Exactly 16 years ago, Lawrence Summers and I argued on this page that modern Democratic presidents, in statistical terms, had been better for American business than their Republican counterparts. We further predicted that these superior Democratic results would continue. And we questioned why the U.S. business community, in light of this record and this outlook, remained overwhelmingly Republican.
Another presidential election is at hand, and this is the right moment to review those predictions. In the interim, we have conveniently experienced eight Republican presidential years and eight Democratic ones. Mr. Summers, as president of Harvard, cannot debate these issues now. Fortunately, the statistics speak for themselves. In fact, the long-term comparison, as well this latest 16-year one, is no contest.
THE 16-YEAR COMPARISON
AVERAGE ANUAL GROWTH RATES THE TWO BUSH PERIODS* THE CLINTON YEARS
Real GDP 2.30% 3.60%
Private Employment 0 2.6
Real Median Household Income -1 1.7
Real Business Fixed Investment 0.3 9.2
Stock Prices, S&P 500 3.4 15
Earnings Per Share, S&P 500 7.2 5.2
OTHER THE TWO BUSH PERIODS* THE CLINTON YEARS
After-Tax Return on Capital 2.5 3.9
Average Budget Deficit/GDP Ratio -2.8 -0.7
*Full data for the Presidency of George W. Bush is available through June 30, 2004
Source: Roger Altman
According to Federal Reserve Board data, from January 1952 through June 2004 the average after-tax return on tangible capital was 4.3% under Democratic presidents and 3.2% under their Republican counterparts. As my table shows, the past 16 years provide an even more stark comparison, with after-tax return on capital at 3.9% under the Clinton presidency, and just 2.5% under the Bush presidencies. Moreover, on the most basic economic measures of all -- growth, jobs and household income -- the Democratic presidential advantage over the past 16 years is enormous. On the business indices -- investment, return on capital and stock prices -- the advantage also is strong. And, of course, the Federal budget comparison is dramatic. Yes, earnings per share rose slightly more during the Bush periods, but shareholders obviously benefited more under Bill Clinton.
The next question, then, is whether the election of John Kerry would extend this long-running Democratic advantage. A review of each candidate's key proposals, and a comparison of them to the Clinton principles, suggests that the answer is yes.
<< However, I think an argument can be made that terrorists are fighting us in IRaq rather than in America. Perhaps their focus has changed from striking us in America to striking our interests in Iraq which is much easier for them to do. In that sense I think the war has been effective now three years after the last major terrorist attack in the US. In the meantime, it has bought us time to beef up our intelligence which is no small task. >>
it is a strategy that I think MAY be working.....we just dont know....
frankly in terms of a terror attack here in US
i always thought that the World trade centers were such a huge and effective target that given alqueda's resources anything less would be counter productive....
so I think the lack of terror attack has more to do with strategy than tactics...
so they blow up a cargo terminal somewhere or a 20 story building...like oklahoma....people say so what at least its not the WTC... and given that a terrorist attack here would open up all their operations...unfortunately, they would only want to do something that was bigger than WTC which is probably imo why we havent had one since....
Furthermore, Clinton's pulling out of Somalia sent a bad message and has contributed to this mess. Terrorists thought that all you had to do to get the US to back down was put AMericans in body bags.
"Pat robertson just said when he told bush that iraq might lead to many deaths....he brushed it off and said..."I don't believe so"
The war has been bad in that the events that have occurred after the war were not anticipated by the administration. It has resulted in more AMerican and Iraqi deaths than was thought would be the case. More money has been spent and less has been done in terms of rebuilding than thought.
However, I think an argument can be made that terrorists are fighting us in IRaq rather than in America. Perhaps their focus has changed from striking us in America to striking our interests in Iraq which is much easier for them to do. In that sense I think the war has been effective now three years after the last major terrorist attack in the US. In the meantime, it has bought us time to beef up our intelligence which is no small task.
Republicans fix the economy, hand it to the Dems, they run it into the ground, Repubs fix it, etc. Clintons 1st term shows very weak economy. It was only after 1994 elections, Repub majority and Contract with America that Economy started to boom.
GW was handed in Jan, 2001:
Stock market crashing (started 10 months earlier)
9/11 (estimated 1 mil jobs lost because of it)
Exposure of corporate scandals which had been festering for years
We are very lucky we didn't get a world-wde depression.