Second Worst Modern Recession President

Over the past few years, there have been many comparisons between the latest “Great Recession” and the “Great Depression” of the 1930’s. However, that is not the only other time in our history when the economy has been terrible. Many Americans remember the recession in the late 70s / early 80s and the recession in the early millennium, but few others are ever referenced.

Thankfully, the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee (whew) has been compiling data on every recession since the mid-1800s. While this past recession lasted 18 months, it is not the longest recession in history, just the longest one in recent memory. According to the American Enterprise Institute:

“Between 1865 and 1885, there were three recessions that lasted more than 32 months, and since 1854 there have been twelve recessions (out of 33 total) that lasted at least as long as our “Great” one.”

President Obama had 33 other recessions to look at and decide how best to preside. He could have looked at the most recent recessions, like the one President Reagan presided over and used his approach, or George W. Bush’s approach in the early 2000s which led to a 44% increase in government revenue. But of course, taking the latter would mean that President Obama would have to renounce his campaign rhetoric by admitting that the Bush tax cuts are not evil.

AEI has also provided a useful chart which summarizes the job creation records for the five worst Presidents since the mid-1800s to preside over an economic downturn. Adjusted for percent change in job creation over the first two and a half years of their presidency, the results are as follows:

Not surprisingly, Herbert Hoover is the worst since he presided over the beginning of the Great Depression. But no other President had negative job creation during his first two-and-a-half years in office…until President Obama!

Yet all we get from this President is more rhetoric and more accusations. He simply refuses to accept the fact that his policies have stymied job creation and economic growth. He thinks that the situation he inherited (and subsequently prolonged and made worse) somehow entitles him to a second term because they’ve made his hair gray.

But what does he propose to do about our grim situation? Exactly what he has been doing the past two and a half years: spend, spend, spend. And we’ve seen how well that’s worked so far!

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