Pro-Growth Republicans? Get Real
Republicans like to claim that they’re the party of growth and prosperity. Even though all the facts say otherwise.
I’ve pointed out repeatedly that when you compare a lot of developed countries over decades, you see that lower taxes and smaller government don’t result in faster growth. Tax cuts are an effective vote-buying political pander (who likes paying taxes?), but they don’t create prosperity.
I’ve also been dismissive of most of the U.S.-only discussions (left and right), because they tend to cherry-pick brief periods that don’t really tell us anything. (Look! There were tax cuts in Year X, and there was growth in Year X+3!)
You have to look at the big, long-term picture (viz) to see if economic policies generate long-term growth.
Here are some long-term looks at Democratic versus Republican economic results.
Even the rich people did better under the Democrats.
Annual Rates of Employment Growth
The US Misery Index by President
1948 to 2007
Unemployment rate + Inflation rate
|President||Time Period||Average Misery Index|
|Jimmy Carter||1977 – 1980||16.27|
|Gerald Ford||1974 – 1976||15.93|
|Ronald Reagan||1981 – 1988||12.19|
|George H.W. Bush||1989 – 1992||10.68|
|Richard Nixon||1969 – 1973||9.98|
|George W. Bush||2001 – 2007||7.89|
|Harry Truman||1948 – 1952||7.87|
|William J. Clinton||1993 – 2000||7.80|
|John F. Kennedy||1961 – 1962||7.27|
|Lyndon Johnson||1963 – 1968||6.78|
|Dwight Eisenhower||1953 – 1960||6.26|
We’ve now had almost thirty years to try out and evaluate the Reagan revolution. The results are in. It failed.
Not only did it fail to generate the stunning prosperity that was promised for that city on the hill, it left a large portion of the American people scattered around at the bottom. And it left our country in a massive hole of debt.
In both of the following figures, check out the inflection point at—surprise—1980.
Isn’t it about time we hired “the most economically sophisticated presidential candidate in years, or maybe decades”?