The above chart comes from the book “Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box.” It is used in a new Forbes column attempting to make the case that the economy tends to be stronger under Democratic presidents than Republicans — thus liberal economic policies are better than conservative economic policies.
Each president is given some sort of an economic score based on a verity of metrics “including inflation, unemployment, corporate profit growth, stock market performance, household income growth, economy (GDP) growth, months in recession.” And indeed, the US economy has done better under Dems than GOPers, at least according to these multivariable scores.
But what do party labels really tell us? What does this chart tell us? JFK and LBJ cut taxes, Bush I raised them. Clinton cut the size of government, Nixon enlarged it. Spending was lower under Truman than Reagan. And as a bonus, the columnist provides a strange analysis of the Reagan tax cuts that neither Keynesians nor supply-siders would agree with. He also completely forgets about the role of monetary policy during these presidencies.