Bush’s Economic Growth: Not So Impressive

Dean Baker takes a look at this paragraph from a NYT analysis of Bush’s economic record:

Mr. Bush has spent years presiding over an economic climate of growth that would be the envy of most presidents. Yet much to the consternation of his political advisers, he has had trouble getting credit for it, in large part because Americans were consumed by the war in Iraq.

Not so fast, says Baker. He pulls up the rankings of the presidential terms since 1960 by average annual GDP growth:

Kennedy-Johnson — 5.2%
Clinton — 3.6%
Reagan — 3.4%
Carter — 3.4%
Nixon-Ford — 2.7%
Bush II — 2.6%
Bush I — 1.9%

That list says an awful lot. (1) The Family Bush really doesn’t know how to manage the economy. (2) Democrats are pretty good at it. (3) Carter probably gets more crap than he deserves for his economic performance.