GDP History

Democrats have occupied the White House in 26 of the 62 years since 1948. Average GDP growth in the country over those 26 years has been 4.01%. 

 Republicans have occupied the White House in 36 of the 62 years since 1948. Average GDP growth over those 36 years has been 2.75%.

 Here are the individual performances of each president since 1948:

 1948-1952 (Harry S. Truman, Democrat), +4.82%

1953-1960 (Dwight D. Eisenhower, Republican), +3%

1961-1964 (John F. Kennedy / Lyndon B. Johnson, Democrat), +4.65%

1965-1968 (Lyndon B. Johnson, Democrat), +5.05% 

1969-1972 (Richard Nixon, Republican), +3%

1973-1976 (Richard Nixon / Gerald Ford, Republican), +2.6% 

1977-1980 (Jimmy Carter, Democrat), +3.25% 

1981-1988 (Ronald Reagan, Republican), 3.4%

1989-1992 (George H. W. Bush, Republican), 2.17% 

1993-2000 (Bill Clinton, Democrat), 3.88% 

2001-2008 (George W. Bush, Republican), +2.09% 

2009 (Barack Obama, Democrat), -2.6%

We obviously have incomplete data on Barack Obama (only 2009, the first 9 months of his term.  The 2009 data includes the last 3 months of GW’s 2nd term.)

 The best performance was turned in by Lyndon B. Johnson, who managed to preside over an average expansion of 5.05% per year. 

If we exclude Barack Obama due to incomplete data, then the worst performance was turned in by George W. Bush, as the economy grew by an average of 2.09% per year during his time as president. 

The worst year for the US economy since 1948 came last year (2009), when the GDP contracted by 2.6%. 

Here are the worst five years for the economy since 1948:

2009, -2.6%, Barack Obama

1982, -1.9%, Ronald Reagan

1958, -0.9%, Dwight Eisenhower

1974, -0.6%, Richard Nixon / Gerald Ford

1954, -0.6%, Dwight Eisenhower

Source: http://www.davemanuel.com/2010/08/03/us-gdp-growth-by-president-1948-2009/

During the presidency of George W. Bush, the gross public debt increased from $5.7 trillion in January 2001 to $10.7 trillion by December 2008.

CBO estimate in January 2001: $5.6 trillion cumulative surplus between 2002 and 2011. What actually occurred: $6.1 trillion cumulative deficit or a debt increase of $11.7 trillion.

The difference between the projected and actual debt in 2011 can be largely attributed to:

  • $3.5 trillion – Economic changes (ie. housing market crash and Wall Street collapse)including lower than expected tax revenues and higher safety net spending (ie. unemployment and food stamps) due to the recession.
  • $1.6 trillion – Bush Tax Cuts
  • $1.5 trillion – Increased non-defense discretionary spending
  • $1.4 trillion – Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq
  • $1.4 trillion – Incremental interest due to higher debt balances
  • $0.9 trillion – Stimulus and tax cuts since 2008 (Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, ARRA and Tax Act of 2010)

Source: http://www.cbo.gov/publication/41463

Notice the effects of the Stimulus?  According to the CBO it was only 900 billion. That’s billion not the trillions of all the other causes. 

This table shows percentage of growth in GDP in nominee (ie. actual) and real (ie. 2005) millions of dollars for Regan and Obama’s 1st 3 years in office and for Clinton and GW’s last 3 years in office.

Year

Nominal GDP
(million of Dollars)

Real GDP

(millions of 2005 dollars)

Nominal GDP per capita
(current dollars)

Real GDP per capita
(year 2005 dollars)

 

 

 

 

 

Regan

1st 3 years

in office

 

 

1981

$3,126,800.00

$5,987,200.00

$13,594.31

$26,030.40

1982

$3,253,200.00

$5,870,900.00

$14,009.25

$25,281.85

1983

$3,534,600.00

$6,136,200.00

$15,083.66

$26,185.81

%
change

13%

3%

11%

1%

$ Change

$440,780.00

$149,000.00

$1,489.35

$155.41

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clinton

last 3 yrs

in office

 

 

1998

$8,793,500.00

$10,283,500.00

$31,842.74

$37,238.28

1999

$9,353,500.00

$10,779,800.00

$33,485.72

$38,591.91

2000

$9,951,500.00

$11,226,000.00

$35,236.78

$39,749.59

 

 

 

 

 

% change

13%

9%

7%

7%

$ Change

$1,158,000.00

$942,500.00

$3,394.04

$2,511.31

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GW

Last 3 yrs

in office

 

 

2001

$10,286,200.00

$11,347,200.00

$36,049.56

$39,767.99

2002

$10,642,300.00

$11,543,100.00

$36,935.37

$40,061.71

2003

$11,142,200.00

$11,836,400.00

$38,309.75

$40,696.59

 

 

 

 

 

%  change

8%

4%

6%

2%

$ Change

$856,000.00

$489,200.00

$2,260.19

$928.60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama

1st 3 yrs

in office

 

 

2009

$13,939,000.00

$12,703,100.00

$45,332.59

$41,313.18

2010

$14,526,500.00

$13,088,000.00

$46,843.66

$42,204.92

2011

$15,094,000.00

$13,315,100.00

$48,372.00

$42,671.00

 

 

 

 

 

% change

14%

5%

7%

3%

$ Change

$1,155.00

$612,000.00

$3,039.41

$1,357.82

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://www.measuringworth.com/datasets/usgdp/result.php