At AFL-CIO Now, editor Tula Connell addresses a central question of the 2012 campaign, “Republican or Democratic President? Which Is Better for Your Pocketbook?” with some facts Dems would be smart to master in the weeks ahead. In her review of a new book, “Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box: How the Performance of Our Presidents Has Impacted Your Wallet” by Bob Deitrick and Lew Goldfarb, Connell explains:
Let’s say you had $100,000 in a 401(k) account in 1993, at the beginning of President Clinton’s eight years in office, and had withdrawn it in 2001 when he left. You would have amassed $341,894. If you invested the same amount in 2001, when President George W. Bush took office, and withdrawn it eight years later, you actually would have lost money, holding only $64,990…a difference of $277,000 between the two presidential terms.
The book was obviously published before President Obama finished his first term. But it does include evaluations for the last 13 presidents, with their criteria explained. You can see evaluations for each one by clicking on the widget at the top of this webpage. Further, adds Connell:
Topping the list for boosting the nation’s finances under this ranking are John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson–combined because Kennedy did not finish his term. Second place is a tie between Franklin Roosevelt and Bill Clinton. The highest-ranking Republican is Dwight Eisenhower, who created the national (read: federal government-funded) interstate system, Goldfarb said. The lowest of all: Hoover.
Although unemployment statistics, especially the monthly rate, get ample media coverage and attention from voters, the authors believe smart voters should pay attention to other indicators. As Connell quotes Deitrick and Goldfarb,
We believe that readers need to understand that whom they decide to vote for is very important to their personal bottom line, to their net worth and to their retirement and children’s education. We believe that Americans should consider voting for the economic wallet, for their IRA, their 401(k), their 403(b) plan and their kids’ 529 plan as well.
In addition to voters, presidential candidates and their advisers may benefit from the book’s “Presidential Rules for Economic Success (PRES Rules),” which the authors developed from the policies of the more successful of the 13 presidents.