factors were tied to both. Clearly that is not true, Presidents come to power and are voted out on economic issues, the party in congress is correlated (negatively) with the executive party.

    BTW you have not yet addressed the time issue.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Cool Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    I didn't say it had nothing to do with it.
    You're not really saying much of anything as far as I can tell.

    the policies of a president have their effects known during that administration's time in office, the economy tends to do well or poorly based on the president's policies, etc., etc.
    Ummmm, that's what the data already shows my friend.

    Not only are you not discussing the mechanisms that produce GDP and deficits, and how "Republican" Presidents contribute to these amounts vs. "Democrat" Presidents...you're not even interested in having that discussion
    ...because I've already had it right here on this website, at length here:
    http://www.onlinedebate.net/forums/s...ad.php?t=17865

    You don't bother proving your assumptions--assumptions that are required to reach your conclusion, by the way--and blindly assert that you must be right, because you must be right.
    That's not what I have said at all...read above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Please support why you hold the view that the data would be random? It would only be random if no other factors were tied to both. Clearly that is not true, Presidents come to power and are voted out on economic issues, the party in congress is correlated (negatively) with the executive party.
    Since when is the "party in congress is correlated (negatively) with the executive party"??

    Ugh...I always have a hard time explaining the impacts of statistical data to those that don't deal with that kind of data very often. Let me say this for the very last time, if who was President (Party-wise) had absolutely, positively nothing to do with whether the U.S. economy grew or not, then there would be no way that the data could be presented in any way, shape, or form that one Party's Presidents were better for the U.S. economy.

    BTW you have not yet addressed the time issue.
    Look, I've never argued that the problems or successes of one Presidency don't bleed over into another. Look at what's most recently happened with Obama. Trying to blame a recession that started more than a full year before Obama was in office on Obama is kind of a useless exercise.

    GWB inherited a whole host of successes (and some failures) and turned our economy almost into dust IMHO. Clinton inherited a whole lot of failures (and some successes) from GHWB and presided over the longest peacetime expansion in history. We could go on & on, but the data that is presented above above takes all that into account. If you have an economy that's tanking when you take over (like Clinton & Obama did), and you are able to help turn things around, then your GDP numbers will be good. If you do the reverse, you'll get the opposite effect. This isn't rocket science people...

  14. #14
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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Guy View Post
    Since when is the "party in congress is correlated (negatively) with the executive party"??
    It is widely held that the party that controls the executive branch is negatively correlated with the party that controls the legislative branch. I.E. That if there is a Republican President then there tends to be a Democratic Congress and vice versa. When controlled for the second half of the term the correlation is even stronger.

    Quote Originally Posted by mg
    Ugh...I always have a hard time explaining the impacts of statistical data to those that don't deal with that kind of data very often. Let me say this for the very last time, if who was President (Party-wise) had absolutely, positively nothing to do with whether the U.S. economy grew or not, then there would be no way that the data could be presented in any way, shape, or form that one Party's Presidents were better for the U.S. economy.
    No, you argued only concerning direct causation, not correlation. Is your position that Presidents have direct causation to the economy or that they are only correlated to the economy?

    Quote Originally Posted by mg
    Look, I've never argued that the problems or successes of one Presidency don't bleed over into another. Look at what's most recently happened with Obama. Trying to blame a recession that started more than a full year before Obama was in office on Obama is kind of a useless exercise.
    Please support or retract the assertion that the recession started a full year before President Obama was in office.

    Quote Originally Posted by mg
    GWB inherited a whole host of successes (and some failures) and turned our economy almost into dust IMHO.
    The problem here is that your honest opinion doesn't mean much since you have refused to back it up with either evidence or deductive logic. Just how did President Bush turn "our economy almost into dust?"
    What did President Clinton substantively do that improved the economy?
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Guy View Post
    You're not really saying much of anything as far as I can tell.
    Perhaps you should take the time to read my previous posts.

