|"I got this."|
Lend me your ears. I have come to praise President Obama and bury the myth that Republican presidents are better for the economy than Democratic presidents. Not only do Democrats produce superior economic results but they blow Republicans out of the water in the comparisons.
Let's turn the mic over to Bob Deitrick, a principal at Polaris Financial Partners in Westerville, Ohio. Deitrick crunched 80 years of numbers. Politically, 1929 to 2009 were exactly divided — 40 years under Republican presidents and 40 under Democrats.
He put his extraordinary findings in a book, "Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box."
Because President Obama was in office for only three years at the time of the writing, Deitrick and his co-author left him out. But Deitrick now has enough of an Obama track record to have recently declared in a Forbes interview, "By all measures, President Obama has outperformed every modern president."
His findings were so lopsided in favor of Democrats I had to ask him whether he is one. He said no. "I really was apolitical until 2000," start of the George W. Bush era. That's when he saw massive mismanagement of the economy at the expense of his middle- to upper-middle-class clients.
"The average retail investor got slammed, where hedge funds were allowed to take advantage of everyone else," he told me.
The best overall economic performance pre-Obama was that of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson (whom Deitrick put together because of Kennedy's early death). No. 2 was Bill Clinton, with Franklin D. Roosevelt in third place.
The top six included two Republicans. Dwight Eisenhower ranked fourth, and Ronald Reagan sixth, edged out of fifth place by Harry Truman.
Were it not for Herbert Hoover, George W. would have ended up last.
Here's an interesting calculation: Suppose that in 1929, you put $100,000 in a 401(k) fully invested in stocks. Under the 40 years of Republican presidents, you would have ended up with only $126,000. Under the Democrats, you would have amassed a retirement nest egg of $3.9 million! (All numbers are adjusted for inflation.)
If you added Obama, the Democrats' number would be much bigger
Obama's greatest successes, Deitrick says, are the auto rescue plan and the Wall Street reforms, which revived faith among investors. The annual compound return on stocks has averaged between 25 and 30 percent (depending on the index) since the lows of March 2009.
Deitrick says he's perpetually shocked that Democrats don't trumpet their economic triumphs. You don't have to be a Democrat to wonder why.
I'm a Democrat and I definitely wonder why.
One of my main irritations with President Obama is the fact that he does not like to brag about what he has accomplished. (Hell George Bush strutted around like a peacock saying "Mission Accomplished" only a few months into a war that was only just beginning.) Even during the campaign he seemed hesitant to talk about why he should be reelected.
So that leaves it to us to remind people that this President really is quite extraordinary. Sure there are certainly policies and actions to criticize but overall he is really quite accomplished.
And looking at how substantially the economy is impacted by whichever party is in the White House, it seems like a given that we need to make sure that the next President is also a Democrat.
You hear that Hillary?