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January 28, 2008


Where does Eisenhower fit in on the graph? Or do we not have that information for some reason? (Just out of curiosity because I think the conventional wisdom is that he presided over the largest post-WWII expansion).

Interesting Q & A from the NBER -

Q. The most recent data indicate that since November 2001, the unemployment rate has risen from 5.6 percent to 6.4 percent and payroll employment has fallen by almost a million jobs. How can the NBER say that the economy began an expansion in November 2001?

A: The NBER defines expansions and recessions in terms of whether aggregate economic activity is rising or falling, and it views real GDP as the single best measure of economic activity. Real GDP has risen substantially since November 2001. However, this growth in real GDP has resulted entirely from productivity growth. As a result, the growth in real GDP has been accompanied by falling employment. Unemployment has risen because of falling employment and because the labor force has been rising.


I wonder how "tax cuts" led to productivity growth and a decrease in jobs. Isn't one of the miracles of tax cuts job creation?

Where are the "trickle down" benefits that Laffer -


extols when he says,

“A cut in the highest tax rates will increase lots of other tax receipts. It will lower government spending as a consequence of a stronger economy with less unemployment and less welfare.”


LOL - Must be the wealthy used their tax cuts to pay severance to workers and then they moved the jobs overseas.


Perhaps she was imprecise, but you have slanted the set from "most presidents" to a selected set of presidents in this century.

Of course, this is a blog, and you were using the available data, so I don't see it as being any more "pernicious" than a writer being vague in an article of limited column inches.

I do agree with your point about Bush ( or any president) getting too much credit or blame for the economics of the country.

Henry - We can't really measure the economic growth record for most presidents. Any generalization can only be assessed for the period where we have data.

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