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State of America, First Six Months Under Pres. Obama & 5 Previous Presidents August 7, 2009

Posted by Daniel Downs in Barak Obama, Bill Clinton, Congress, economy, employment, federal budget, George W. Bush, health care, military, national debt, national security, news, politics, presidents, senior citizens.
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Brookings recently published mid-year report on the state of America at the end of Pres. Obama as compared with the past five presidents. There is a stark contrast between Obama and GW Bush. The tables below include comparisons of the presidencies of Bill Clinton, GW Bush, and Barak Obama. (To see the entire report, go to www.brookings.edu).

“Common Defense”

 

Bill Clinton (1993)

George W. Bush (2001)

Barack Obama (2009)

U.S. defense budget (billions of constant fiscal 2009 dollars)
$416
$395
$697
Number of U.S. military personnel stationed abroad
308,000
255,000
476,000
U.S. defense budget as a percentage of GDP
4.2%
2.9%
4.2%
Number of U.S. military combat fatalities
29
3
212
Number of nations that have tested a nuclear weapon
5
7
8
Armed conflicts worldwide
32
28
26
Civilian casualties due to armed conflicts worldwide
103,000
42,000
25,000

“General Welfare”

 

Bill Clinton (1993)

George W. Bush (2001)

Barack Obama (2009)

Real GDP growth (annualized for first quarter of presidency)
0.5%
-0.5%
-5.5%
Unemployment rate
7.0%
4.5%
9.5%
Consumer confidence (Conference Board consumer confidence index in June)
58.6
118.9
49.3
Inflation (six-month change in Consumer Price Index, annualized)
2.8%
3.6%
2.7%
Interest rate on 30-year fixed mortgage
7.42%
7.16%
5.42%
Public debt as a percentage of GDP
49.4%
33.0%
54.8%
Oil imports (as a percentage of U.S. oil consumption)
55.9%
70.6%
78.4%
Percentage of large metropolitan areas with employment declines
13%
37%
97%
Percent of large metro areas with house price declines
69%
1%
61%
Federal Reserve balance sheet as a percentage of GDP
6.20%
6.29%
14.51%
Personal savings rate
5.7%
1.9%
4.3%
Life expectancy for people born in year of election
75.8
77.0
77.8 (est.)
Percentage of non-elderly Americans lacking health insurance in year of election
16.8%
16.8%
16.6%

“Blessings of Liberty”

 

Bill Clinton (1993)

George W. Bush (2001)

Barack Obama (2009)

Approval rating of the president, as of July 15
45%
57%
60%
Approval rating of Congress, as of July 15
24%
49%
33%
“Satisfied with the way things are,” as of July 15 
24%
51%
31%
Satisfaction improvement over six months 
-5%
-5%
+14%
Approval rating of the president by independent voters, as of July 15
41%
52%
54%
Gap between Republican and Democratic presidential approval ratings 
58
59
65

What the above statistics tells us is what problems a president inherited and how much change he was able to effective produce. Clinton inherited Reagan’s fiscal discipline. Reagan’s ability to decrease taxes as well as government spending was a success that made Clinton appears a better president than he actually was. Congress is the legislative body that creates the final budget. A spending crazy Congress required a vetoing President like GW Bush. Now, we have Obama, one of those spending crazy members of Congress. GW Bush did as well as he did most likely because he a conservative Congress during his first six months in office.

To see how Carter, Reagan, HW Bush compares to the Clinton, GW Bush, and Obama, go to www.brookings.edu.

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