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What Impact Does the President Have on the Economy?

In this slideshow, we compare every president since 1900 onward across economic variables such as stock market performance and unemployment rate. It's worth noting that the president does not exclusively influence these factors; Congress, the Federal Reserve, and many other institutions and outside factors influence the economy.

Presidents and the_economy from The Motley Fool.

For additional context and explanation, see Morgan Housel's article on "The Best Presidents for the Economy."

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Read/Post Comments (7) | Recommend This Article (17)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2012, at 4:32 PM, TMFDarwood11 wrote:

    Well, I guess there is a valid argument for President Obama enhancing corporate profits. After all, if corporations (such as mine) are reticent to invest and expand, all that we can do is stash our cash, pay taxes and give dividends.

    So is that a wonderful example of leadership, or an example of good Presidency?

    I guess it's all a mater of perspective.

    Me, I make more money by playing save in the economy, hiring part-timers, and pocketing the rest.

    So I leave it to the geniuses in government to obfuscate, and for the talking heads at MSNBC to confuse.

  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2012, at 6:16 PM, whereaminow wrote:

    Can never have a positive impact, only a negative one.

    David in Liberty

  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2012, at 7:13 PM, Mike2884 wrote:

    My only question is if these charts take into account that the consumer price index and unemployment numbers are calculated very differently now then they were about 20 years ago?

    but thank you very much for this research, it's very interesting.

  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2012, at 7:30 PM, colleran wrote:

    The real answer is easy. Little to none.

  • Report this Comment On November 06, 2012, at 11:34 PM, BoAustin1 wrote:

    I found the charts to be very interesting and somewhat surprising. One chart is not accurately titled though. The chart on the CPI shows Carter as the "best president for the economy" with CPI of over 10% - that's not a positive. We had huge inflationary pressure during the Carter presidency (as shown by the figures in the chart).

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2012, at 10:44 AM, MikeMark wrote:

    Interesting. Harding is the full-on winner!

    It's odd to me how the Motley Fool has decided that an increase in the consumer price index is a good thing. That one should show the best President as the one who helped the common people by reducing prices of consumer goods the most.

    That's what a great economy does: produces the most needed goods more efficiently and makes them more available, generally reducing the cost of them.

  • Report this Comment On November 15, 2012, at 10:52 AM, AvianFlu wrote:


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