Mike Kimel and Michael E. Kanell
Information Graphics by Nigel Holmes
What This Book is About
This book is about how Presidents did on a wide range of issues. We focus mainly on the Presidents from Eisenhower (1953) to GW Bush (2008), and look at everything from abortion to economic growth and healthcare. In each case, we go back to the original source of the data. For instance, we use figures from the FBI when we look at the murder rate, and get our data on the National Debt from the U.S. Treasury Department. We use that data to look at the change over the length of each administration, from right before it took office to right before it left office, and rank each administration accordingly. Under whom did the economy grow the fastest? Who created the most jobs? What about unwed births, or the deficit? We answer all those questions and many more. And the results often don’t match public perception at all.
But the book is about more than just Presidents and how they did. It’s about policy. See, it turns out that on many issues, administrations that did well shared similar policies. On the other hand, Presidents that did poorly often took the same approach as others that also did poorly.
One policy that often mattered, at least on economic issues, was the President’s approach to taxes. And the effect of tax policy turns out to be very, very different from what most people believe. And that’s a problem, because bad policy leads to slower economic growth, and that has a real effect on all of us. Slower economic growth means fewer jobs, less income and may even increase social problems like divorce and crime.