Thursday, October 9, 2008


Which president produced:

1. The highest growth in the gross domestic product?
2. The highest growth in jobs?
3. The biggest increase in personal disposable income after taxes?
4. The highest growth in industrial production?
5. The highest growth in hourly wages?
6. The lowest Misery Index (inflation plus unemployment)?
7. The lowest inflation?
8. The largest reduction in the deficit?

The answers: 1. Harry Truman, 2. Bill Clinton, 3. Lyndon Johnson, 4. John F. Kennedy, 5. Johnson, 6. Truman, 7. Truman, 8. Clinton.

In the Economic Sweepstakes, Democratic presidents trounce Republicans eight times out of eight! If this isn’t enough to destroy the myth that the economy has performed better under Republicans, the stock market has also done better under the Democrats. The Dow Jones Industrial Average during the 20th century has risen 7.3 percent on average per year under Republican presidents. Under Democrats, it rose 10.3 percent – which means investors gained a whopping 41 percent more. And the stock market declined further during George W’s two terms. Moreover, since World War II, Democratic presidents have increased the national debt by an average of 3.7 percent per year and Republican presidents have increased it an average of 10.1 percent. During the same time period, Democratic presidents produced, on average, an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent; Republicans, 6.3 percent. That’s the historical record.

What about economic policies over the past 15 years? The Clinton-Gore administration presided over the longest peacetime economic expansion in our history. The national debt was reduced dramatically, the industrial sector boomed, wages grew and more Americans found jobs.

How has the Bush-Cheney team fared? In the past seven years, we have experienced the weakest post-recession job creation cycle since the Great Depression, record deficits, record household debt, a record bankruptcy rate and a substantial increase in poverty. We have gone from being the nation with the biggest budget surplus in history to becoming the nation with the largest deficit in history.

What is downright frightening is that Bush and John McCain seem to still believe an unregulated free market will solve America’s economic problems. Barack Obama, on the other hand, maintains that government has the responsibility to keep our economy on the right track. Obama says he will work toward reducing the debt and deficit. He pledges to help the middle class and the working poor by maintaining benefit levels and eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit. He will hold the line on our tax progressivity and fairness by rolling back the Bush tax giveaways to taxpayers earning over $250,000 annually. And Obama wants to target health care, education, affordable housing, alternative energy and the environment with critical investments."

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