As a lot of you know, I’ve been working on a book together with a co-author who for the moment wishes to remain unidentified.

The Rough Working Title of the book is:

The Facts – How Presidents from Ike to GW Really Performed on a Issues that Matter to Americans

Here’s our first pass at an elevator pitch:

When people talk about recent American presidents, they talk about things that matter to them, like abortion, crime, deficits, or education. They say Reagan produced the fastest growth, or the biggest debt, or maybe they say it was Clinton. But for the most part, these often widely held and contradictory opinions are wrong. We take a look at what actually happened (and why) by looking the data on over 40 different series people care about from Ike’s term to the present. We use colorful graphs and a bit of humor, and we stick to the facts. We rank each president on a variety of issues, and then, at the end of the book, we produce a ranking of the presidents based on their overall performance on all the issues covered in the book. Results will be surprising to many people. They will also be contentious. But most importantly, they are based entirely on objective data.

The book is not an econ book and its intended for the kind of folks who might buy Freakonomics, or anything by Friedman, Kevin Phillips, Paul Krugman, or Bruce Bartlett. Its not a textbook, but we feel it might useful in some econ, poli sci, or history classes. Our approach to each topic is irreverent but since we’re covering so many topics, we’re mindful of the need to keep to the point. Regular readers won’t be surprised that we used a lot of graphs.

Anyway, we’re getting to the end of the first draft. I’m now trying to put the graphs into the files, at which point I’ll see how the whole thing reads.

And I guess that makes it time to start looking for a publisher. And we’re kind of deficient in that department. Anyone have any contacts? Any help at all would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

(BTW… the outline of the book follows below.)

1. Introduction

2. Economic Growth
· Real GDP per capita
· Debt
· Net Real GDP per capita (Conclusion to Economic Growth)

3. Fiscal Responsibility
· Federal spending
· Federal receipts
· Surplus or deficit (Conclusion to Fiscal Responsibility)

4. Jobs
· Average weekly earnings
· Employment to population ratio
· Benefits

5. Income and Wealth
· Real median income
· Net real disposable income
· Net worth
· Home ownership
· Owner’s equity

6. Republican Issues
· The military
· Size of Government (Government employees)
· Taxes
· Washington versus State and Local government
· The NEA
· Welfare

7. Democratic Issues
· Spending on Social issues
· Poverty
· Income Inequality
· Tax Progressivity
· The Environment

8. Healthcare
· Child mortality
· Healthcare costs
· Health Insurance

9. Crime
· Murder
· Spending on justice
· Bonus Chapter: Explaining the murder rate
· Public corruption

10. The Public Mood
· Consumer Confidence
· Suicide
· The Stock Market
· Value of the dollar

11. Moral Issues
· Abortions
· Net marriages
· Nuclear Family

12. Spending on the Future
· Education & Training
· Infrastructure
· Energy

13. Conclusion – Ranking Presidents Overall, and What can We Learn

14. Bonus Section
· Explaining Economic Growth
· The Office of the President
· Ike and Clinton
· Please try this at home!!!