Who's the Better Manager of the Economy, Republicans or Democrats?

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    Sep 04, 2008 9:43 PM GMT
    "While Republicans talk a good game about the need to be fiscally responsible and their desire to balance the budget, reality shows that Democratic presidents clearly have produced better results."

    "For example, over the last 42 years, Democrats have been more fiscally responsible than Republicans:

    The biggest deficits occurred under Republican administrations; and

    The budget has been balanced five times, and always under Democratic presidents."

    http://www.americanprogressaction.org/issues/2004/manage_economy.html


  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Sep 05, 2008 12:51 AM GMT
    I hate to pull out a Republican argument here.. but balanced budgets are not the measure of a thriving economy.

    Just as people can be expected to take on debt in their personal lives, it is just as logical that governments will also have to take on debt to fight wars or engage in large scale projects. Unfortunately under the previous three Republican presidents, our national debat has spiraled out of control. It's close to ten times what it was when Reagan took office in 1980.

    I think its hard to determine which party is better for the economy when so many different factors effect it - trade policy, tax levels, interest rates, infrastructure investment. And a certain policy (such as keeping taxes low in the 1980's which created a strong middle class) often times will not work indefinitely.
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    Sep 05, 2008 1:21 AM GMT
    Since the republican approach usually results in the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, then from the perspective of those wealthy benefactors of republican decisions are usually 'good for the economy'. If you look at basic financial data and eliminate the editorializing and talking points, this is evident.
    The democratic approach is usually only effective over a longer period of time and because of the shifting political climate swinging back and forth, these financial strategies need more time than they actually have available.
    While its true that the economy typically (though not always) does better under democratic presidents and worse under republican presidents there's no way of really knowing the long term results since each party has a tendency to destroy everything the previous party built.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 05, 2008 1:26 AM GMT
    I totally agree... the "tax and spend" comment by Republicans is a worn out lie. "Spend and bankrupt" is the way of the irresponsible Republicans.

    Question: How is the Republican party like the old Soviets????

    The Soviet Union bankrupted their country and spent way beyond their means.... could we be going down the same path with McCain and the Palin woman?
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    Sep 05, 2008 1:36 AM GMT
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  • styrgan

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    Sep 05, 2008 1:47 AM GMT
    bgcat:

    I think though that either policy left unchecked for too long will result in a financial downturn though.

    By 1992, we had had 12 years of nearly uninterrupted expansionary economic policy under Republicans supply-siders which led to a recession in the late 1980's and again toward the end of GHWB's term as president.

    An economy cannot stay in a state of unchecked expansion permanently. The boom of the 90's is largely a credit to contractionary policy under Clinton and the Fed.
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Sep 05, 2008 1:57 AM GMT
    Re Styrgn:

    Forget it man. This ones a losing battle. Most Americans do better under Demoncrats. The budget as well, at least as history would tell us. The strange thing is that the richest 3% of America tends to do about as well under either Democrats or Republicans.
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    Sep 05, 2008 1:57 AM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI totally agree... the "tax and spend" comment by Republicans is a worn out lie. "Spend and bankrupt" is the way of the irresponsible Republicans.

    Question: How is the Republican party like the old Soviets????

    The Soviet Union bankrupted their country and spent way beyond their means.... could we be going down the same path with McCain and the Palin woman?


    The current administration probably already has, but they've done a good job of obfuscating the evidence. Why do you think they were so quick to bail out Bear Stearns, Freddie and Fannie?

    Styrgan, I could buy the financing of a just war, but this Iraq debacle had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 or Osama (not Obama) bin Laden. Remember the no-bid contracts, which were awarded primarily to Haliburton, which tricky Dick used to run? You don't think there's collusion going on behind the scenes that may take decades to sort out? Hell, that's where a lot of that $10B per month is going. As they say, follow the money trail.
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Sep 05, 2008 2:04 AM GMT
    ruck_us said
    HndsmKansan saidI totally agree... the "tax and spend" comment by Republicans is a worn out lie. "Spend and bankrupt" is the way of the irresponsible Republicans.

    Styrgan, I could buy the financing of a just war, but this Iraq debacle had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 or Osama (not Obama) bin Laden. Remember the no-bid contracts, which were awarded primarily to Haliburton, which tricky Dick used to run? You don't think there's collusion going on behind the scenes that may take decades to sort out? Hell, that's where a lot of that $10B per month is going. As they say, follow the money trail.


    I agree, but I was not attempting to make a value judgement on the Iraq conflict or any conflict with my statement regarding the national debt.

    Obviously, the Iraq war been a huge waste.

    I was trying to say that running a deficit or having a debt is not in and of itself a bad thing.
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Sep 05, 2008 2:06 AM GMT
    Um, yeah, I just had a long conversation with my 401K, my house value and the gas pump and they all pretty much agree that republican's SUK.

