Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Republican Economic Record

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Many people are frustrated and dissatisfied with the continuing weak economy and unemployment under Pres. Obama's policies. Do Republicans have a better solution?

It's certainly true that Democrats have limited success curing the economic crises begun under Republicans. The best example might be the Great Depression. It began under Republican rule, but about 3 years after the 1929 stock market crash Franklin Roosevelt, a Democrat, became president in Jan. 1933. Between then and the attack on Pearl Harbor were almost 9 years. During those 9 years, FDR's policies moderated the suffering of people during the Depression, but the Depression did not come to an end as a result of Democratic policies.

Nevertheless, it seems reasonable to ask whether it's better to have Republicans, who have a long history of economic crises during their rule, in charge - or Democrats, who don't fix what Republicans break as fast as we'd like. Let's see how the two parties compare in terms of significant economic problems beginning under their rule.

Crises begun under Republicans

Oct. 1929 Stock crash / Great Depression
1974-75 Big recession
1981-82 Big recession
10/19/1987 Stock crash
10/13/1989 Mini-crash
1989 Savings & Loan industry collapse
Oct. 2001 Enron scandal
March 2002 Internet bubble
2008 Financial meltdown, stock crash, worst crisis since Depression
Bernie Madoff $60 billion scam

Crises begun under Democrats

1937-38 Recession within Depression
March 1980 Silver price crash
10/27/1997 Mini-crash
3/10/2000 Dot com bubble

So how do the Republicans and Democrats compare? The Democrats' list is much shorter and the events on the list are less serious. The 1937-38 downturn might not have been considered a major recession if it had not taken place during the Republicans' Depression. The silver crisis and the 1997 mini-crash aren't that memorable compared to most of the items on the Republican list.

Perhaps, the Republicans would like to claim some of the crises that began under Republican rule had roots going back to when Democrats were in charge. What are the facts? Except for the 1981-82 recession, the Enron scandal and the internet bubble; Republicans had held the presidency for at least one 4-year term prior to the crisis.

The huge difference between the Republican and Democrat lists are just too big to be mere coincidence. It just doesn't make sense to put the party that regularly produces crises in office thinking they will fix the crisis they started – rather than expecting the Republicans to produce yet another crisis.

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