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Best president for the economy

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Posted: 6 pm ET

The economy was front and center in the Republican presidential campaign and, now that Democratic President Barack Obama has been re-elected, how does he rank with other recent presidents on economic improvement?

Since World War II, Democrats have done better than Republicans when measured on 17 indicators of economic success, according to Richard J. Carroll, author of "The President as Economist: Scoring Economic Performance From Harry Truman to Barack Obama."

Presidential economic performance

Harry Truman 176.0
John Kennedy 100.0
Lyndon Johnson 51.5
Dwight Eisenhower 40.7
Gerald Ford 39.5
Bill Clinton 14.5
Richard Nixon 2.8
Ronald Reagan -23.2
Barack Obama -68.9
George H. Bush -73.1
Jimmy Carter -111.4
George W. Bush -148.4
Source: Bloomberg.

But after his first administration, Obama can't claim to be among the successful: He scores fourth from the bottom of Carroll's list. The only Democrat with a worse score is Jimmy Carter. Father-and-son Republicans George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush also fall further down on the list.

The presidents with the three highest scores are all Democrats: Harry Truman is No. 1, followed by John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. The first Republican to show up on the list is Dwight Eisenhower, at No. 4.
In an article in Bloomberg, Carroll explains that he scored the 12 post-war presidents based on indicators including GDP growth, unemployment rate, the number of people living below the poverty line, increase in the Dow Jones industrial average, savings and investment rates, exports and trade balances, federal budget growth, and debt and federal taxes as a share of GDP.

He penalized them if the federal budget grew faster than the economy during their terms. He also counted higher tax revenue as a share of GDP against them. The analysis doesn't take into account the first year in office because the president is likely dealing with policies from the previous administration, Carroll notes.

The chart provides the scores of all 12 presidents since World War II. How does your favorite rank?

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granny 68
November 09, 2012 at 9:32 am

What? Ronald Reagan, the Republican Rock God, is in the minus column!!

james c.
November 09, 2012 at 9:13 am

but you peoples does'nst know that everything you do god knows.don't put him down because he is black.the bible said that we living in the last days know man can'st turn this country around it gone get worse,and worst. but i knowst a man that could solve all our problems thats jesus christ. don't judge him because he black he doing his best.the roman catiholic goimg to pay off united state debt and change the current the bible said that an than that the pope goimg to rule the world. thing goimg to be one world govnermet the bible said that. know one buy or sell okay you have mark of the beast.the bible said that too

allan cantlon
November 09, 2012 at 8:55 am

Yes now that he has been electronically reelected, lets sit back & see how it goes! My brother in law listens to most everything O'Bama has to say & he claims to be able to know when O'Bama is lying, he says you can to, the secret is to watch his lips, if they are moving he is lying!

November 09, 2012 at 8:47 am

Our government has become a charity and needs to be ran as a business. If it wasn't for all the "takers", this country would be prosperous. As long as the dems allow this vicious cycle of entitlement to continue, we will never be the mighty country we once were. We are now the land of idiots and the world knows it! Obama should be ashamed that he took advantage of his "coalition" as he did. On behalf of a failing country, I apologize to Romney that we, as a people, failed to realize your integrity and ability to lead this country to be the great nation it once was. Hey Tweet97, Obama only stopped for a short time to do his job and then headed right back to campaigning. He did the minimum which is now evident since those poor people are still suffering.

November 09, 2012 at 8:43 am

Brian, 4 dead in Lybia... Bengazi is in Lybia.

November 09, 2012 at 8:35 am

Give me break tweet 97!!!!!
Taking care of "his" people????? How about 4 dead in Syria!!!! Took care of those didn't he. Went to sleep, then to Vegas. Dumb people amaze me. Absolutely amaze me.

November 09, 2012 at 8:29 am

What is going on that a nation that would reelect a President with that bad record?

November 09, 2012 at 8:29 am

Hey Tweet,

You are part of the that new class. Congratulations!

Tweet 97
November 09, 2012 at 8:21 am


You ar right he should not be in the bottom, but GW Bush should be in the gutter. He had no reason for war. He got involved in business that wasn't his. Ok fine 9/11 I'll give him credit for that, But did you forget that Obame foung the perpetrator osama. As for Katrina, he was horrible, he could have sant help way earlier than he did. Obama, left his campaign to make suse that Sandy's victims are being taking care of as quickly as possible. While the President was taking care of his people, romney was busy canpaigning. food of thought.

November 09, 2012 at 8:19 am

Gary Rozz - that is exactly the way I feel! I didn't realize how bad the stupid epidemic was. 401k will tank (again) and health care costs will go even higher. Obamacare already cost me $3,000.00 additional for health care alone and cost my wife another $12k in lost salary due to cuts made as a result of this clown.

Thanks to all you people that make up the "stupid class"