    ...and not just in the airport men's room, either. icon_cool.gif
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    Sep 05, 2008 2:10 AM GMT
    cat
  • styrgan

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    Sep 05, 2008 2:18 AM GMT
    groundcombat saidRe Styrgn:

    Forget it man. This ones a losing battle. Most Americans do better under Demoncrats. The budget as well, at least as history would tell us. The strange thing is that the richest 3% of America tends to do about as well under either Democrats or Republicans.


    The gap between rich and poor notwithstanding, perhaps you should check the track record of presidents over the last thirty years. National GDP rebounded significantly in the 1980's under Reagan with relatively low inflation. That expansion came largely from Republican policies of keeping tax and interest rates low.

    I'm not arguing for uninterrupted supply side theory ot be in place. I think President Bush has shown us what mixed results it can bring. I just think the debate is a little more complicated than any of us are making it.
  • styrgan

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    Sep 05, 2008 2:18 AM GMT
    haha. adorable as always caslon.
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    Sep 05, 2008 3:06 AM GMT
    No job turnaround on horizon

    Economists expect August to be the eighth straight month of job losses and say that the employment outlook looks weak for the rest of the year as well.

    On track to lose 1M jobs

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Economists expect another weak job report when the government releases its August employment figures Friday. But many also are predicting job losses to continue deep into 2009 as well.

    U.S. employers have already trimmed 463,000 jobs from the payrolls during the first seven months of the year. For the month of August, economists are predicting that 75,000 jobs were lost, according to Briefing.com. That would be the biggest decline since March.

    The unemployment rate is forecast to remain at a four-year high of 5.7%.


    http://money.cnn.com/2008/09/04/news/economy/jobs_outlook/index.htm?cnn=yes
  • groundcombat

    Posts: 945

    Sep 05, 2008 3:13 AM GMT
    styrgan said
    groundcombat saidRe Styrgn:

    I'm not arguing for uninterrupted supply side theory ot be in place. I think President Bush has shown us what mixed results it can bring. I just think the debate is a little more complicated than any of us are making it.


    Well I won't claim there are no counterexamples to the trend. Hell, I won't even act like i know what I'm talking about. I just remember seeing reasonably straight-forward trend data to suggest that, historically, Dems do better than Republicans in overall American prosperity and fiscal responsibility. I sure wouldn't blame you for not believing me considering I can't even remember the sources.
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    Sep 05, 2008 8:11 AM GMT
    I suggest you look at city government, Toledo is a mess and Democrats have been running it for over three decades now. Just up the road, Detroit is in a real mess, also run by Democrats. Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington DC are other examples of how Democrats screw a city up. It isn't that they don't care or want to fail, their problem is, they think like Democrats, it's all downhill from there.

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    Sep 05, 2008 8:27 AM GMT
    styrgan saidbgcat:

    I think though that either policy left unchecked for too long will result in a financial downturn though.

    By 1992, we had had 12 years of nearly uninterrupted expansionary economic policy under Republicans supply-siders which led to a recession in the late 1980's and again toward the end of GHWB's term as president.

    An economy cannot stay in a state of unchecked expansion permanently. The boom of the 90's is largely a credit to contractionary policy under Clinton and the Fed.


    Um, this is rewriting history. The "boom" of the 80s was from August 1982 to October 1987, using the stock market as an indicator. The markets then went into bear mode really until late 1995. I was trading on the exchange in those days and remember it quite well.

    Supply-side fantasies had nothing to do with genuine expansion. They did have something to do with excess speculation, which is what produced the 1982-87 "boom". The Clinton "boom" of 1995-2000 was based not on "contractionary policy", whatever you mean by that, but on the fact that productivity finally soared due to advances in technology and the relentless downsizing of corporate workforces during the 1988-1994 contraction.

    Really, it does no service to anyone to make these sweeping and incorrect assessments of economic history.
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    Sep 05, 2008 8:29 AM GMT
    John43620 saidI suggest you look at city government, Toledo is a mess and Democrats have been running it for over three decades now. Just up the road, Detroit is in a real mess, also run by Democrats. Chicago, Baltimore, and Washington DC are other examples of how Democrats screw a city up. It isn't that they don't care or want to fail, their problem is, they think like Democrats, it's all downhill from there.


    Or it could be that scared white folks take their money (and tax base) out of these predominantly minority cities, and the result is that there is neither the industry nor the tax base to attack any of the problems that are left behind.

    Oh, and Chicago is not a good example of what you're talking about. That city is actually quite well-managed, relatively prosperous, and in fact is the only one on your list that is NOT a "majority-minority" city.
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    Sep 05, 2008 7:03 PM GMT
    They both have a history of screwing up big-time (Hoover, Carter come to mind). Also the economy is increasingly out of the hands of any single country. The present downturn may have been lessened if interest rates had not been kept low for so long. Those decisions were made by the Federal Reserve Chairman who is independent of the White House (mind you he was re-nominated by the incumbent).
  • styrgan

    Posts: 2017

    Sep 06, 2008 12:21 AM GMT
    jprichva said
    styrgan saidbgcat:

    Um, this is rewriting history. The "boom" of the 80s was from August 1982 to October 1987, using the stock market as an indicator. The markets then went into bear mode really until late 1995. I was trading on the exchange in those days and remember it quite well.

