Report: The economy has performed far better under recent Democratic Presidents

Next Wednesday the Republicans will gather for their third debate. This one, hosted by CNBC, will focus on the economy.

To help prepare for this welcome event, NDN has updated our April report comparing the economic record of the last two Democratic and Republican Presidents. The report shows that the contrast between the performances of the two parties when occupying the White House is stark: Republican Presidencies have led to recessions and larger deficits; Democratic Presidencies have led to growth, job gains and lower annual deficits. In short, the Democratic approach to the economy over the past generation has worked. The Republican approach hasn’t. And this dramatic difference becomes even more pronounced when one considers the how shockingly wrong the GOP’s bet the house predictions of the failure of both the 1993 Clinton budget and the “job-killing” ACA have been.

The full report can be found in pdf form below. Some highlights: 

Job Growth: Over the Clinton and Obama Presidencies, over 30m new net jobs were created. Over the two Bush Presidencies, 3.5m. On a yearly basis, perhaps a more fair comparison, the two Democrats have produced jobs at 7 times the rate of the two Bushes: 2.1m vs. 300,000 per year.

Unemployment Rate: Both Democratic Presidents saw more than a 3% point job in the unemployment rate during their terms. The Bushes saw increases in the unemployment rate by more than 2% and 3% points respectively.

Deficits: Both Democratic Presidents saw dramatic improvements in the annual deficit during their tenures, with Clinton during large structural deficits to annual surpluses and Obama cutting the annual deficit he inherited by two-thirds. Both Bushes saw increases in the annual deficit on their watches, with the second President Bush seeing a more than ten-fold increase in the annual deficit during his Presidency, one of the greatest explosions of debt in US history. Illustrative graphs follow.

In this update, we’ve added a new section on the health care and energy sectors vital to the well being of the American people and our economy. While not offering a direct comparison with recent Republicans, our analysis finds dramatic improvements in both these critical areas:

Healthcare: The uninsured rate has plummeted, while the growth of health care costs, a significant driver of the US budget deficit, has slowed. Slower cost growth and healthier Americans are good for the American economy, businesses and the nation as a whole.

Energy: The President’s “all of the above” approach has a rousing success for the nation, increasing domestic production, lowering energy costs for American businesses, lessening our dependence on foreign sources of energy while giving the US a leg up on the new energy technologies of the future.

Taken together, what this data makes clear is that the last two Democratic Presidents have done a very good job as stewards of our economy in a more competitive, global era. The same cannot be said of the Republicans.
Update - Be sure to see this new analysis from Rob Shapiro.  There is a growing body of evidence that after many years of flat or declining incomes for far too many Americans, incomes ticked up in 2014.