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October 07, 2008

The Party Of Economic Growth Economy  Politics

I'm always interested in things that "everybody knows" that turn out to be flat wrong.

"Everybody knows" that the Republican Party is the party of economic growth, with Ronald Reagan as patron saint. But here are the last 13 presidents ranked by the rate of growth in per capita real GDP (via Angry Bear):

  1. FDR
  2. LBJ
  3. JFK
  4. Clinton
  5. Reagan
  6. Carter
  7. Nixon
  8. Eisenhower
  9. Dubya
  10. Ford
  11. Bush Sr.
  12. Truman
  13. Hoover

Notice anything?

FDR, bĂȘte noire of Republicans everywhere, tops the list and nobody else even comes close. From 1932 through 1944, real per capita GDP grew 8.05% per year. But maybe it was the war? From 1932 to 1940, the growth rate was 5.37% per year, more than twice Reagan's rate.

LBJ's rate was 3.98%, about 1.6 times Reagan's rate. JFK's rate was 2.65%, and so on.

FDR and LBJ, who increased the federal government's role in social programs more than any other presidents, by far, were the heavyweight champs of economic growth, by far.

But "everybody knows" social programs kill economic growth.

Posted by Jonathan at October 7, 2008 09:57 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb

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