    Supply-side fantasies had nothing to do with genuine expansion. They did have something to do with excess speculation, which is what produced the 1982-87 "boom". The Clinton "boom" of 1995-2000 was based not on "contractionary policy", whatever you mean by that, but on the fact that productivity finally soared due to advances in technology and the relentless downsizing of corporate workforces during the 1988-1994 contraction.

    Really, it does no service to anyone to make these sweeping and incorrect assessments of economic history.




    In regards to the 1980's, I was actually not even thinking of the stock market so much as the country's GDP - which I stated in a previous post I believe. How many presidents can you think of who inherited as much of a mess as the stagflation of the 1970's and turned it around in less than two years?

    I think that every major economist (no matter what school of thought they subscribed to) would agree that cutting taxes by almost five percent of the nation's GDP would be a short term boost to the economy.

    Note also that in my post I refer to 12 years of "uninterrupted expansionary economic policy", not an "uninterrupted expansion." I do agree that there were corrections to the economy in 1987 and again in 1991

    By "contractionary," I mean anti-inflation. Contractionary policies usually involve increases in government spending (especially the kind of investment you refer to in your post), higher taxes, and tighter monetary policy. Although Clinton did leave interest rates low, I believe.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keynesian_economics

    You are basically agreeing with my general point which was that specific government policies are only some of many factors that effect macroeconomic performance. If you'd like to speak of the Clinton Boom, there are other factors that contributed to it as well - not least of which was the opening of foreign markets.

    I just think it's unfair to not give Reagan any credit for what was the most astonishing economic turn around since the 1950's.


  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Sep 06, 2008 4:34 AM GMT
    Good relevant article, thought I'd share icon_cool.gif

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/31/business/31view.html?em
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    Sep 06, 2008 5:31 PM GMT
    When it comes to the economy, the Republican party made a huge mistake with the Smoot/Hawley Tariff act of 1930. They managed to turn a National and temporary economic depression into a worldwide depression that refused to go away without drastic measures. Protectionism is a huge mistake, and that's what modern Democrats propose, another Smoot/Hawley mess.
    Now is not the time to shrink from the global economy, it's the time to embrace it and make it work for us.

    Republicans understand that, now. The Democrats have forgotten it.

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    Sep 06, 2008 5:47 PM GMT
    strygan said: "The boom of the 90's is largely a credit to contractionary policy under Clinton and the Fed"


    Lets's not be silly now. Clinton did nothing to stimulate the economy. All he did was raise taxes, get blow jobs in the oval office and ignore the several AL Queda attacks on Americans including the first World Trace Center bombing

    The true reason for the growth in the 90's was the introduction of the internet. This was an unprecedented time in American history that created millions and millions of jobs during the Clinton tenure. Clinto just rode the coat-tails

    Another reason why the economy did so well.........A Republican Congress and their "Contract With America" (google it) . Clinton was forced to sign in welfare reform (even though he vetoed it 3 times previously) .

    Another important note: The economy goes in cycles. Look at Bush...he came into offce during a real recession (after Clinton left) and managed to turned it around into 7 years of growth and prosperity (2008 is a different story) even after the Sept 11 attacks !
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    Sep 06, 2008 6:11 PM GMT
    styrgan said

    I just think it's unfair to not give Reagan any credit for what was the most astonishing economic turn around since the 1950's.




    I'm with you on that one. Regan rightly deserves credit for that.
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    Sep 06, 2008 6:25 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI totally agree... the "tax and spend" comment by Republicans is a worn out lie. "Spend and bankrupt" is the way of the irresponsible Republicans.

    Question: How is the Republican party like the old Soviets????

    The Soviet Union bankrupted their country and spent way beyond their means.... could we be going down the same path with McCain and the Palin woman?


    Democrats are all about tax and spend. Did you not notice that when Bill Clinton was president he raised taxes and spent it! When George W. Bush, a republican was president, he did not raise taxes and returned some of our hard earned money back to us. I received my check form taxes I paid into the system, did you not get yours? We can not afford to have democrats in charge of our country, they will bankrupt it in order to pay for Universal Health care we will go bankrupt! We need to cut down on spending, and reduce welfare dependency. The new Taxes Oboma proposes will only restrain our economy as it removes extra money for hard working people like you and me by just giving it to Washington to waist on projects like “The bridge to no where” that governor Palin fought to defeat. If you want to hear lies listen to the liberal media and what attacks the Oboma campaign launches. I can not believe how the liberal media and the democrats are going after Governor Sara Palin. Oboma said, “I am not pleased with the choice. Sara Palin has little executive experience.” LOL, Governor Palin has more executive experience than both Oboma and Bidden combined! She is the Governor of Alaska a sate half the size of the continental United States! McCain was a naval officer in charge of the largest fighter group in our Navy. The democrats offer nothing but lies and smears. I am voting for McCain and Palin this year! Why vote for anyone else?