The Great Depression
Brought on by a Republican President, a Republican Congress and a conservative Supreme Court.
"Republican Rule and Economic Catastrophe: A Lockstep Relationship"
Presidents and the economy:
Who was best, worst?
Take our quiz.
(Alan: In this quiz Democratic administrations had considerably more favorable economic outcomes while Republican performance was correspondingly mediocre to lousy.)
Selected Quiz Answers:
40. Under which administration did unemployment soar to a post-Depression high?
21. Under which administration of the past eight decades did income inequality (the income gap between the top 1 percent and everybody else) grow the most?
19. Which president signed into law the biggest peacetime tax increase in US history.
45. From 1929 to 2008, Republican presidents ruled for 40 years and Democrats for 40 years. Which party offered the better returns in the stock market?
46. Throw out Carter and Hoover. (Why? See the next paragraph.) Now imagine $100,000 invested only when the remaining Democrats or Republicans held the White House. Which party has had the best return on that $100,000?
47. Which party accounted for more growth in personal disposable income per capita?
49. Which party accumulated more national debt between 1929 and 2008?
52. Using the authors' 12 different economic indices, which were the Top 5 administrations in terms of handling the economy?
1. Kennedy/Johnson 2. Roosevelt (tie) 2. Clinton (tie) 4. Eisenhower 5. Obama
Partisans beware! This ranking – like all such rankings – depends on certain assumptions. Many economists discount an administration's first year, figuring that what happens with the economy is mostly a result of the previous administration's policies. These rankings, however, include the first year, letting presidents stand on their record as voters might see it.
53. Which were the Bottom 5 administrations (with the worst first)?
1. Hoover 2. George W. Bush 3. Nixon/Ford 4.Carter 5. George H.W. Bush