Sometimes I get so focused on Bush’s terrible job-creation record that I forget that, while not as bad, GDP growth hasn’t been particularly impressive under Bush II. In fact, it’s generally not as good under Republicans as it is under Democrats. Reader and commenter Spencer (thanks!) was kind enough to construct the following graphic illustration:(*)
Bush II started out below the average GDP growth for a Republican, has now made it up to about average for a Republican, but remains well below the average GDP growth mark set by Democratic presidents.
(*) To clarify the graph, the underlying data are quarterly, dating back to 1948; year zero for each president corresponds to inauguration (e.g., for Bush II, year zero is Q1 of 2001). So the vertical axis shows the cumulative compounded GDP growth to date. For example, GDP is about 9% higher now than when Bush took office. In contrast, averaging over the Democratic administrations from 1948-2000, GDP was about 12.5% higher 3.75 years than when the Democrat took office. That’s a 3.5% difference, this year alone, or about 400 billion dollars.