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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

GDP Growth Since 1950

Here is annual GDP growth, year over year, on a percentage basis. The red line segments represent years with Republican Presidents. The blue line segments represent years with Democratic Presidents. The red and blue horizontal lines are the averages of presidential terms. (Kennedy/Johnson and Nixon/Ford are treated as continuous terms.)

Except for Carter, who represented a brief 4 yr. Democratic hiatus in a 20 year Republican Red Sea, and couldn't quite nose above Reagan's deficit-inflated performance, GDP growth is always better with a Democratic president.

The horizontal line, which Clinton hugged up against, is the long term average of 3.77%. It is also above what any Republican can accomplish. Let's repeat that for emphasis. Every Republican administration since WW II achieved below average GDP growth. Impressive!

The yellow line is a 21-year moving average, humping and bumping on a obviously downward course. Note it's position relative to the long term average, since 1980.

All the above is fact. The two green lines are my interpretation - a collapsing envelope that almost (but not quite) perfectly contains the data points. These lines converge below 2%, in another decade or so.

Data is through 2007 from: http://bea.gov/national/index.htm#gdp

Update: I forgot to mention the salient fact that across the graphed period, tax rates - both nominal and effective - have gone down, repeatedly and dramatically. Of course, deficits have gone up as a result. But none of this artificial stimulation has been able to sustain GDP growth at historic levels.

Update 2: 8/20, 11:15 p.m. Slight elaborations and corrections.

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