Here We Go Again — The Last Eight Republican Presidents Have Presided Over a Recession
History has demonstrated that the economy performs better under Democratic presidents. According to Forbes on November 7, 2016: “ It is simply a fact that since World War II, Democratic presidents have seen 24.4 million more jobs created on their watch — an average of 78.6% more jobs created per year of Democratic administrations — than have Republican presidents. Ditto real GDP growth, 44% higher under Democratic presidents. On the flip side, unemployment has been 18% higher under GOP presidents.”
Eight of the last nine recessions have occurred under a Republican president. (And that includes the current recession. I’ll get into that in a minute.) The lone exception was the recession of 1980 that occurred during the last year of Jimmy Carter’s presidency.
Currently, history is repeating itself again. According to JP Morgan, we are now in a recession. This Wall Street firm has stated that the U.S. economy will shrink by 2% in the first quarter and 3% in the second. That notion was also seconded by two prominent Republican economists . Gary Cohn, a former Trump adviser, said: “We are in a recession right now.” Former McCain adviser Mark Zandi stated: “ The economy will contract very sharply in March.”
Former Obama economic adviser Jason Furman has taken a dark view as well. Furman said in an interview on the Vox website: “ At this point, this feels much worse than 2008. Lehman Brothers was quite bad, but it was the culmination of a sequence of things that had happened over 14 months. This hit all at once.”
The economy was badly damaged by Trump’s inept handling of the corona virus. The former TV reality star ignored reports that the corona virus was going to be a serious problem and insisted (against the evidence) that we had nothing to worry about. At the same time, the Trump Administration rejected vital test kits from the WHO even though 60 other countries accepted them. NPR reported that: “Trump did not push to do aggressive testing because more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of the corona virus outbreak, and Trump made it clear the lower the numbers on corona virus, the better for the president and his re-election this fall.”
Markets hate uncertainty and the uncertainty created by Trump’s incompetence has tanked the stock market and kicked off the recession. As former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote: “This crisis is not of Trump’s making. What he is responsible for is his failure to respond promptly, and then his perverse and counterproductive choice of how to respond when action could be avoided no longer…. More people will get sick because of his presidency than if somebody else were in charge. More people will suffer the financial hardship of sickness because of his presidency than if somebody else were in charge. The medical crisis will arrive faster and last longer than if somebody else were in charge. So, too, the economic crisis. More people will lose their jobs than if somebody else were in charge. More businesses will be pushed into bankruptcy than if somebody else were in charge. More savers will lose more savings than if somebody else were in charge. The damage to America’s global leadership will be greater than if somebody else were in charge.”
In the case of Trump, history has proven once again that Republican presidents wreck all of the progress made by their Democratic predecessor. Trump inherited a strong and growing economy from President Obama. The 44th president had reduced unemployment from 10% to 4.6% and created 15 million jobs. In addition, the Dow Jones nearly tripled from 6,500 to 19,000 by the time Obama left office. It has taken Trump less than one term to squander the economy he inherited from Obama.
Similarly, George W. Bush wrecked the good economy and budget situation bequeathed to him by President Bill Clinton. During the Clinton Presidency, 22 million new jobs were created, unemployment declined from 7% to 4%, median family income rose, and poverty declined to its lowest rate in 20 years. The Clinton budget also converted what was then the largest budget deficit in American history to a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion over the next ten years.
Unlike Trump, it took Bush two terms to squander his inheritance. By the time Bush left office, the economy was losing 800,000 jobs per month, GDP shrank 8.9%, 8 million Americans lost insurance and the world stock markets had melted down evaporating trillions of dollars of wealth.
Trump will now face the judgment of the voters in November for his shambolic performance in the Oval Office. It will be the first time in his life that he will ever face any accountability for his actions.
No president has successfully run for re-election during a recession or depression. Hoover, Carter and Bush 43 were defeated badly in their re-election bids. We will most likely have a Democratic president on January 20, 2021. Once again, a Democratic president will have to clean up a Republican mess.
As Democrats, we need to remind the voters again and again that Republican presidents are wreckers. The country will experience an economic meltdown if a Republican occupies the White House. Republican propaganda depends upon bad voter memories. We Democrats need to refresh those memories. We can’t count on the “liberal” mainstream media to do it for us.
Franklin Roosevelt said it best: “Once you build a house you always have it. On the other hand, a social or economic gain is a different matter. A social or an economic gain made by one Administration, for instance, may, and often does, evaporate into thin air under the next Administration.” Now let’s go out and win the 2020 election! We have a country to save! Thank you for all that you do!