    Ummmm, that's what the data already shows my friend.
    You are assuming it does; you have not shown that it does.
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Thumbs down Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    No, you argued only concerning direct causation, not correlation. Is your position that Presidents have direct causation to the economy or that they are only correlated to the economy?
    Both, the policies of the President have a direct effect on the U.S. economy.

    Please support or retract the assertion that the recession started a full year before President Obama was in office.
    Obama took office on January 20, 2009. The current recession started in December 2007.

    http://www.nber.org/cycles.html

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27999557/

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/02/bu...kets.html?_r=1

    I'm again really surprised that you apparently don't know this kind of stuff Squatch347.

    The problem here is that your honest opinion doesn't mean much since you have refused to back it up with either evidence or deductive logic. Just how did President Bush turn "our economy almost into dust?"
    What did President Clinton substantively do that improved the economy?
    My goodness...I really have little interest in re-debating things that have been settled in many, many other forums.

    The most recent recession was caused by the collapse of the housing market, which led to numerous bank collapses...which caused the amount of available credit to be sharply curtailed, resulting in huge liquidity & solvency crises. In addition, we had record high oil & food prices and several high profile banking, automotive, and manufacturing giants collapses in the USA.

    A much more detailed discussion of the issues related to the current recession and Clinton's successes are in the debate thread that I linked to earlier. There's no point in repeating what I've already said on this issue.

    Here's a few of the highlighted links from that same thread:
    http://www.bloggingstocks.com/2008/0...vatives/print/

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/251/story/53802.html

    http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?...bubble_economy

    http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/...ic-crisis.html

    http://clinton5.nara.gov/WH/Accompli...tyears-03.html

    http://clinton4.nara.gov/textonly/WH/Work/040299.html

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquer...el=TOC_627612&

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    Perhaps you should take the time to read my previous posts.
    I already have...they don't say that much.

    you have not shown that it does.
    Of course I have, this debate has already been had right here on this very website. It unconcerns me whether you've read it before or not.

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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Of course I have, this debate has already been had right here on this very website. It unconcerns me whether you've read it before or not.
    So you're making the claim that Republican administrations cause economic downturns...but you're not willing to support that claim, because you've already supported it somewhere else?
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
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    Cool Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by CliveStaples View Post
    So you're making the claim that Republican administrations cause economic downturns
    No, I'm making the claim, which the data far above clearly supports BTW, that the Dems in the White House are better for the U.S. economy than GOPers in the White House. Try & keep up...

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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Here are some more fun facts:

    Avg Yearly GDP Growth Rate per President

    Kennedy 5.2%
    Johnson 5.1%
    Nixon 3.0%
    Ford 2.1%
    Carter 3.2%
    Reagan 3.5%
    Bush 2.1%
    Clinton 3.6%
    Bush 2.3%

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    Re: GDP under Republican Presidents - FAILURE

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Myth View Post
    Here are some more fun facts:

    Avg Yearly GDP Growth Rate per President

    Kennedy 5.2%
    Johnson 5.1%
    Nixon 3.0%
    Ford 2.1%
    Carter 3.2%
    Reagan 3.5%
    Bush 2.1%
    Clinton 3.6%
    Bush 2.3%
    While the policies of individual presidential administrations can certainly have an effect on GDP growth, citing simplified lists like these doesn't really tell the whole story.

    Kennedy and Ford didn't even serve full terms in office. Given the definite lagging nature of the effects of policy on the economy, it's really hard to give them blame/credit for GDP growth that occurred during their time in office. Ford came into office under 10 percent inflation and the oil embargo of 1974 certainly didn't help either. Also important to note that Kennedy enacted the biggest tax cut in history at the time.

    Clinton enjoyed the dot.com bubble's positive effects, but was saved by the bell by leaving office before it burst. Had GW Bush enjoyed the same timing with the housing bubble, his GDP figure would be significantly higher.

 

 
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