As much as the right wants this election to be a referendum on the 0bama Agenda, and the left wants to blame everything on Bush, this election is about Congress, and whether we will have a Democrat-controlled Congress or a Republican-controlled Congress. So let us look at what happened when the Republicans controlled Congress, and when the Democrats did.
Before the 1994 election, the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives for 40 years — from 1955 through 1994. As such, they wrote the budgets for FY1956 through FY1995. The Republicans, then, wrote the budgets for FY1996 through 2008, and then the Democrats again had FY2009 and FY2010.
Let’s start with the budget deficit. In the 40 years from FY1956 through FY1995, the budget deficit averaged 2.17% of GDP. When the Republicans wrote the budget, the deficit averaged only 0.81% of GDP. The last was 1.14%. Then, the Democrats got back in, and the deficit nearly tripled — to 3.18% of GDP. In FY08, then did manage to triple the deficit — taking it to 9.91%. Not satisfied with that post-WWII record, they increased it to 10.64% of GDP in FY10.
In the 40 years of Democrat control of the House, the real (inflation adjusted) GDP per capita increased 2.07% per year. During the 12 years of Republican control, it increased 2.14% per year. Obviously, it has gone down since the Democrats took over again — by 0.91% per year on average.
While we’re talking about inflation-adjusted numbers, let’s look at inflation. The inflation rate during the 40 years of Democrat control averaged 4.11% per year. During the 12 years of Republican control, it was only 2.17%. In the last few years, we have had low inflation, only 1.66% on average.
Now, let’s look at real wages. Democrats have claimed that the workers have suffered under Republicans, so let’s go to the numbers. In the 40 Democrat years, real wages of production workers went up 1.37% per year, on average. This compares well with the 0.99% per year for the 12 Republican years. However, most of that growth came in the first half of the Democrats’ reign. The previous 12 years of Democrat control saw real wages only go up 0.91% per year. In fact, the previous 20 years of Democrat control of the House only saw real wages go up 0.95% per year. The last few years, since the Democrats retook Congress, have, of course, been bad — only 0.58% real wage growth.
Finally, lets look at unemployment. Over the 40 years of Democrat control of Congress, unemployment averaged 6.0%. In the 12 Republican years, the average unemployment rate was 5.0%. Since the Democrats took over, it has averaged 7.4%, having gone from 4.6% in 2006 to 9.6% today.
The choice is clear on Tuesday. If you want higher budget deficits, lower GDP growth, lower wage growth, higher inflation, and higher unemployment, vote for Democrats.