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QUOTATION: People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote - a very different thing. - Walter H. Judd

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2004-08-01 - 3:53 p.m.

Do the Math

Op-Ed article by Michael Kinsley in Washington Post today lays it all out simultaneously with an announcement by AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger that U.S. economy has slowed dramatically this Spring just as President Bush touts "We're on a positive track...fundamentals are solid for the future."

Guess what, Dubya...just saying it, doesn't make it so.

Do the Math...Michael Kinsley did it for us. He went to the charts attached to the President's Economic Report, released in February. Using statistics from 1960 through 2002,thereby promising not to skew the results, he came up with some interesting facts.

It turns out Democratic presidents have a much better record with the economy than Republicans. They "win a head-to-head comparison in almost every category.

  • Real growth averaged 4.09 per cent in Democratic years, 2.75 per cent in Republican years.
  • Unemployment was 6.44 percent on average under Republicans and 5.33 per cent under Democrats.
  • The federal government spent more under Republicans than Democrats (20.87 per cent of gross domestic product, compared to 19.58 per cent) and that remains true even if you exclude defense (13.76 for Democrats; 14.97 for Republicans

  • Inflation was lower under Democrats, too. (3.81 per cent on average, compared with 4.85 under Republicans)

  • Annual deficits took more than twice as much of GDP under Republicans as under Democrats (2.74 percent versus 1.21 percent)

    And the Republicans are supposed to be conservative fiscally! Hmmm?
    I laughed at his final parting shot: "As they say in the brokerage ads, past results are no guarantee of future performance."

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