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Presidents as Economic Managers

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Presidents as Economic Managers

National Affairs March 21, 2022
EconomicsOther

It has become a regular theme of op-eds and news analysis: Democratic presidents create economic booms and job gains, while Republican presidents bring recessions and job losses.

In 2016, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Watson released a study indicating higher average economic-growth rates under Democratic presidents. More recently, David Leonhardt of the New York Times wrote a column that ranked the last 14 presidents by jobs and economic growth during their administrations, with Democrats generally ranking higher than Republicans. Political commentators frequently post colorful charts on social media showing that Democrats Bill Clinton and Barack Obama oversaw faster job and economic growth than did Republicans George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump. They are already pointing to the 5.7% economic-growth rate in 2021 under President Joe Biden — coming on the heels of the previous year's 3.4% contraction under Trump — as yet more evidence that Democratic presidents have superior economic policies. Most succinctly, critics note that 10 of the 11 recessions since 1950 began during a Republican presidency.

Continue reading the entire piece here at the National Affairs

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Brian M. Riedl is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here

Photo by Vacclav/iStock

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