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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Obama Among Best Presidents for the U.S. Economy

Despite the tenth of a percent uptick in the overall unemployment rate, the consensus among economic commentators is that Democrats should be encouraged by the full range of better-than-expected economic statistics that were released today.
For a longer-range historical perspective, however, check out Morgan House’s “The Best Presidents for the Economy” at The Motley Fool, which compares economic statistics reported for 19 presidents from Teddy Roosevelt thru Barack Obama. Among the findings, President Obama ranks:

4th of the 19 presidents in terms of “the inflation-adjusted, dividend-adjusted, performance of the S&P 500.”
1st in “average annual real corporate profit growth.”
11th in “average annual real GDP growth per capita.”
12th in “average annual change in the consumer price index.” (higher inflation under 11 of the 19 presidents)
9th in “change in unemployment rate during the presidency.”

Yes, there are unique historical circumstances that affect these rankings. But it’s clear that it’s quite a stretch to argue that the Obama administration has been bad for business in any comparative sense.

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