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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Dems better economic presidents than GOP

The following appeared in the Jan. 2, 2014 edition of The Arizona Republic.  To read the entire article, click on opinions.azcentral.com

By Froma Harrop
Creators Syndicate

I have come to praise President Barack Obama and bury the myth that Republican presidents are better for the economy than Democratic presidents.  Not only do Democrats produce superior economic results, they blow Republicans out of the water in the comparisons.

Let's turn the mike over to Bob Deitrick, a principal at Polaris Financial Partners in Westerville, Ohio.  Deitrick crunched 80 years of numbers.  Politically, 1929 to 2009 were exactly divided - 40 years under Republican presidents and 40 under Democrats.

He put his extraordinary findings in a book, "Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box."

Because Obama was in office for only three years at the time of the writing, Deitrick and his co-author left him out.  But Deitrick now has enough of an Obama track record to declare in a Forbes interview, "By all measures, President Obama has outperformed every modern president."

His findings were so lopsided in favor of Democrats, I had to ask whether he is one.  He said no.  "I really was apolitical until 2000," the start of the George W. Bush era.  That's when he saw massive mismanagement of the economy at the expense of his middle- to upper-middle-class clients.

The best overall economic performance pre-Obama was that of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson (whom Deitrick put together because of Kennedy's early death).  Number 2 was Bill Clinton, with Franklin D. Roosevelt in third place.

The top six included two Republicans, Dwight Eisenhower ranked fourth and Ronald Reagan sixth, edged out of fifth place by Harry Truman.

Thanks to a growing economy and higher taxes on the rich, Obama has lowered the deficit to 4 percent of gross domestic product, down from more than 10 percent at the end of the Bush years.

Here's an interesting calculation: Suppose that in 1929, you put $100,000 in a 401(k) fully invested in stocks.  Under the 40 years of Republican presidents, you would have ended up with $126,000.  Under the Democrats, you would have amassed a retirement nest egg of $3.9 million.

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