Friday, October 24, 2008

The Politics of Recession

I'm not much of an economics expert. In fact, I try my best to avoid any conversations about stocks, bonds and all that stuff. It's just not my forté. But just the other day I was listening to NPR, hearing the hosts discuss our failing economy. Suddenly, I got to thinking: what major economic crises has this country gone through since the Great Depression? I did a bit of research and encountered some interesting facts. With the exception of Democrat Jimmy Carter, every economic crisis since (and including) the Great Depression has taken place while a Republican was in office! Go figure! Like I said, I'm no econ. expert, but the facts speak for themselves. Here's what I've found:

Major American recessions of the 20th/21st century:
  • 1929-1939: The Great Depression
    Who was in office? Herbert Hoover (Republican)
  • 1953-1958: The Recessions of 1953 and 1957
    Who was in office? Dwight D. Eisenhower (Republican)
  • 1973-1975: The 1973 Oil Crisis
    Who was in office? Richard Nixon (Republican) & Gerald Ford (Republican)
  • 1980-1982: The Early 1980's Recession
    Who was in office? Jimmy Carter (Democrat) & Ronald Reagan (Republican)
  • 1990-1991: The Early 1990's Recession
    Who was in office? George H. W. Bush (Republican)
  • 2001-2003: The Early 2000's Recession
    Who was in office? George W. Bush (Republican)
  • 2008-????: The Economic Crisis of 2008?
    Who was in office? George W. Bush (Republican)
Here are some more facts to put this all into perspective:
  • Herbert Hoover (Republican) plunged the country into its worst economic crisis with interventions and policies such as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which exacerbated the threats of the Great Depression.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (Democrat) got the United States out of the Great Depression thanks in large part to The New Deal.
  • Bill Clinton (Democrat) attained a federal budget surplus for the first time since the late 1960's.
  • Under George W. Bush (Republican), the U.S. economy has dropped to new lows unseen since The Great Depression.
Notice a pattern here folks? Just some food for thought...